QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BILL
Q.Why is my bill so high?
A. Most often high bills are a result of increased water use. Changes in outdoor water use, such as watering a new lawn or using a new sprinkler system are usually responsible for large increases. Reading your water meter before and after watering can help you identify how much you are using. In some cases, an unusually high bill could be the cause of a leak. The most common being a toilet leak. A single "running" toilet can quietly waste over 1,000 gallons of water in a single day. Detecting leaks elsewhere in your plumbing system might reveal other sources of water loss.
Although we read our meters with a high degree of accuracy, sometimes we make mistakes. If you suspect that we have misread the meter, please call our office at (865) 982-3560. We will gladly check the reading and make any necessary billing corrections.
Q. Is there any relief from high bill caused by leaks?
A. Our utility offers a once-a-year leak adjustment for each customer. See our Leak Adjustment Policy to see if you qualify.
If you are a City of Maryville sewer customer, leak adjustments for sewer will follow the City of Maryville Leak Adjustment Policy.
Q. How often do you bill?
A. All customers are billed once every month. Your current bill is for the previous month's usage.
Q. Can I change my due date?
A. Due dates cannot be changed. We have 6 billing cycles, each with a different due date, these cycles are determined by your location. For your reference, dues dates and cycles are listed below:
Cycle 1 - 20th of each month
Cycle 2 - 30th of each month
Cycle 3 - 5th of each month
Cycle 4 & Cycle 6- 10th of each month
Cycle 5 - 15th of each month
Q. What if my Cycle date falls on a weekend?
A. If your cycle due date falls on a Saturday, your bill is due the previous Friday. If this date falls on a Sunday, your bill is due the following Monday.
Q. I am late on my payment, what is your policy?
A. Effective August 1, 2007, the balance forward on your statement must be paid in full by the due date shown on your current statement or a $60.00 late fee will be added, and your water service will be disconnected. You will not receive a late notice. If your water has been disconnected due to non payment, payment must be received by 3:30 p.m., or the service will not be turned back on until the following business day.
Scammers may call stating your bill is past due and try to take payment over the phone. They may ask for personal and debit/credit card information. We do send out courtesy phone calls when bills are past due, but they are automated phone calls. We do not ask for payment or personal information when those are sent out. Customers who have received a call like this or who have questions about their account, are asked to contact customer service at 865-982-3560.
Q. What methods of payment do you accept?
A. There are a variety of options for you to chose from to pay your water bill. You can pay your monthly charges with a Visa, Master Card, Discover, cash, check, money orders, have it automatically drafted from your checking or savings account each month, or contact your personal banking service to use the easy and convenient option of online Bill Pay. You can also create an account and pay your bill through our website by clicking here.
LEAKS, LINES & METER QUESTIONS
Q. How do I locate my water and sewer lines?
A. Your home's water and sewer lines are your privately-owned infrastructure. We can only locate and repair the infrastructure we own, operate, and maintain: the water mains and water service lines from the main to the meter. South Blount Utility does not have records of private plumbing.
Q. How can I determine if I have a leak?
A. The best method of determining whether or not a leak exists is to take an actual water meter reading. This method checks the internal plumbing system for water leaks. Take a water meter reading just before going to bed, or when no one will use any water for several hours. Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used, or after a few hours of non-usage. In theory, the two readings should be the same. If they are not, and you cannot account for use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener, you have a leak and further investigation is recommended.
Follow these easy steps to investigate if you may have an "invisible leak."
Now that you have done a meter reading and you suspect a water leak somewhere in your system that you can’t see, begin by checking all your faucets for visible leaks. Next, check the toilets for leaks by adding food coloring to the water in the tank. Do not flush. Wait for 15 minutes to see if the colored water appears in the toilet bowl. If it does, there is a leak. Repairing a toilet leak is normally inexpensive and easy to do. Replacement part kits are available at most hardware stores. If there appears to be no leaks inside your home, and the meter is located outside, check for underground leaks. Turn off your main valve inside, then turn on a faucet to verify the valve is working. The water flow should stop completely. Go back outside to the meter to see if it continues to run with the main valve off. If it does, there is a leak somewhere in your plumbing between the meter and the valve. After making repairs, repeat the meter reading procedure to verify that there are no more leaks.
You can also visit our YouTube page for information on how to check different areas for leaks.
Q. My water meter is damaged, what do I do?
A. If your meter is damaged it is your responsibility to pay for the cost of repair or replacement. Call our office to report a damaged meter, and please read our Meter Damage Policy to learn more.
WATER QUALITY QUESTIONS
Q. Where does our water come from?
A. Our source water comes from Lake Tellico.
Q. How do I know my water is clean?
A. Our Water Treatment Plant performs over 1,800 tests annually in our onsite lab and in a certified lab. Our water quality meets and exceeds state standards for clean water. If you are interested in more information on our water quality, you can read our Customer Confidence Report by clicking here, or you can call our Customer Service Department at (865) 982-3560, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Q. Do we have "hard" or "soft" water?
A. The simple definition of water hardness, is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium. Our water hardness measures at around 38 ppm, which is considered "slightly-hard."
Q. Why are Cross-Connection control and Back-flow prevention important? And am I at risk?
A. Back-flow takes place when water in a distribution system flows in the opposite direction from what is normal. This can be caused by higher pressure in the consumer’s piping (back-pressure) or reduced pressure in the City’s mains (back-siphonage). Back-flow can take place within any water distribution system whether it is private or public. Back-flow conditions would not normally pose problems without cross-connections. Cross-connections occur in locations where the water supply is connected to some appliance, equipment, or apparatus which acts as a source for pollution or contamination. If there is any way for contaminated water or other harmful substances to get back into the distribution system by way of back-pressure or back-siphonage, then it is a cross-connection. Click to read more: Cross-Connection Control and Back-Flow Prevention Guide.
Q. Is lead a problem in my drinking water?
A. The District is required to monitor on a annual basis for lead and copper. All customers that are chosen to sample for the District will receive a free water bill for the sampling month, and this document containing the sampling results. Lead in drinking water is an important health issue because of its potential toxic effects. Although, lead does not occur naturally in the SBCUD’s water supply, nor is it a result of the treatment or distribution processes at our plant. In our area, lead in drinking water is most commonly caused by lead-based solder used to join copper piping in home plumbing systems. When water stands for several hours in plumbing that contains lead, the metal can dissolve or leach into the water. Tennessee banned the use of solders containing lead in 1988, so only homes built before the ban are potentially affected. As a precaution, you can eliminate lead from your drinking water by allowing the water to run for a few minutes before consuming it.