Frequently Asked Questions
What is the hardness of my water?
The hardness of our water averages around 120 parts per million (ppm) orabout 7.0 grains per gallon.
What is a cross connection?
A cross connection is an arrangement of piping which could allow undesirable water, sewage or chemical solutions to enter your drinking (potable) water as a result of backflow.
Winter Safety Reminder!
The City Water Department is asking residents to please help keep fire hydrants clear of snow and visible; it could help save your life or someone else’s!
Water Conservation Policy
Annually on May 15th all water customers are requested to water lawns, gardens and outdoor plants every other day, based on their address. Even addresses may water outside on even calendar days and odd addresses on odd calendar days. The program will end September 15th.
Because this is considered a conservation program, residents may use water for other outdoor activities like washing cars, cleaning outdoor surfaces and filling pools any day. It is the daily watering of lawns, gardens and outdoor plants that is being restricted. A water conservation program limits the outdoor use of water, whereas a water ban usually prohibits all outdoor water use.
The conservation program is part of a long range plan to make sure the Saginaw Metropolitan area has enough water to meet customer demands and plan for future growth. Residents are cautioned that should water demands exceed the City of Saginaw’s treatment capacity during the summer months because of dry weather and/or drought conditions, a total water ban will be announced.
What causes water main breaks?
Water main breaks usually result from external corrosion of the pipe or from old brittle cast iron pipes. Area soil conditions are highly conductive and corrodes iron pipe from the outside in. Extreme cold and weather changes may cause ground shifting which can put unusual stress on weakened water mains, causing them to break. Breaks can also occur as a result of construction activity in the area.
Does cold weather cause more water main breaks?
Cold weather is one of the extreme weather conditions that cause can cause more water main breaks. Water main breaks are more likely to occur when moisture in the ground freezes and expands, increasing stress loads on underground pipes typically from December to the end of February. Breaks also can occur from sustained extreme cold temperatures, or when the temperature has large fluctuations either up or down during the winter. While cold temperatures may send frost deeper, the level of snow cover is also very important. Snow will act as a “blanket” insulating the lawn areas from frost. In years when there is plenty of snow, the frost does not go as deep in these areas. Typically traffic on roads will drive the frost deeper into the ground underneath the road.
However, water main breaks can occur during other extreme weather conditions, such as a hot, dry summer when the ground is very dry causing the soil to shrink putting additional stress on water mains.
Will you notify me if you need to turn off for a water main break?
There usually is not time to notify residents. The water can flood streets and private property causing damage and safety hazards and must be controlled as quickly as possible. If it is a small leak and time permits we will attempt to notify affected customers.
Who should I call to report a water emergency or water main break?
During regular business Monday thru Friday from 8:30a.m. – 5:00 p.m., please call City Hall at 989-652-9901 or the Water Department at 652-8987 from 7:30a.m. – 4:00p.m. For after hours, weekends and holidays please call the Frankenmuth Police Department at 652-8371 or call 911.
There was a water main break on my street or in my driveway, but the road or driveway was not restored – Why is this?
After the break is repaired, the road or driveway is temporarily restored; permanent restorations cannot be completed until temperatures are warmer in the spring or summer. Road areas require the assistance of an asphalt paving company to complete permanent restoration which has to be scheduled when their available.
Is my water quality affected by a water main break?
Customers impacted by a water main break may experience air in their pipes and the water may be temporarily discolored. Discoloration can occur when pipes and valves are disrupted during repairs.
Once repairs are completed customers are advised to flush their water taps for several minutes to clear discolored water or air from their lines. If the water doesn’t clear after 5 minutes, wait 30 minutes and try again. If the issue still persists, customers should contact the Water Department.
When the crew arrives, how long does a water main break take to repair?
Once all of the underground utilities (gas, electric, cable, phone, fiber) are located thru Miss Dig and the repair work begins, a routine water main repair typically takes 4 to 6 hours to complete, but can vary depending upon the extent of what needs to be repaired. Other factures such as depth of frost, other utilities in the way, working in the road way and size of main can lengthen repair times.
How many miles of water main does the City maintain including the Township's distribution system?
The City maintains 46.3 miles of water main in the City and 31.2 miles in the Township.
Why is my water bill so high this month?
An unusually high water bill is most often caused by a leak or change in water use. Some common causes of high water bills include:
- A leaking toilet, or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed
- A dripping faucet; a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more
- Filling or topping off a swimming pool
- An outside hose bib was left on
- Watering the lawn, new grass, or trees
- Kids home for summer vacations or school holidays; guests
- A broken water pipe or obvious leak; check the pipes in the basement or crawlspace
- Water softener problems – cycles continuously
- Lawn irrigation system has a broken pipe
- Hot water heater leaking
Generally, water consumption is higher during the summer due to watering of lawns, pools and gardening. Typically, an average family of four uses 4000-5000 gallons of water a month. Here are a few things to check if you get a bill that's higher than usual.
Changes in your water use
Did you have house guests, water your lawn more than usual, or do anything else out of the ordinary in the last month that uses a lot of water? If so, this may account for an increase in your water bill.
Check for leaks
Leaks, whether unseen or unfixed, can waste hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water. It is important to routinely check your plumbing and home for leaky faucets, toilets, and outside hose bibs and irrigation lines.
Toilet and faucet leaks
The most common cause for a high water bill is running water from your toilet. A continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons a day. That can double a family’s typical water use, so fix toilet leaks as soon as possible. Some leaks are easy to find, such as a dripping faucet or running toilet. You can usually hear a running toilet, but not always.
Where do I shut the water off to my house in an emergency?
A shut off valve is located just before the water meter in all homes and newer homes also have a shut off valve directly after the meter.
Where is the water meter located at?
Most water meters are located either in the basement or crawl space of your home. Some duplexes without basements may have their meters located on the main floor in a utility closet or utility room.
Who should I call for billing questions?
For all billing questions please call the City Office at 989-652-9901, Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5:00p.m