FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR THE WATER DEPARTMENT
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
DECORAH WATER DEPT.(DWD): Provides water to its customers and maintains the water mains required to deliver water to homes and businesses. The DWD also owns the water meter that is 1" or smaller.
PROPERTY OWNERS: Owners are responsible for the connection (tap) to the water main and the piping (service line) that carries the water from the water main to the water meter. The property owner is also responsible to protect and provide access to the water meter. When a problem occurs, the DWD staff will assist the property owner in determining the cause of the problem and the appropriate course of action.
WHAT IS A STOP BOX OR CURB BOX?
The stop box, or curb box is a pipe that encloses the valve used to turn the water services on and off to a property. It is usually located in the boulevard.
WHO OWNS THE STOP BOX/CURB BOX?
The property owner owns the stop box and is responsible for its repair and operation.
HOW DOES THE STOP BOX OPERATE?
To operate the stop box, a long key is placed inside the housing and lowered onto the valve to turn the water service on or off. Most curb boxes turn to the right to close, and only need a quarter of a turn, to shut them off. Sometimes, due to age or damage, the stop box does not operate requiring repair.
WHY IS THE STOP BOX OPERATED?
DWD operates the stop box:
* To terminate service at the owner’s request when a property is sold.
* To cut service for internal plumbing repairs.
* At a rental property to discontinue water service when the tenant is moving.
* When a customer fails to make a payment.
If the stop box does not operate correctly, the property owner will be notified.
ARE THERE OTHER REASONS FOR REPAIR?
* Repairs are required when the stop box is too high or too low. The top of the stop box should be level with the ground.
* If the stop box is located under concrete or asphalt, a repair must be made so that the stop box is accessible.
* If the housing for the stop box becomes bent and the key can not be lowered into the housing.
WHAT IF MY SERVICE LINE STARTS TO LEAK?
Please notify DWD if you notice any indication of a water leak, such as noise in the pipes or lower water pressure. Our representative will assist in determining the location of the leak. Sometimes it is difficult to determine the leaking water as it follows the path of least resistance and does not always come to the surface right near the leak. Once located, the property owner will be notified to contact a plumber to make repairs to the leaking service line.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WATER METER?
The water meter is usually located in the basement or pit area. The property owner is responsible for protecting the meter from freezing temperatures and providing access to the meter and meter reading equipment.
HOW CAN THE DECORAH WATER DEPT. HELP?
If you have a high water consumption for an unknown reason, contact City Hall. A (DWD) representative will visit your home to assist in determining the cause. In most cases, high water usage is caused by a leaking toilet.
If you need assistance, please call: Decorah Water Department: 319-382-5171 or
Decorah City Hall: 319-382-3651
WHEN SHOULD I CALL THE DECORAH WATER DEPT.?
If one of the following examples occur, or you notice any significant changes related to the water or sewer in you house or building.
* Different water pressure
* Basement drain back up
* Sewer gas smell
* Drain not working properly
* Uncommon noises from water pipes
HOW IS MY WATER METER READ AND HOW OFTEN?
The DWD uses outside remotes water plates to help with the reading of the water meters. The outside plates are read by a DWD representative once every three months.
IS THE DECORAH WATER QUALITY TESTED?
Water testing results are available at the Decorah Water Department located at 800 West Water Street, or at City Hall on Claiborne Drive by the Fire Department.