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 FAQ

 
  
Answer
A manhole suddenly appeared in my yard.  How did it get there?

​The manhole was buried below ground. A maintenance crew raised it to the proper grade. Manholes need to be 5" above ground level to provide access for cleaning and maintenance and to prevent rainwater and other surface drainage from entering and overtaxing the sewer.

Can I drain my RV waste at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?

No, due to heightened security surrounding America's critical infrastructure, the City of Wichita Public Works & Utilities will no longer provide this service. View a list of service providers in the surrounding area, which take domestic waste from individual recreational vehicles.

Can I install my own water service line?

You may install your own service line; however, it must meet all City specifications, and be of acceptable material and depth.

Public Works & Utilities will install a meter and extend a service line from the main to the meter. The property owner is responsible for extending the service line from the meter to the house.

A plumber should be contacted for installation costs. You may contact Public Works & Utilities at (316) 268-4555 or the Office of Central Inspection at (316) 268-4461 for more information.

Can you move the manhole out of my yard?

​Manhole locations are determined by the configuration of the sewers to which they are attached. Relocating a manhole requires changing the alignment, and possibly the grade of a sewer, which will impede flow. In almost every case, relocating a manhole is not practical.

How can I get my well water tested?

Contact the Office of Environmental Health at (316) 268-8351.​

How can I properly dispose of paint, oil, or other hazardous stuff?

​The Household Hazardous Materials Collection site is now under the authority of Sedgwick County and is located at 801 W Stillwell St. For more information please call (316) 660-7464.

How can I properly dispose of pharmaceuticals

​Visit this link to review information on proper disposal of pharmaceuticals.  Research has found medications and their byproducts in ground and surface waters, suggesting that disposal of old or unused medications down the toilet is not a completely effective way of preventing contamination.

How can I report a leak in my yard, driveway parking lot, etc?

​For any type of water leak please call (316) 262-6000.  Minor leaks may be reported through e-mail.

How can I report concerns about City Water?

​Anytime there is a concern about the quality of the water being delivered into your home or business, please contact Customer Service at (316) 265-1300 or (316) 262-6000 after hours. You may also contact our Water Lab at (316) 269-4771 or by e-mail.

Please be assured that the City’s drinking water is treated and regularly tested to ensure it is safe and is in full compliance with the Safe Drinking Water standards, as established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
 
If there is a detectible taste or odor, there are several possibilities that might be the cause, but neither are unsafe nor a health concern. The first cause may be from the cleaning of the settlement basins at the water treatment plant that usually occurs twice each year. The City has implemented plans for additional plant improvements that should correct such problems.
 
A second and most likely cause results from algae blooms in the water taken from the Cheney Reservoir. Algae are microscopic plants that can grow in the reservoir and generate compounds, and may cause taste and odor under certain conditions in the water. These compounds can give the water an earthy or musty smell, but do not affect the safety of the drinking water. Most cities using lakes or reservoir for their water supply usually encounter such problems periodically and Wichita is no different.
Based on the latest technology, there are several solutions that can be utilized in the treatment and prevention. Chemical treatments have been successful in some cases in treating some taste and odor problems. These treatment techniques are expensive and none will assure complete removal of taste and odor. The City is currently evaluating the effectiveness and costs of the various treatment techniques. Based upon other operational systems, implementing any of these technologies may have a significant impact on water rates; therefore, the City will be cautious about proceeding with any new treatments without a complete evaluation.
 

The other method of dealing with the problem is through prevention. The City is currently working with farmers in the watershed (around the Cheney Reservoir) to help reduce the flow of nutrients and sediment into the reservoir. This action, while a longer-term process, is the best long-term solution to taste and odor problems because it will change the environment of the reservoir to reduce algae growth and extend the life of the reservoir. This program is one of the most successful programs of its kind in the nation, and has served as the model for similar programs throughout the country. Unfortunately these improvements in the watershed will not provide immediate relief from the current taste and odor problem.

The taste and odor problem is a troubling matter to the City and a nuisance to those individuals who are able to detect these conditions as they occur from time to time. The City is committed to safe and quality water and it is of concern when such taste and odor problems occur which are beyond our control. Even though other communities utilizing water reservoirs have similar taste and odor challenges, the City’s Water Department is doing everything possible to address these periodic concerns and find long-term solutions.
How do you calculate the average winter consumption (AWC) that appears on my bill?

​The average winter consumption (AWC) is a calculated average of the bills rendered in the months of December, January, February, and March each year.

How does the water rate structure work?

​Your average winter consumption is designed to be the level of consumption for your account which allows for domestic consumption (drinking, bathing, washing clothes, etc). Amounts used above this level contribute to peak service demand and are frequently seasonal uses such as irrigation. On any given bill, the amount used above 110% of AWC goes into a Block 2 charge. Amounts used above 310% of AWC go into a Block 3 charge.

How long will it take for my new construction to get water?

​If the water main has been cleared for consumption and your plumber or builder has called in a "release" the service should be installed within 2-3 weeks of the fees being paid. If the fees have been paid and it has been longer than 3 weeks please call (316) 219-8913 or (316) 268-4365 to find out more information about the delay.

How much are water and sewer connection fees for new construction?

General information is available here, but i​t is best to call (316) 268-4555 or email for the price at a specific location.  Please note that the deposits and new account service fee must be paid to establish the service.

How much sodium is in the City's drinking water?

​The City's drinking water contains from 80-100 mg/L (PPM) of sodium.

Any questions about the fluoride, hardness or sodium levels, please contact Terryl Pajor (Lab & Operations Director) at (316) 269-4766.

 

I pay my bill through an automatic bank deduction. Will the previous balance due be deducted twice (on the original bill and as the “previous balance” on the next bill)?

​No. Only the “total current charges” are deducted. If your bank records indicate that a double deduction was made, call us at 265-1300.

I pay my water bill every month but this month’s bill shows a previous balance due. Has my payment been lost?

​Having a “previous balance” does not necessarily mean that your last payment is late. The payment due date is always 25 days from the date the bill is generated. When the Water Utility issues another bill in less than 25 days, the earlier payment is not past due yet. If you have paid the “previous balance” in full, you may disregard that portion of the new bill.

I was told the City has an easement in my yard.  Explain what that means.

​An easement gives the City the right to construct and maintain public facilities in an area. Easements are obtained from property owners. Most easements in the City were granted by developers when they platted the land for development. Streets and utility lines are the most common facilities constructed in easements. The property owner must allow the owners of the facilities in the easement to have access. The property owner has responsibility for maintaining the land in the easement, but in most cases facility owners will restore any areas that are excavated or damaged during maintenance work.

If billing is behind schedule, why don’t you just ‘skip’ a bill to get back on schedule?

​Even if the Water Utility is behind schedule, charges cannot be waived for water that was used, sewer service provided, base charges and storm water fees that would have been billed on the regular schedule.

Is my basement sump pump installed correctly?

​Call the Sewer Maintenance sump pump inspector at (316) 268-4025 for proper installation guidelines and inspections.

My yard needs to be fixed after a repair, who should I call?

​The Utility usually waits a couple of weeks from the time a main was repaired to allow the dirt to settle before final yard restoration.  In the summer it may take a little longer due to the increased work load. If it seems it has been excessively long please call (316) 219-8921 or send us an e-mail to make sure we get the work done as promptly as possible.

This sounds like I’m being billed 13 times this year, instead of 12 monthly bills.

​Customers who received fewer than 12 bills in 2010, will receive more than 12 bills in 2011. The extra bill in 2011 is actually for water consumed in 2010 but not billed until 2011.

What are the hours of operation for the Household Hazardous Waste Facility

​Check the Household Hazardous Waste Facility web page for the latest information.

What is “Water is Life, and Infrastructure Makes It Happen”?

This is an educational program to help Wichita Water Utilities’ customers and citizens across the

county understand the importance of water infrastructure and the need for maintaining it in top
operating condition. The goal of the campaign is to start a dialogue between citizens and their
local officials to make clean, safe water a priority and to work together to find effective ways to
replace, maintain, and upgrade aging infrastructure.

What is Infrastructure?

​Infrastructure, for water and wastewater, means the pipes, drains, pumps and treatment
facilities that deliver the clean water we drink, and take away and treat the water we have used
over and over again. Infrastructure is the water line and sewer pipe under your street, the storm
drain at the corner, and the wastewater treatment facility in your community.

 

What is the fluoride level in the City's drinking water?

​The City's drinking water contains approximately 0.3mg/L (PPM) of naturally occurring fluoride.

What is the hardness of the City's drinking water?

​The average hardness of the City's drinking water is 7.0 grains per gallon (108 mg/L as Calcium Carbonate).

What is the Kansas Water Plan charge?

​This is a charge enacted by the Kansas Legislature to provide funds for various water related projects in the State. The charge is 3.2 cents per thousand gallons of consumption and is turned over to the state.

What is the Storm Water charge that appears on my bill?

​This is a charge that has been enacted by the City Council to provide a utility revenue for the construction and maintenance of storm drainage facilities within the City of Wichita. The charge is $2.00 per equivalent residential unit (ERU). Commercial properties receive a charge that is based on the amount of impervious surface area which generates runoff.  1 ERU = 2139 sq. ft. of impervious area.

What should I do if my water meter lid is too high or too low

​Please contact Customer Service at (316) 265-1300 or (316) 262-6000 after hours. 

What will it cost me to connect to an existing service?

​If there is a meter box call (316) 265-1300 about connecting the service. You may be required to post a deposit and pay a new account fee.

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Address
Hours
Phone

​Public Works & Utilities
455 N Main, 8th Floor
Wichita, KS 67202​

​8 AM - 5 PM
Monday - Friday​

To report water leaks or sewer stoppages
(316) 262-6000

Customer Service/Billing Questions
(316) 265-1300

Email Water Utilities​​

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