US City Utilities

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US City Utilities-Part 1

The cities of American Canyon, Martinez, Cloverdale, Yonkers, and Whittier provide their residents various utility services, such as water, waste management, recycling, and public transportation. More information about each of these programs, as well as any available frequently asked questions (FAQ) published by the cities, has been provided below.

American Canyon, California

Utilities Provided

  • The city of American Canyon provides water and sewer management utilities to its residents. It also provides stormwater pollution prevention through the Napa Countywide Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program, which is a collaboration with other Napa County municipalities.
  • Other utilities provided by the city are street sweeping, a traffic-calming program, 12-miles of storm drain system, 927 street lights, 6 traffic signals, and 9 city-owned buildings and facilities.
  • The city, in conjunction with Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA), provides transportation to residents and visitors who have to pay for the services.
  • Another utility offered is waste water management.

Overview of Utilities

  • Their main source of water supply is through the North Bay Aqueduct (State Water Project). The city operates a Water Treatment Plant that produces up to 5.5 million gallons of potable water for its residents and businesses every day.
  • The stormwater pollution prevention and regulations protect the people, environment, and properties from damage caused by stormwater runoff.
  • The stormwater code complies with the Municipal Stormwater Discharge National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, issued by the California State Water Resources Control Board.
  • The city owns and operates the American Canyon Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) that treats both domestic and industrial wastewater flows through the use of a membrane bio reactor (MBR) and ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The city's website provides a section called "How Do I" which covers various services offered to its residents.
  • It also offers the "Utility Billing" section that has frequently asked questions.

1. How do I get a temporary water meter for construction?

  • ''To apply for a temporary meter please click here for the application.''
  • ''Completed applications should be submitted to the Utility Billing Department. Or, submit an application online through our online form submission.''
  • ''The City of American Canyon encourages use of recycled water for all temporary hydrant meters used for construction and irrigation within the City’s potable water service boundary."
  • ''Recycled water can be obtained through the City of American Canyon or Napa Sanitation District located at 1515 Soscol Ferry Road, Napa.''

2. How do I set up my account online?

  • ''Before contacting Customer Service, click here to review additional information that can help guide you through the process.''

3. What do I do if I had a water leak?

4. How do I stop service at an address in American Canyon?

  • ''Please email the date you would like to terminate services and a forwarding address for your final bill and/or deposit refund. '' (Source 3)

5. How do I stop my service for garbage, electricity and telephone?

6. How do I start service at a commercial address?

7. How do I start service in American Canyon?

8. Who do I contact about water quality or water leaks?

  • ''For questions regarding water quality or water leaks, please contact the Public Works Department at (707) 647-4550. If you have experienced a water leak please read about our Water Leak Credit Policy here.''

9. What happens if your check bounces?

  • ''If the bank returns your check a $25.00 fee will be added to your account with each subsequent returned check, the fee will be $35.00.''
  • ''Direct Debit transactions rejected by your bank are subject to the same fees as a returned check.''

10. What services are provided?

11. When is an unpaid bill considered past due?

  • ''An unpaid bill is considered past due if payment is not received by the 24th of the month, or the next business day if the 24th is a weekend or holiday.''
  • ''If you are unable to pay your bill, please call (707) 647-4364 or come in person to our office to discuss payment arrangements.'' (Source 3)
  • ''If your account becomes past due, a 10% penalty fee and 0.5% interest will be assessed. If your service is shut off, there is a re-connection fee of $92.''
  • ''For re-connections after 4:30 p.m., the fee is $322.''

12. How can I pay my water bill?

  • One can Pay online by ''Click here to pay your bill online.''
  • One can pay via Mail or Drop-off at ''City of American Canyon Water Department, 4381 Broadway Street, Ste 201, American Canyon, CA 94503-1253.''
  • ''Please pay your bill by the payment due date shown on the front of the bill. If you are mailing your payment, please send it in the envelope enclosed to American Canyon or send it to Post Office Box 1410 Suisun City, CA 94585-4410.''

13. Does the City offer Low Income Rates?

  • ''City Council approved a pilot Water Rate Assistance Program that will be in effect from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019.''
  • ''Single-family residential customers who are current PG&E Care Program members can complete an application and provide a copy of their PG&E bill to the Utility Billing Department to receive a discount of the fixed water meter charge per month.''

Martinez, California

Utilities Provided

  • The city of Martinez in California provides water for its residents through the Clean Water Program. It also offers street sweeping and catch basin cleaning as another service utility to its residents.
  • Additionally, this city offers solid waste collection and disposal and a storm water system.

Overview of Utilities

  • The city of Martinez uses franchise agreements to establish garbage and recycling collection services for its residents.
  • The reuse and recycling programs and services include curbside collection services, the Organics Recycling Program, household hazardous waste collection, pharmaceuticals and sharps, on-call cleanup services, mandatory commercial recycling and plastic bag and polystyrene (Styrofoam) ban.
  • Through its public works section, it provides repair and janitorial services for all city buildings, installs new water mains and services, reads and services water meters, repairs water leaks, and maintains 110 pieces of large and small equipment, including replacement, routine servicing, and repairing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The city's website provides a section called "How Do I" which covers various services it offers to its residents.
  • Another section provided by the city is the "frequently asked questions."

1. How do I report a street light outage?

  • ''To report a street light outage you can call the Martinez Corporation Yard at 925-372-3580.''
  • ''Please have the Pole Number (located on the pole) and location or address when reporting.''

2. I want to complain about garbage cans left on the sidewalk?

3. I want to complain about uncollected trash

4. I want to report too much trash in a park.

5. The drains/sewers in my street smell bad

  • ''For problems with the storm drains, contact the City of Martinez Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-372-3580.''
  • ''If there is a problem with the sewer, contact the Central Sanitation District at 925-689-3890 or the Mt. View Sanitary District at 925-228-5635.''

6. The pavement is broken

7. The traffic lights are out

  • ''Traffic lights are operated by Contra Costa County Public Works Department they can be reached at (925) 313-2000.''

8. There is a leaky fire hydrant on my street

  • ''If you have Contra Costa Water District as your water provider call (925) 688-8000.''
  • ''If you have Martinez Water as your water provider call (925) 372-3580.''

9. A water main has broken

  • ''Contact the City of Martinez Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-372-3580. If it is after hours, contact the Police Department at 925-372-3440.''

10. How do I dispose of paint and toxic materials?

11. The water pressure has dropped in my neighborhood

  • ''Contact the City of Martinez Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-372-3580. If it is after hours, please contact the Martinez Police Department at 925-372-3440.''

12. I have a question about a bill from the City

13. How do I order recycling containers?

14. My electric/gas bill is wrong

15. I want to report blocked storm drains

  • ''Contact the City of Martinez Public Works Maintenance Division at 925-372-3580.''

16. My water bill is wrong

  • ''You should contact the City of Martinez Water Billing at 925-372-3575 or the Contra Costa Water District at 925-688-8000.''

17. Where is the nearest City dump site?

  • ''The nearest dump site is Acme Landfill, located at 950 Waterbird Way in Martinez. They can be reached at 925-228-7099.''

Cloverdale, California

Utilities Provided

Overview of Utilities

  • Through the New Water/Sewer Service a $60 fee is applied for every start of service. Residents are able to stop the water utilities by completing and submitting the A Stop Water/Sewer Service Form (PDF).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The City has a section for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that covers several sections of the city.

1. What is Stage 1 Water Conservation?

  • ''This stage is voluntary, however, the City retains the right to enforce our Municipal Code when water is blatantly wasted.''
  • ''For the majority of water customers, the city is expecting them to self-monitor their water use and to continue doing the best they can to save water.''
  • ''Fines and/or shut-off of services will only happen for blatant water wasters who will be notified by phone or door hanger of any infraction; upon continued waste, they will be notified by letter warning of possible shut-off of services.''

2. The city's approach to reducing water by requiring 25% reduction seems unfair. Doesn't this approach penalize those of us that have already been conserving?

  • ''Stage 1 is voluntary and unmonitored with The code. Enforcement procedures will only be applied to those customers that blatantly waste water.''
  • ''Therefore, for customers already conserving, the city asks that you continue to save water and look for additional ways to reduce water use further.''

3. How do I know if I am using 25% less water?

  • ''The 25% reduction is measured against the same month's water use from the year 2013. A thirteenth month has been added to your water bill so this comparison can be made.''

4. What if I don't have usage from last year because I've lived on the property a short time? How is my reduction percentage calculated?

  • We are asking everyone to conserve. Take a look at several months of your usage, take the average and reduce that by 25%.

5. With Stage 1 Water Conservation, will I be allowed to water my lawn?

  • ''The city is requiring all customers to limit their irrigation to the evening hours and on the even/odd schedule shown on our Stage 1 Water Conservation page.''

6. If we get a "miracle March", will customers still need to reduce water usage?

  • ''Governor Jerry Brown has issued an Executive Order requiring a mandatory 25% reduction in residential and commercial water use.''

7. Why hasn't the city done more to prevent this shortage from happening?

  • ''The year 2013 was the driest year in over 400 years and the entire state remains in a water shortage crisis.''
  • ''To protect from continued dry years, the city installed a new well in August 2013, two additional wells were brought on-line in July 2014, and a new storage tank will be completed in 2015. These new wells are not projected to "dry up" because they draw deep down from the underflow of the Russian River.''

8. Has the city looked into using recycled water for irrigation?

  • ''The city has extensively studied upgrading its waste-water treatment plant. Installing dual system piping and constructing large reservoirs to hold recycled water is estimated to cost over $60 million dollars which is beyond the city's means at this time.''

Yonkers, New York

Utilities Provided

Overview of Utilities

  • This location operates a recycling center and an organic yard that composts leaves and other organic materials.
  • The city has improved its recycling rate over the last several years with 69,490 tons of waste recycled in the year 2012. Household recyclables are collected curbside once each week on a rotating schedule with the recyclables being separated into two categories, mixed recyclables (commingles) and paper recyclables, and placed curbside in accordance with the 2019 Recycling Calendar.
  • The Yonkers Recycling Center accepts non-metal bulk items, metals, empty propane tanks, electronics, fluorescent bulbs and light ballasts, household recyclables, and Styrofoam.
  • The yard also accepts branches, Christmas trees and leaves, and does not accept grass clippings, tree stumps, or items placed in plastic bags.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • The city has a section in its website dedicated to the frequently asked questions which covers various sections and services of the city.

1. Do I need a permit from the Engineering Department to place a canister/dumpster in my driveway?

  • ''No you do not need a permit from the Engineering Department as long as it is placed completely on private property.''

2. How do I get a traffic light repaired? How do I get a street light repaired?

  • ''These routine repairs are handled by the Department of Public Works. A call to the Mayor’s HELP Line/aka Action Center @377-6000 for a service request will get these done.''

3. What is the procedure to obtain a water meter?

  • ''To obtain a new water meter, you need to come to City Hall room 315, with a check or money order made out to the City of Yonkers for the appropriate amount (see Water Shop Price List) and fill out a permit.''
  • ''Prior to coming to our office, you need to know the size of the meter from the old meter.''
  • ''If you do not know the size, you may call the Water Shop at 377-6737 to find out.''
  • ''Upon paying for the meter, bring your permit to the water shop located at 170 Saw Mill River Road and you will receive your new meter.''

4. What do I need to do to receive a permit to do a street excavation? i.e., sewer or water service work?

  • ''Before you can receive a permit for excavation of the street, the permit applicant needs an insurance policy on file with a one million dollar liability and must have the City of Yonkers Engineering Department additionally insured and as a certificate holder on the policy (see insurance policy sample).''
  • ''A ten thousand dollar bond is also required (see bond sample).''
  • '' A plumbing permit from the plumbing bureau is required as well.''
  • '' A block and lot number and a code 753 number are required.''
  • ''A start date when you would like to start the work is mandatory.''
  • ''In addition, a check or money order made out to the City of Yonkers for the appropriate amount which must be submitted in person.''
  • '' A federal ID number or social security number is required to refund all deposits.''

5. Can I pay my taxes or water bill with a credit card or online?

6. Can I pay my water bill at the bank?

7. Can I pay my water bill online?

  • ''Yes, but it must be paid by the due date. If water bill is late, call 914-377-6148 for interest charges.''

8. How do I know which water district I am located in?

  • ''The first number of the water account on your bill determines which district you are in.''

9. How do I request a final reading?

10. How many gallons in one cubic feet?

11. How many garbage cans do I need and what constitutes an overweight trash can?

  • ''As per City Code 91-16 and 17: A sufficient number of receptacles must be provided for the accumulation of garbage. Garbage cans cannot exceed 50 lbs.''

12. What is the minimum charge for sewer?

  • ''The minimum charge for sewer is $8.75.''

13. What is the minimum charge for water?

  • ''The minimum charge for water is $28.75.''

14. What is the water rate?

  • ''The commercial and residential water rates are $3.34 per 100 cubic feet.''

15. What time can I put my trash out and how long do I have to bring in my trash cans after pickup?

  • ''As per City Code 91-12 and 91-36B: Trash may be put out after sundown of the night before pickup and cans should be removed within 8 hours of pick up.''

16. What times are leaf blowers allowed?

Whittier, California

Utilities Provided

Overview of Utilities

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How can I get additional information on the rate changes?

  • ''You may contact the City of Whittier Public Works Department at or call (562) 567-9500 or view the Notice of Public Hearing Notice.''

2. How is the public notified about the rate changes?

  • ''The Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Changes to Water, Sewer and Reclaimed Water Rates (green, quad-fold notice) was mailed to all Whittier property owners and tenants directly responsible for the payments of these fees on March 22, 2019.''

3. When and how are new utility rates adopted?

  • ''The fees proposed in the Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Changes to Water, Sewer, and Reclaimed Water Rates (green, quad-fold notice) list the maximum amount the fees can be increased without another notice and public hearing.''

4. How do I qualify for the sewer discount?

  • ''Whittier property owners with a combined gross income of all members of the family or household residing together of less than twenty-nine thousand five hundred fifty dollars ($29,550) for the prior calendar year and have been approved for the City’s utility users tax exemption are qualified to receive the discount.''

5. How is the sewer fee calculated?

  • ''Sewer rates are based on measured water usage plus an annual customer service charge of $6.95 to each customer account to cover customer service related costs.''

6. How much will the Sewer Fee increase?

  • ''On May 14, 2019, at 6:00 p.m., the City Council held a public hearing in the City Council Chamber to consider the adoption of the proposed sewer rates.''

7. I don’t see a sewer fee on my water/solid waste bill. How do I pay the sewer fee?

  • ''The sewer fee is included annually on your property tax bill issued by the County of Los Angeles itemized as 'Sewer Svc Chg'.''

8. My property is on a septic tank. Am I still charged a sewer fee?

9. What does the Sewer Fee fund?

  • ''The Sewer Fee funds the cost of operation and maintenance of the sewer system to ensure compliance with regulations governing public health and environmental protection, and the rehabilitation and replacement of the aging sewer system infrastructure.''

10. Where can I view the Sewer Rate Study?

  • ''Sewer Rate Study link.''

11. How is my water fee calculated?

  • ''Water rates include two components: a fixed service charge varied by meter sizes and a commodity charge for the water used.''
  • ''Water fees are calculated by multiplying the usage rate by the water usage and adding the service fee.''

12. Why is the service fee on my water bill so high compared to the usage rate?

  • ''The amount you pay for Water service in the City’s service area consists of two components.''
  • ''A customer service fee or meter charge, which is a fixed amount based on your meter size and your customer class (single family residential, multifamily residential, non-residential and landscape).''
  • ''The usage rate or commodity charge, which is based on the amount of water you use.'' (Source 24)

of six

US City Utilities-Part 2

The cities of Calexico, Petaluma, Vacaville, Lake Havasu, and Sterling Heights all provide residents with various utility services, such as water, waste management, recycling, and public transportation. More information about each of these programs, as well as any available frequently asked questions (FAQ) published by the cities, has been provided below.


  • The city of Calexico in California provides the following utility and public works services to all city taxpayers: a storm water program, water treatment and distribution operations, public transit, fleet maintenance, a street system, solid waste collection and recycling, and wastewater collection and treatment.
  • The city's website has not published any frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning their various public works programs.


  • The city of Petaluma, California provides several utility services to their residents via the public works department, including drinking water; wastewater and sewage; storm water; and garbage, recycling, and solid waste.
  • The city's website has not published any frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning their various public works programs.



  • Vacaville, California's utilities department provides residents with water conservation, sewer and wastewater, drinking water, and environmental protection services.
  • Their environmental protection services include infrastructure improvement plans and groundwater sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • While Vacaville's website does not provide any overall FAQ for their utilities department or for most of the individual programs, they do provide them for the environmental protection services.
  • The questions answered in the department's FAQ have been detailed below.
  • "How do I stop water and sewer service in my name?"
  • "Are “flushable wipes” flushable and what can and cannot go down the toilet?"
  • "What if I need to do a repair on my water line?"
  • "If I am experiencing water pressure that is too low or too high, who should I call?"
  • "Who should I call if I have a question about my water bill?"
  • "What if I have a plugged sewer?"
  • "What should I do if the storm drain is plugged?"
  • "If I notice a maintenance problem after normal business hours, what should I do?"
  • "What is the Sewer Treatment Variable charge on my Utility bill?"
  • "What is the Sewer Treatment Fixed charge on my utility bill?"
  • "What is the Basic Service Charge for water on my Utility bill?"
  • "Where can I pay my utility bill and what sources of payment do you accept?"
  • "How do I get water and sewer service put in my name?"
  • "When am I billed and when is my bill due?"


  • The City of Lake Havasu in Arizona provides residents with the following utility services: water, trash, and recycling.
  • Information about each of these programs, as well as billing and other important information, can be found on the city's website.
  • The city's website has not published any frequently asked questions (FAQ) concerning their various public works programs.


of six

US City Utilities-Part 3

Pierre, South Dakota provides electricity, water, street, and wastewater utilities to its residents while, Foster City, California provides water and wastewater utilities to its residents.

Pierre, South Dakota

  • Pierre, South Dakota provides electricity, water, street, and wastewater utilities to its residents.

FAQs: Solid Waste

1. Where can I take my yard waste?
  • Answer: "Roll-off boxes are located at 2800 E Park for yard waste drop off that are open 24/7."
2. What can I do with my old freezer or refrigerator to the Solid Waste Facility?
  • Answer: "We can not accept any freon containing equipment unless the freon has been properly removed. Contact a local business that sells refrigerators, freezers or air conditioning units for more information on freon removal."

Water Treatment Plant: General Questions

1. Why doesn't Pierre just tie into Mid-Dakota's water system?
  • Answer: "Mid-Dakota's water system does not produce enough water to meet the needs of the Pierre. Expanding Mid-Dakota's production capacity would cost more than the proposed Water Treatment Plant."
2. Is it still possible to get treated water from Mid-Dakota that already has a treatment plant north of town?
3. How long before our current process of treating drinking water is ineffective?
4. If voters approve the development of a Water Treatment Plant, how long would it take for treated water to flow?
5. What chemicals are added to the current drinking water? (Fluoride, chlorine and others.)
6. I’ve heard that manganese is a potential health concern. What is our current concentrations vs treated concentrations of manganese?
7. How much parkland would be taken up by the proposed Water Treatment Plant.
8. Could the City use its existing deep wells along the river to irrigate our parks with untreated water?
  • Answer: "The City can use the existing wells for park irrigation. However, the water will still contain high levels of manganese which will stain sidewalks and other buildings near the site of irrigation."

Water Treatment Plant Project: Water Quality

1. If a water treatment plant is built in Pierre, how much will my water improve?
2. If a Water Treatment Plant is built in Pierre, would the City's water quality be similar to the water produced by Mid-Dakota or Mni Wiconi?
  • Answer: "Yes. The Water Treatment Plant would remove the minerals from Pierre's water that currently differentiate Pierre's water from the water produced by the Mid-Dakota or Mni Wiconi systems."
3. How does Pierre's current water quality compare to Mid-Dakota or Mni Wiconi water quality?
  • "Additionally, the concentrations of calcium and magnesium are approximately 30% higher in Pierre's water supply than in the water produced by Mid-Dakota and Mni Wiconi, making Pierre's water harder than the water supplied by the other systems."
4. If a Water Treatment Plant is built in Pierre, will drinking water remain clear year-round?
5. If the City does not build a water treatment plant, will the quality of our current water source remain stable or will the quality deteriorate?
6. Why does Pierre water turn sidewalks, appliances and fixtures a dark color?
7. Would the development of a Water Treatment Plant prevent the water from staining?
8. If the City builds a Water Treatment Plant, will it damage my current plumbing?

Water Treatment Plant Project: Financial Impact

1. If the City builds a Water Treatment Plant, how much more per gallon will it cost me?
  • Answer: "Estimates indicate residential users would pay $0.0023 more per gallon. "
2. How much will my water bill increase if the City builds a Water Treatment Facility?
  • Answer: "The increase depends directly on the amount of water used by the customer. If a commercial account uses a lot of water, its cost will be higher than that of an individual who uses a smaller quantity."
3. How do the expected “new” rates compare to Mid Dakota, Mni Wiconi?
4. How much money would the City have to put into its existing wells or new wells to ensure a stable water source over the next 30 years / the estimated life of the water treatment plant?
  • "If a Water Treatment Plant is not built, the City will need to invest between $2 and $3 million, to construct new wells and update existing wells."

Foster City, California

FAQs — Wastewater Collection

1. How do I report a sewer problem?

Water Distribution

1. Where does Foster City get its drinking water?
  • Answer: "Foster City gets its water from Hetch Hetchy. The Hetch Hetchy watershed, an area located in Yosemite National Park, provides approximately 85% of San Francisco's total water needs."
2. What are the water conservation rebates available?
3. What can I do if I have a water leak, broken hydrant, or any type of water issue?
  • Answer: "If you have any questions or need additional information regarding water service or water quality, such as reporting a water leak, broken hydrant, or any type of water issue, please contact the Public Works Maintenance Division at (650) 286-8140."
4. What does it mean that we are in a Water Shortage Emergency?
5. What is chloramine, and why was chlorine converted to chloramine as a water disinfectant?
  • Answer: "The Estero Municipal Improvement District is pleased to provide all residential and irrigation customers a rebate towards the purchase of a Smart Irrigation Controller."
  • "The rebate amount for residential customers covers 100% of the cost of the controller up to $250 maximum rebate. For irrigation customers, the rebate amount covers 100% of the cost of the controllers up to $50 per station with a maximum rebate of $7,500 for any one customer."
7. What is the city's Synthetic Turf Rebate Program?
  • Answer: "The Estero Municipal Improvement District (EMID) is offering rebates to residential and irrigation customers that replace their existing grass lawns (including removal of sprinkler systems) with synthetic turf."
8. What is the City's Toilet Rebate Program?
  • Answer: "The Foster City Estero Municipal Improvement District (EMID) offers EMID water customers, rebates, information, and education available to help you reduce your water use."
9. Where and how can I apply for a Landscape Water Use Audit?
  • Answer: "The Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) offers free Landscape Education Classes in the spring and fall of each year."

El Cajon, California


1. What are the current sewer rates?
  • Answer: "For current information click here."
2. When did the new rates go into effect?
3. What is the "base charge" that is shown on my bill?
4. How often do I get a sewer bill?
5. Can I pay my sewer bill in person?
7. Can I sign up for e-billing?
9. Can I pay my sewer bill and my water bill with one check?
  • Answer: "No. The City of El Cajon is a separate entity from the water districts; therefore, the bills need to be paid separately."
10. How much time do I have to pay my sewer bill?
  • "Please note that payments through the City’s website may take up to 3 business days to post to your account."

Greenfield, California


1. How is the sewer bill calculated?
2. How often will I receive the sewer bill?
3. Does this bill include the water billing?
4. Who do I contact if I have any questions ?
5. Where do I pay my sewer bill?
6. Can I have my sewer bill payments automatically withdrawn from my checking account? Is there a fee?
7. Will I still get a bill if I am on the automatic payment plan?
  • Answer: "Yes, you have the choice to receive the bill in the mail or by email. There is a box to check on the form if you wish to receive both an email and physical bill. The email bill is sent in a PDF form. The wording “Auto Acct: Do Not Pay” will appear on this bill."
9. Can I receive an email bill instead of getting one in the mail?
  • Answer: "Yes, contact us to request the bill be sent to your email address. Email us at from the email address you wish to use. "
10. I am moving/selling my house, how do I close out my account?
  • Answer: "Unlike water, there is no final read or a shut off request for sewer, as it is a property user fee. If your name was on the bill or you are enrolled on the automatic payment plan, you may want to call our office at (414) 329-5259 to cancel it. In a traditional closing, the title company will prorate using the latest quarter’s bill amount and give that credit amount to the buyer. You may want to check the credit column of your closing documents."
11. How do I establish service or change the name on an account?
  • Answer: "If it is a newly constructed home, service will be established once you are granted an occupancy permit and Milwaukee Water has given us the meter information. If you bought an existing home, you may want to call our office at (414) 329-5259 to update owner information."
12. Where/how can I get a copy of current and previous sewer bills?
13. Can both a landlord and their tenant receive the bill?
  • Answer: "Yes, a bill can be mailed to both a landlord and the tenant. This request can be done by notifying our department."
14. Are there any penalties applied if payments are not met by the date?

Corvallis, Oregon

FAQs — Water Distribution

1. Why does the water sometimes come out of the tap looking yellowish or light brown?
  • Answer: "Discolored water is often the result of old plumbing. As pipes get older, corrosion begins to take place and bits of rust may eventually flake off. You may want to periodically flush the faucets in your home to help remove any rust that may be building up inside the pipes. Also, check the screens on faucet aerators and shower heads, as small bits of rust may accumulate there and restrict the flow of water."

Water Conservation

1. But we get so much rain in the Willamette Valley, water conservation isn't really that important, here is it?
2. Why should we be concerned with water conservation in Corvallis?
  • Answer: "Even when the water supply is adequate, conservation is simply a wise use of a precious resources. Conservation can contribute to a healthy environment, reduce your water bill, and ensure an adequate water supply for years. Using water wisely just makes good sense!


1. How will the City know if violations occur?
2. How will the implementation of this ordinance be paid for?
  • Answer: "There will be no additional fees to rate payers as a direct result of this ordinance. The implementation of this ordinance, in addition to other programs aimed at reducing stormwater pollution, is funded through stormwater utilities fees, which you can see on your monthly utility bill."
3. Is washing my personal car in my driveway or street considered a violation?
  • Answer: "A few common example violations include dumping used car oil or washing paint brushes into city storm drains, connecting a sink drain to the city storm system, or dumping litter or yard debris directly in a Corvallis stream. This is, however, not a comprehensive list of violations. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to review the ordinance to learn what personal activities may be affected by this new ordinance."
6. What else is Corvallis doing to protect water quality through stormwater pollution prevention?
7. What happens if I violate the ordinance?
  • Answer: "If the city becomes aware of a violation, the first step taken by the city will be to contact the responsible party and provide information about the issue and the water quality implications. If no action is taken to address the issue, then a formal letter will be sent, as is outlined in section of the proposed ordinance."
  • "If sufficient action is still not taken, then a fine no less than $100 and no more than $20,000 and/or 30 days in jail may be issued. In some cases, an alternative compensatory action may be substituted for fines and jail time."
  • Answer: "The Corvallis storm system connects most of our city to waterways via storm drains. This means that all residents, businesses, and industries could be potentially impacted by this ordinance."
of six

US City Utilities-Part 4

The cities of Antioch, Westland, Sebastopol, Rio Vista, and Tracy offer several utilities to their residents including water, sewer, and solid waste management, among others. An overview of the utilities offered by these cities and the FAQs and answers for these utilities is provided below.

Antioch, CA

  • Antioch city offers water and sewer management utilities to its citizens.


Westland, MI


1. Why is it necessary for DPS staff to remove the wires from the outside water meter reading device?
  • "The outside water meter reading device is obsolete, and can no longer provide accurate readings from the inside meter. The wires are removed in order for the Department of Public Service's staff to get an actual inside meter reading. They are able to do this by attaching the wires to a handheld reading device, which reads the inside meter. This reading is then used for billing purposes. After the meter reading is obtained, the wires are tucked back into the box of the meter reading device. These low voltage wires pose no hazard to the home or our residents. In addition, these wires will be used to attach the new outside meter reading device to the new inside meter once it is replaced."
2. Do I need to be home for the meter replacement work?
3. What is an Advanced Meter Reader?
  • "Advanced Meter Readers (AMR) measure and record the amount of water used in a home or business, just like the electromechanical meters that have been working on homes and businesses for years. Instead of the gears and dials in older meters, AMRs use digital technology and have no moving parts."
4. Why is the City of Westland installing advanced meter readers?
  • "As with any measuring device, meters can become less accurate as they age. Water meters have a useful life of approximately 15 years, after which accuracy will diminish. Advanced Meter Readers give the City the tools to provide better customer service to you and reduce operating expenses."
5. Will you still need to read my meter?
  • "Yes, until installation in your area is complete, a meter reader will continue to read your meter. After that, your meter will be read remotely."
7. What are the benefits for residents?
  • "The Advanced Meter Reader gives the City the ability to read the meter remotely. Once installation in your area is complete, the City will no longer need to enter your yard, home or business to read the meter. This will virtually eliminate the number of estimated bills you receive. You will also have access to up-to-date usage information which will help you track, manage, and control your water use. Also, AMRs will help us pinpoint outages and respond more quickly."
8. Are the Advanced Meter Readers safe to use on homes with old wiring?
  • "Your AMR does not impose any additional burden to the existing meter enclosure or the wiring of your home."
9. Will the water flow be interrupted during installation?
  • "Installation of the Advanced Meter Reader will cause your water to be interrupted briefly (30-60 minutes) while the old meter is replaced with the new meter. We understand that some businesses and industries cannot be interrupted easily. We will work with business owners to minimize any impact on operations."
10. Is there anything I need to do to prepare?
11. Who will install the meters?
12. How do I know the person at the door is a representative from the City of Westland?
  • "Installers will carry an identification card with the contractor’s photo and name indicating they are a contractor and City of Westland logos will be affixed on contractor vehicles. The names and vehicle information of each installer may be confirmed at or by calling the Police Department."
13. How do I know when they will perform work on my house?
14. Will I have to pay for the Advance Meter Reading System?
  • "There is no added cost associated with this system. The AMR installation is done at no charge to the resident / business owner."
15. How does this technology work?
  • "Advanced Meter Reading technology uses a radio frequency (RF) network. RF use is common in various everyday devices such as cell phones and microwaves. In an RF solution, meter data is transmitted by radio frequency and collected by a secure network."
16. How do I schedule an appointment to replace my inside meter?
  • "The appointment scheduling process will be through Vanguard. This installation process begins with the initial postcard mailed to you. In the case of rental properties, the letter may go to the landlord or property owner. Once the postcard is received, you may call 734-259-9168 to schedule an appointment or you may schedule online at to make an appointment."
17. What happens if my work schedule conflicts with the date and times the installer is working?
  • "The City of Westland has set the hours of installation appointments. If pre-approved by a utility official, Vanguard will coordinate an appointment after the scheduled hours Monday-Friday or on a Saturday to accommodate special circumstances."
18. Are there any health issues related to the new meters?
  • "The new meters meet all Federal and State requirements banning lead which is another reason we are replacing existing meters."
  • "The AMR’s use very low-power radio frequency (RF) waves to transmit your water usage data to City Hall, frequencies similar to those used in baby monitors, cordless phones and televisions. In fact, a person standing two feet from an active AMR is exposed to up to 1,100 times fewer RF waves than a person speaking on a cell phone. "
  • "Yes, all existing meters will be replaced with a new AMR that will include an inside meter and an outside reading device."
20. Will my water bill increase?
  • "Not necessarily, however, as meters age, they tend to run slower and lose accuracy over time. Depending on the age and accuracy of your existing meter, your bill could change based on the consumption associated with the new meter."
21. When will I get a bill with the new meter readings on it?
  • "Homeowners will receive their bill on normal billing cycles. There will not be a separate bill mailed for the new meter."
22. What if there is a leak at the meter or any problems after the meter is replaced?
23. How are the water meters read?
24. How many installers will be coming to my house to perform the change out?
25. What happens if the installer damages my pipes?
  • "The technician will do a thorough inspection of the valves and pipes to make sure there are no pre-existing leaks or conditions that would prevent him from conducting the installation. In the event a valve or the pipes are compromised during the installation, Vanguard will make any repairs necessary to return the plumbing to the initial condition."
26. What happens if the installer cannot change out the meter because the shutoff valves do not work?
  • "In the event there is a pre-existing condition that prevents the installer from changing the meter such as bad valve or leak the homeowner will be advised of the necessary steps to follow. In some cases if the inlet valve is not working, the City may be able to shut the water off from the curb and the meter may possibly be changed even though the valve doesn’t work."
27. Who do I call if I have questions before I make an appointment to have the meter replaced?
28. What happens when my inside meter is replaced?
  • "The installer will take a picture of the reading on the old meter. That photo is submitted to the billing department as documentation of the actual usage. During your next regular billing cycle, the City will issue a single bill reflecting both: The actual reading on the old meter at the time it was replaced, and the reading on the new meter at the time of the billing (read electronically from outside the building).
  • "If your account has recently been estimated, you may receive a larger than normal bill. This happens when your actual amount of water usage was greater than what had been previously estimated. However, you will only be billed the difference from the last billed reading (can be seen on a previous bill) and actual usage reading the meter showed when replaced. This process is referred to as a meter reconciliation."
  • "If your account was overestimated, you will receive a credit to your account. If your account was underestimated, you will be billed for the additional amount of water used. This will be a one-time calculation. All subsequent bills will be based on actual readings from the new meter."
29. How is Compost picked up if we are going with an automated truck with arms?
30. Who should residents call for special pickup?
  • "The Department of Public Service, (734) 728-1770 or click here to order special trash pickup services. Payment can also be made at City Hall."
31. Where do I call if I have questions?
32. What will be the difference between the rubbish and recycling carts?
33. Can a resident put rubbish in their recycling cart?
34. Where should I place my carts for rubbish and recycling pickup?
  • "Please place the carts on your easement, behind the curb for pickup. Do not put them in the street. Make sure they are not blocked by parked cars, fire hydrants, trees, or utility poles. "
35. How will I place the cart on the easement when there is a large amount of snow?
  • "A spot will need to be cleared for placement. Do not place the cart in the street, as it will interfere with snow plowing. "
36. Will seniors be able to get these carts to the curb?
  • "The carts have wheels for easy movement. However, 64 gallon containers are being offered to those who might have more difficulty maneuvering them."
37. Will all of my recyclables/rubbish have to fit inside the cart?
  • "Rubbish will need to be placed in plastic garbage bags and then into the cart for pickup. Do not overload the cart. If the lid cannot close, it is too full. "
  • "All materials to be recycled must be placed inside the cart, even materials that previously had to be placed outside the bins, such as cardboard. All materials to be recycled must fit inside the cart, or they will not be picked up for recycling. "
38. Will I have to call for a special pickup on larger items that do not fit in the cart and will there be a fee associated?
  • "Yes, residents will be required to call or connect online for a special pickup of larger items. As of July 2018, this is a free service for up to 8 extra bags of trash and/or 3 bulk items per week. "
39. When the City starts automated trash collection, how do I get rid of my compostable material?
  • "The collection of compostable material will remain the same as it has always been in the City of Westland."
40. I have another 96 gallon container that I bought at a store; can I use that container for household trash along with the container supplied by the City?
  • "Unfortunately, you will not be able to use any other container for placement of household trash other than City provided containers, should you need more space than the 96 gallon container provided by the City, it is suggested:"
    • "That you contact the City of Westland Department of Public Service at (734) 728-1770 and request another recyclable container for no additional cost. "
    • "That you contact the City of Westland Department of Public Service at (734) 728-1770 and request another additional trash container at an additional cost of $60.00 per year (additional cost attributed to landfill costs). "
41. What about the businesses that currently use curbside collection?
42. How should I get rid of items that will not fit in the City provided bins, such as furniture and carpeting?
  • "Collection of items that are too large to fit in the containers will continue as it has been in the past, the resident is required to call the City of Westland, Department of Public Service at (734) 728-1770, or use the online form available on the website. The request must be placed at least 48 hours ahead of the next collection day to ensure pickup."
43. Will my trash collection day change?
  • "Over the years, our All American City has grown. It has become necessary for the City to change some resident’s collection day to guarantee that collection stays on schedule. Use our interactive collection map to find your address and collection day. "
44. When will recycling be picked up?
  • "If your collection day has not been changed, your recycling pickup will also not be changed. Should your collection day be changed, you will receive a two weeks advanced notice, with your new collection day enclosed."
45. What if all my trash does not fit into one bin on occasion?
  • "You can request a special pick up through our website, calling the Department of Public Service at 734-728-1770 or by coming to the Westland City Hall. If you have any other questions regarding special pick up, you can contact the Department of Public Service at 734-728-1770. "
  • " Yes, you can contact the City of Westland, Department of Public Service through our online store, or by coming into the Westland City Hall to request another trash container at an additional cost of $60.00 per year for the large 96 gal. trash bin or $45.00 per year for the smaller 64 gal. trash bin. If you have any question regarding the purchase of an extra trash bin you can contact the Department of Public service at 734-728-1770."
47. What happens if the cart is broken?
  • "Report the damage to the Department of Public Service by using our online service request system or by calling the department at (734) 728-1770. We will then assess the situation and determine fault."

Sebastopol, CA


1. Does the City have online bill pay?
2. Where can I find out if a PSPS may be imminent?
  • "PG&E now has publicly posted their new PSPS 7-Day forecast and maps that you can use for planning purposes only. The forecast will give you an idea of what PG&E is looking at internally across their region."
3. Will I be notified in advance of a PSPS?
  • "PG&E says that it will notify impacted customers of a PSPS at 48 hours, 24 hours, and just prior to shutting off power through automated calls, texts and emails, reaching you through the information associated with your PG&E account. Make sure that PG&E has your correct email address, landline number and mobile number. If your landlord or property manager is the PG&E account holder for your address, they will receive notifications on your behalf. PG&E encourages you to contact them to confirm they know how to reach you. Find information on how to update your PG&E contact preferences here. "
  • "PG&E says that they will make regular updates through their Facebook and Twitter pages, local news, radio, and at"
  • "The City of Sebastopol will make every effort to keep citizens notified before and during a PSPS via its social media outlets. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or NextDoor."
  • "Yes, if you are served by the City of Sebastopol Water System. The City of Sebastopol operates its own wells and water pumping stations and maintains a gravity-fed reserve of approximately 7 days. Beyond that, the City has a dedicated generator to power water pumps. Water rationing may be implemented."
5. Will I have water if I am on a well?
6. Will there be a cooling center in Sebastopol during a PSPS event?
  • "No, there will not be a cooling center in Sebastopol during a PSPS event. While the City does have emergency generators, the generators do not have the capacity to run air conditioning units."
7. Will I have sewer services?
  • "Yes, you will have sewer services. The City of Sebastopol’s Sewer System has emergency backup generators to maintain the function of the pump stations within the gravity system. *Note: Private sewer stations that pump to the City’s gravity system are the property owner’s responsibility and may not have a backup power system."
8. Will I have garbage service?
10. How do I know when the power will be turned back on?
  • "PG&E says that it will notify and update customers who have signed up for their alerts. This can be done on PG&E’s website here. PG&E also recommends that you keep the information associated with your PG&E account up to date. Find information on how to update your PG&E contact preferences here."
  • "The City of Sebastopol will make every effort to keep citizens notified before and during a PSPS via its social media outlets. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and/or NextDoor."
11. Where can I find answers if I have a question that I do not see listed here?

Rio Vista, CA


  • Rio Vista doesn't have a dedicated FAQ section on its website. The utility services information pages also lack a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section.

Tracy, CA


1. What Stage of Water Conservation are we currently in?
2. How do I sign up for water, sewer, and garbage service?
  • "The homeowner, renter, or business must contact the City's Finance Department at City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza (209) 831-6800, to sign up for water, sewer and garbage service. When moving, the homeowner, renter or business is also required to contact the Finance Department to close the account and make arrangements to have the water shut off."
3. Does the City have an RV dump and does it cost anything?
  • "Yes the City does have an RV dump located at 3900 Holly Drive for Tracy residents at no charge."
4. Who unplugs storm drains during street flooding?
  • "Public Works, Maintenance and Operations Division, responds to flooded areas. Please call (209) 831-6300 to report the location."
5. What is my water pressure?
  • "Public Works has compiled water pressure information throughout the City. Please call (209) 831-6300 to obtain the water pressure for your area."
6. Whom do I contact regarding a taste or odor question for my City water?
  • "Please contact the Water Treatment Plant at (209) 831-6301 if you have concerns regarding the taste or odor of your City water. For more information regarding your water, please click here ->"
7. Does the City add fluoride to our water?
  • "The public water supply does contain low levels of naturally occurring fluoride in its water supply. This naturally occurring fluoride typically is derived from erosion of natural mineral deposits."
8. Do we have hard water?
  • "The City of Tracy obtains 97% of its public water supply from surface water sources: Stanislaus River via South San Joaquin Irrigation District (70% of water demand), San Joaquin Delta via the Delta Mendota Canal (27% of water demand). Both surface water sources are treated to meet Federal/State water quality standards. The sources are considered to be low in minerals and considered soft water. The minerals which contribute to water hardness are calcium and magnesium and are primarily found in groundwater sources (well water). Since the City of Tracy utilizes surface water which is soft, hardness is not an issue. Therefore, water softeners are no longer needed in Tracy."
  • "A money saving tip: If you have a water softener, turn it off and see if you notice a difference. If you continue to run your water softener, set the water quality/ hardness setting for 2 grains per gallon which will reduce the amount of salt used."
  • "If there is a blockage in your sewer service line between your approved City cleanout (near the street) and the main line, the City will unplug the line. If the plug is between the cleanout and your home, it is your responsibility to unplug the line. Please contact (209) 831-6300 to report a plugged sewer."
10. Where can I go to dump excess garbage, trash, etc.?
11. Who replaces missing garbage cans or recycling bins?
  • "Tracy Disposal is responsible for replacing all garbage cans and recycling bins. They can be reached at (209) 835-0601."
12. Where can I recycle cans, etc.?
  • "Recyclable materials can be taken to the Recycling Center operated by Tracy Disposal Company. The Center is located at 99 West 6th Street. For more information, call (209) 835-0601."
of six

US City Utilities-Part 5

The cities of Surprise, Warwick, Boca Raton, New Bedford, and Miramar provide various utility services to its residents, including water, wastewater, storm water, etc. More details about these utility services and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding has been provided below.

Surprise, Arizona

Warwick, Rhode Island


1. "Is online bill pay available for City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI)?"
2. "Where can I login to my online City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI) account?"
3. "I need help logging in to my City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI) account. Where's the best place to get help?"
  • Answer: "The support team for City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI) can assist with your account access questions. View their contact information here:"
4. "Can I access my account or pay City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI) from my phone or tablet?"
  • Answer: "We do not have a record of a mobile app for City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI). For more information, please visit their website. If you have found one, please submit feedback here, and we will update our information. "
5. "I have a question about my City of Warwick — Utilities Billing (RI) account. How do I contact customer support for my provider? "

Boca Raton, Florida


1. "What is the City's Utility Services Service Area?"
2. "How can I find out whether an address has sewer or septic tanks? "
  • Answer: "Contact Utility Services Engineering Department at 561-338-7307."
3. "What should I do if my plumber needs As-Builts?"
4. "I have no water, what should I do?"

New Bedford, Massachusetts

  • New Bedford, Massachusetts, provides water and sewer utilities to its residents.


  • Answer: "Paying online with a credit card or electronic check saves time, gives you the flexibility to pay how and when desired, and saves money (no more stamps, paper checks or envelopes), and Invoice Cloud will store your information for future use, but only if you choose to store it."
2. "Is there one account number for all of my bills?"
3. "If I pay different bills (i.e., Real Estate Tax or Water/Sewer), do I need to register twice?"
4. "Can I put my water/sewer bill on Auto-Pay, but keep my real estate taxes as a scheduled payment?"
  • Answer: "Yes, each bill type operates independently. When you sign up for Auto-Pay, you be asked to select which bill type you want to put on Auto-Pay. Those bills selected will be paid on the day they are due."

Miramar, Florida


1. "How are the water rates determined?"
  • Answer: "Water rates are set to cover the cost of acquiring, treating and delivering water to your tap and are adjusted annually based on the increase in costs within the region."
2. "Why does sewer service cost more than water service?"
  • Answer: "Just as water rates must cover the cost of operating and maintaining the water system, sewer charges must cover the same costs relating to the sewer system."
4. "There's a leak out by the street. Who is responsible for it? "
  • Answer: "Any leak found from the meter box towards the street (the water main) falls under the responsibility of the city. The customer is responsible for any leaks (and the water lost) from the point where the meter attaches to their line and moves forward towards the house."

Research Methodology

Your research team used the information in the official websites of the U.S. cities of Surprise, Warwick, Boca Raton, New Bedford, and Miramar to find what utilities do they provide for their residents, and what are the FAQs and answers for the FAQs. By navigating through the different website pages of these cities, we managed to uncover information about the utilities each city provides its residents and the FAQs regarding these utilities.
of six

US City Utilities-Part 6

Lodi, California offers its residents' water, waste management, and electric utility services while Gastonia, NC provides its residents' water, sewage, electric, and garbage recycling utilities. Also, Porterville, CA provides water, sewage, and refuse pickup utilities while Tustin, CA provides cable, telephone, electricity, waste services, gas, water services, and internet utilities to its residents. A summary of our findings is provided below:

Lodi, CA


1. What should I do if I have received a delinquent notice and cannot pay my electric utility bill by the due date?
  • Answer: " It may be possible to make arrangements for payments to bring your account current. If you have a past due amount, it is necessary for you to contact the City of Lodi Finance Department to avoid having your service interrupted. Call 209-333-6717 or visit the Finance Department at 310 W Elm Street."
2. My electric utility bill is too high. What can I do to lower it?
  • Answer: " Contact a Lodi Electric Utility (LEU) representative to discuss ways to save energy. You may also visit Lodi Electric for energy-saving tips and rebate information. Additionally, you may contact the Efficiency Services Group (ESG) to discuss rebates or request a free energy audit. Contact ESG at 855-516-2105."
3. Are there medical discounts available for my electric utility bill?
  • Answer: "You may qualify for the medical discount if a full-time resident of the household regularly requires the use of life support equipment or has a medical condition requiring other space heating or cooling needs. To receive this discount, a doctor must certify the special energy needs of the patient."
4. What are my utility bill payment options?
  • Answer: The utility bill can be paid via five different modes- a) Pay in person, b) By mail, c) Pay by phone, d) Pay online, and e) Pay by text through a smartphone or tablet.
5. How can I get Lodi Electric Utility to trim the trees that are encroaching on my power lines?
  • Answer: "The Lodi Electric Utility (LEU) will trim trees when the vegetation encroaches upon the minimum clearances required by the California Public Utilities Commission, General Order 95, Rule 35. Call LEU at 209-333-6766 to request an inspection; this service is provided free of charge. Never attempt to trim trees away from power lines yourself."
6. Will the Lodi Electric Utility replaces broken breaker switches, repair internal electric wiring or service electric appliances?
  • Answer: "The Lodi Electric Utility does not replace parts or make repairs on customer-owned equipment or wiring."
7. Does the Lodi Electric Utility remove graffiti on transformers?
  • Answer: "Yes, call 209-333-6766 to report graffiti on Lodi Electric Utility equipment"
8. Who will be responsible for paying the water utility bill?
  • Answer: "For a single-family detached home, the water utility bill would either be paid by the owner or can be the responsibility of the tenant renting the property. For low-density multi-family dwellings (duplex, triplex, four-plex) that are master metered, the property owner would be responsible for the water utility bill. If each unit is individually metered, the owner may elect to have the tenant assume responsibility of the water utility bill."

Gastonia, NC

  • Gastonia, NC provides electric, water, sewage, and garbage recycling utilities to its residents.


1. What are the basic differences among electric utilities?
  • Answer: "The three kinds of utilities are distinguished more by their business structure than by the product they sell. They are electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, and public power systems."
  • "A cooperative is owned by its members, and in the case of an electric cooperative, the members are also the consumers. Therefore, all the owners live in the cooperative's service area. A cooperative operates on a non-profit, cost-of-service basis. "
  • "An investor-owned utility (IOU) is owned by stockholders who may or may not be customers and who may or may not live in the service area. The IOU is a for-profit enterprise."
  • "A public power system is owned by a city, state or federal government and also operates on a not-for-profit, cost-of-service basis."
2. From whom does the City of Gastonia buy electricity?
  • Answer: "Gastonia and 18 other electric municipalities are members of and buy electricity from the North Carolina Municipal Power Agency 1. The agency owns 75% of a nuclear-powered generation unit at Catawba Nuclear Station in York, SC, operated by Duke Energy Corporation."
3. How do Gastonia electric customers report a power outage?
  • Answer: "Customers can report a power outage on the City’s website at, by calling 704-866-6823 or on the City’s power outage app, COG-TRU Outages."
4. How many electric rate options does the City offer?
  • Answer: "The City offers one residential rate option, eight commercial rate options, and seven industrial rate options."
5. Why is the cost for garbage service increasing from $6.50 to $8.50 per household per month?
  • Answer: "Several factors have resulted in the need to raise the monthly household solid waste fee. In Fiscal Year 2019, the City’s landfill cost will increase by approximately $58,000, and the cost to provide recycling services will increase by approximately $14,000. Also, the City needs to replace three aging automated garbage trucks, with an annual debt service cost of $190,000."
6. Is my water safe to drink?
  • Answer: "The Water Supply & Treatment Division has set standards that surpass those of the State and Federal agencies to ensure the safest drinking water possible. "
7. How hard is my water and do I need a water softener?
  • Answer: "Water hardness is measured by the quantity of minerals in the water. Our water hardness is usually about 14 mg/L (milligrams per liter). Due to the lack of hardness, most people find water-softening devices are not necessary."
8. Should I use a water filter on my tap?
  • Answer: "Point-of-use-filters are acceptable to use if they are maintained properly. These filters remove the chlorine, which is used for disinfection and can form a breeding ground for bacteria. The filters must be changed on a regular basis according to the manufacturer's instructions."

Porterville, CA

  • Porterville, CA provides water, sewage, and refuse pickup utility services to its residents.


1. Is online utility bill pay available for the City of Porterville (CA)?

Tustin, CA

  • Tustin, CA provides cable, telephone, electricity, waste services, gas, water services, and internet utilities to its residents.


1. How do I pay my water bill?
  • Answer: The water bill can be paid online here. "If you have received a disconnection notice or your water has been disconnected for non-payment, make your payment then call our office at 714-573-3075 and notify the customer service representative that a payment has been made"
2. How do I report for water waste?

Research Strategy

To determine the requested information, we deeply searched through the official government website of each of the given cities along with utility providing agencies. Through this research, we were able to determine the utilities being provided to the residents along with the frequently asked questions regarding utilities. However, there is very limited information available regarding the FAQs for Porterville, CA. Despite searching through the official government website of Porterville along with third-party databases like DOXO, we were able to determine only one FAQ related to utilities for Porterville, California. It is of note that there were some utilities for which there were either very less or no FAQs available, so for them we have listed all the available FAQ's that were available in the public domain.

Dive deeper

Only the project owner can select the next research path.
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From Part 01