City

Policies

The following section contains a brief description of several important Utilities Department policies that may affect customers.

If you would like more information on any of these policies, please call or write the Utilities Department or email Angie Gwilt.

Adjustments

Under or over charges resulting from estimated meter readings will be corrected when they come to the department's attention.

After Hours Service Request

Occasionally, you may find it necessary to make a service request after normal business hours. Service representatives are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is a charge to reimburse for their overtime. Because of the added expense, we suggest you use this service ONLY in emergencies.

Estimates

Occasionally, it may be necessary to estimate water usage. Estimating is done only when a meter can not be read. The estimated usage is the reading of the previous year, divided by four, to give a quarterly average. This is calculated by the Account Clerk. However, the proper usage is recorded when an actual reading is obtained and any errors in estimating are corrected. Sometimes high estimates (2 or 3 times normal usage) are used when we can not read the meter and are unable to contact the customer. Excess payments will be credited to your account once brought to our attention.

Final Bill

When occupants move, it is their responsibility to notify the Utilities Department. They must provide the department with the date they will vacate their current residence as well as their new mailing address. A final reading will be taken on the nearest business day to the moving date and a final bill will be issued.

Partial Payments

There are times when genuine hardships make it difficult to pay utility bills. Residential customers may apply for a payment plan. Partial payments are accepted but a penalty will be charged on the unpaid balance after the due date. If you have received a shut-off notice and wish to make a partial payment to prevent discontinuation of water service, you must come to City Hall or call Angie Gwilt at 424-6545 to make arrangements.

Night Deposit Box

A night deposit box is provided for all customers near the northwest back door at City Hall and is emptied every morning at 8:00 a.m.

High Bills

High bills may be the result of several factors. The most common reason is leakage within the home, most often as a result of a leaking toilet or dripping faucet. Other causes include: a change in usage habits, increased number of people using water, sprinkling yards and water softeners. Occasionally, high bills are the result of a Water Department error, such as an error in estimating, or rarely, a mechanical problem. Please contact Angie Gwilt at 424-6545 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you feel your utilities bill is incorrect.

Since water bills are received by the customer three months after the water has been used, it is useful to check if usage might have increased for any of the above reasons. If not, call or email Angie Gwilt at 424-6545 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and ask for an investigation of the high usage.

Property Owner Responsibility

The property owner is responsible for utility bills. The property owner may transfer responsibility to a tenant. The privilege of transferring responsibility to a tenant is up to the owner of the property. If it is rental property, the bills still go to the owner. If payment is late, the owner of the property will receive the shut-off notice.

Normal Shut-Off

Normal shut-off takes place when an occupant moves or takes a vacation for an extended period of time. We request you call Angie Gwilt at 424-6545 and arrange a time when the service can be shut off at the street. It is wise to request our service person to loosen and drain the meter during the time the service is disconnected. There is no charge for this service. The final bill will be sent to your new address.

Nonpayment Shut-Off

Shut-off for nonpayment is initiated after an account is 60 days past due. Shut-off will occur approximately three days after the unpaid amount is due.

Separate Water Metering System for Residential Lawn Sprinkling

A City Council Resolution adopted in July 1988 allows separate water metering systems to be permitted for lawn sprinkling purposes only. Any City of Tecumseh property owner who wishes to have a separate water metering system installed for lawn sprinkling must comply with the following conditions:

  1. The residential property owner shall re-plumb their premises to allow for metering all outside hose bibs. It is recommended that a certified plumber complete this work.
  2. After the City of Tecumseh approves of the plumbing system, insuring that there are no cross connections, a meter with an outside reader shall be installed by the Utilities Department at the residential property owner's expense. A separate bill will be issued for lawn sprinkling usage.
  3. The residential property owner shall be charged a quarterly "readiness to serve charge" and a "water only commodity charge" as set forth in the City of Tecumseh Water Supply and Sewage Disposal System Ordinance, 2.000.00 Section 10B Water Rates.

To Fill a Swimming Pool

To have a pool filled, call at least one day in advance to make arrangements for the hose to be delivered. A deposit of $100.00 is required before delivery of the hose. The charge to fill a pool is $65.00.

Hydrant Use

The department will allow the operation of fire hydrants by bona fide contractors only. Such permission will be given only under circumstances where a meter can not be used. Hydrant meters are available for use during construction upon application and payment of a deposit. Hydrant meters are subject to the same billing procedures as permanent meters.

Procedure for Sewer Complaints

The Utilities Department asks that the following procedure be used by residents when there is a problem.

  • In case of a back-up during working hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) the City should be called first. A crew will be sent out to determine if the problem is in the City's main line or the homeowner's line. If the problem is in the City's main, it will be corrected. If it is a problem with the homeowner's line, the homeowner will be instructed to contact a private enterprise to correct the problem. There is NO charge to the homeowner during working hours, whether or not the problem is the homeowner's responsibility.
  • In case of sewer back-up after working hours, and if the City is called first - Contact the Tecumseh Police Department at 423-7494 or the Emergency Services Department at 423-4545:
    1. The homeowner will be informed that the City will come out to check on the problem. If the problem is the homeowner's line the homeowner will have to pay for the City's work.
    2. If the homeowner still elects to have the City check the problem, the City will do so. However, the homeowner may need to contact a private enterprise to remedy the situation.
    3. If the problem is a blockage of a City main, the City will clear the blockage, and then inform the homeowner of the situation at NO expense to the homeowner for the City's work.

Well Water

The water supply for the City is obtained from seven wells. We add chlorine, fluoride and phosphate to the water. The chlorine is for disinfection purposes, the fluoride is for dental benefits and the phosphate helps keep iron in suspension.

Red Water

Red water is caused by organic iron in the main line rubbing off and traveling through the system. You may draw some of this water into your house.

We have a hydrant and main flushing program to help reduce the occurrence of red water. We also add phosphate to help keep the iron in suspension.

Pressure

Water pressure is determined by the height of the elevated storage tank. The average pressure in the City is 60 to 75 lbs. Approximately 4 lbs. of pressure is lost going through the metering device.

Iron and Hardness

There is approximately 0.70 mg/L of iron in the City's water. The hardness of the City water is 19 grains.