Water & Sewer FAQ

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Water & Sewer Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up water service in my name?

Persons listed as the taxpayers of record for properties inside the city limits may call the billing department at 989-725-0520 to set up water service.   All others are required to provide a security deposit and must visit the Information Desk at City Hall during business hours to set up an account.  City Hall is located at 301 West Main Street, business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Who pays a security deposit for water service?

Water security deposits are charged to offset any potential unpaid utility charges accrued at an address.  Any person or business requesting water service that is not listed as the taxpayer of record must pay a security deposit.  All accounts for service outside of the city limits are also required to provide a deposit.  Residential deposits are currently $245. 

Who pays utility bills and how are they calculated?

All users of the city’s water and sewer utility systems pay user fees and charges as adopted by City Council.  These fees and charges are designed to completely support the operations, maintenance, administration and capital outlay of the city’s utilities facilities and infrastructure.  Current rates are as follows:

  • Water – In town $2.50 per 750 gallons 
  • Water – Out of city $5.00 per 750 gallons 
  • Water – Demand fee based on meter size* 
  • Sewer – In town $3.05 per 750 gallons 
  • Sewer – Demand fee based on water meter size* 
  • Water-Main Replacement Charge - Based on water meter size*

*Please contact the Water Department for further information (989) 725-0520.  

When are utility bills mailed and when are they due?

Each utility customer receives his or her bill(s) quarterly.  The bills are mailed the first week of the January, April, July, and October and are due the 5th of the following month.  A penalty of 10% can be assessed for late payments.

Where do I pay my water bill and what payment options are available?

  • At our office – Information Desk at City Hall.  City Hall is located at 301 W. Main Street, Owosso, MI 48867.  Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
  • Mail – Please include the water bill stub and note the amount being paid on the stub if different from the amount due. DO NOT SEND CASH.  Our mailing address is City of Owosso Water Department, 301 West Main Street, Owosso, MI  48867 
  • Drop Box – There is a drop box conveniently located in the center island of the parking lot between City Hall and the Public Safety Building – DO NOT PLACE CASH IN THE DROP BOX. 
  • Automatic Bill Pay – You may sign up to have your bill amount automatically debited from your bank account.  This service is free.  Click the following link to view more information on how to sign up for this service:  Utility Automatic Bill Payment Form 
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Utility bills can be paid by phone: Dial 1-855-332-3789 and follow the prompts, inputting data where necessary.  Please be aware there is a convenience fee for using this service. 
  • Online – Utility bills can be paid via credit/debit cards or electronic check.  Please be aware there is a convenience fee for using this service.  Click the following link for more information regarding paying your bill online:  Pay Online Now

How do I request a final water bill?

Please call the Water Department at (989) 725-0520 to request a final bill.  Please provide the date service should be discontinued in your name and a forwarding address.  Final bills are prepared and mailed once a month.  If applicable, a refund check will be forwarded to you approximately two weeks after the final billing is prepared.

What things can I check if I receive a high water bill?

  • Do you have a dripping faucet? 
  • Is a toilet leaking or running for long periods of time?
    • A toilet can leak without making a sound.  To test for a silent leak, place several drops of food coloring in the tank and let it set undisturbed for 20 to 30 minutes.  If it is leaking the colored water from the tank will appear in the bowl.
  • Has a garden hose been left running? 
  • Have you checked the basement or crawl space for any leaks? 
  • Have you filled or added water to your swimming pool? 
  • Have you watered your lawn or garden? 
  • Is the hot water heater leaking? 
    • Is it near a floor drain so that the water drains away and does not leave a noticeable puddle? 
  • Do you have a humidifier on your furnace that needs adjusting? 
  • Have you checked the water softener?  It could have a sticky valve that is allowing water to run continuously through it. 
  • Do you have a pit meter (a meter in the yard and not in the house), have you checked it for leaks? 

When investigating the reasons for an abnormally high water bill keep in mind the water charged for on your current bill was used in the prior three months. 

  • Did you have houseguests or any extra water-consuming activities at that time?
  • Is it summer time?  Water consumption just seems to be higher during the summer months with more bathing, watering the garden and lawn, washing the car, etc. 

One final check for leaks is to turn off all water sources in the house, then check the meter.  Wait a couple of hours without using the water, then compare the meter with the first reading.  If the meter has advanced, there is a leak.

If I receive a disconnection notice for non-payment, may I have an extension?

There are no extension arrangements for a disconnection notice.

What happens to uncollected water/sewer accounts?

Water/sewer charges are lienable to the property that received the service.  Unpaid closed accounts will be placed on the tax bill with a ten percent surcharge if the property is located within the city limits. Uncollected out of city accounts may be turned over to a collection agency or placed on township tax bills.

Are we connected to the Flint Water System, should I be concerned about my water in Owosso?

No, we have our own water supply from our own groundwater wells right here in Owosso.  We have excellent water quality from our wells and our water treatment ensures that our water is not corrosive.

Where does City water come from?

Six groundwater wells serve as our water supply source. Two wells (Hintz & Osburn) are located north & east of Owosso.  Two wells (Local Wells #1 & #13) are located near our water treatment plant near S. Gould St.  And two wells (Palmer Wells No. 2 & 3) are located south of town, off Palmer Street near Hopkins Lake.  All the wells are individually tested to ensure they are a safe source of water.  The city has in place an approved wellhead protection program to further protect our source water from future, potential sources of contamination.  If you ever suspect any contamination is occurring within our well head protection zone please contact us at 725-0560 right away.

How is the City water treated?

All six wells deliver water to our central treatment plant, though generally only 1 or 2 wells are used at any given time.  The drinking water treatment plant is located east of S. Gould Street just north of Allendale Avenue.  The water treatment process consists of lime softening for hardness reduction and iron removal, dual media filtration and chlorine disinfection.  Fluoride is added as a dental health measure increasing the natural concentration from 0.4 parts per million to 0.6 parts per million.  On average the city treats and delivers 1,500,000 gallons of water per day.  The water plant is staffed and operated around the clock.

Can I get my water tested?

Testing drinking water can get very involved & expensive depending on what you are looking for.  If you have city water, we recommend you check with us first (Utilities Director’s office 725-0555) to see if our existing monitoring data will answer your question.  If not, we can assist you in getting individual water tests conducted though there may be a cost involved.  If you have an individual well and are interested in having your water checked, we recommend you contact the Shiawassee County Environmental Health office (989) 743-2390 for advice & assistance.