Hilmar County Water District

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the Service Charge on my water bill?
The Water Service Charge represents fixed costs associated with maintaining your account such as meter reading and ongoing expenses for maintenance of the meter & service lateral to your property. The District incurs these expenses regardless of the actual amount of water used by the customer, and in a sense this charge can be thought of as a Readiness-to-serve fee. An allotment of 30,000 gallons per month per residence is included with the Water Charge.

 Why is the sewer fee so high and what is it for?
The sewer charge (if applicable) on your bill is currently $26.35 per month for each single-family dwelling. This rate is competitive if not lower than sewer charges in nearby jurisdictions. The sewer fees provide the funds needed to operate and maintain the District’s sewer system and also to pay costs to operate the Hilmar wastewater treatment & disposal facility.

What is the hardness of the water?
The District’s water supply is considered moderate. The hardness varies somewhat but is approximately 61 to 120 parts per million (ppm) as calcium carbonate or 3.5 to 7 grains per gallon.

Is there any fluoride in the water?
The District does not add any fluoride to its water supply. The water does contain a detectable amount of naturally occurring fluoride.

Why is their so much chlorine in the water?
The California Department of Public Health requires water suppliers to maintain a disinfectant residual in all water being served for public health reasons such as the elimination of pathogenic viruses or bacteria. The District is required to maintain at least a 0.2 ppm minimum chlorine residual in its water distribution system. The District maintains this chlorine level at approximately 0.4 to 0.6ppm but it varies somewhat by location and time of year. There are no potential harmful effects of drinking water with this chlorine level. If you are sensitive to its taste, a pitcher of tap water can be refrigerated for a few hours prior to its use. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate.

As a new home owner, how do I start service to my property?
The District requires new home owners to complete and sign a service agreement to establish an account. A $150.00 deposit is required to initiate water & sewer service. All deposits will be refunded less outstanding charges upon termination of service. Forms may be completed at the District office at 8319 Lander Avenue, Hilmar, CA. New customers may call the office to have a service agreement form faxed to their attention or it can be printed from our website.

Can I pay my bill with a credit card??
The District currently accepts VISA and Mastercard to make payments for monthly charges. Cards can be processed at the District office or customers may call with credit card information to make payment over the phone. Customers may also enroll in the District’s ACH payment plan.

Whom do I call If I have a water or sewer emergency in the middle of the night?
The District has personnel standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist customers with water and sewer emergencies. For any water or sewer related emergency, call the District office at 209-632-3522 during normal business hours and at 209-632-3522 after 5:00 pm and on weekends and holidays.

I need to make repairs to my plumbing or irrigation. How do I shut-off my water?
The District recommends that all customers use their house (gate) valve to shut off the water supply to their home to make repairs. If you cannot locate your house (gate) valve or it is necessary to shut the water off at the water meter, call the District office (day or night) for a customer service representative to shut off the water at the meter. You can reach the District office at 209-632-3522. Please note that a specialized tool is required to shut the water off at the meter. Attempting to turn the water off at the meter without this tool may result in damage to the mechanism and additional repair charges will be assessed.

Is my water safe to drink?
Yes!! Consumers can expect that the water provided to them is safe and healthful. The quality and safety of drinking water in the U.S. is regulated by the federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency. In California, those standards are enforced by the California Department of Public Health. Your water supply meets or exceeds all State and Federal Standards for drinking water quality. Water served by the District is a blend of local groundwater. All water is tested, treated, and disinfected prior to pumping into our distribution system. The District regularly tests the water throughout the system to ensure quality. To convey the quality of the water, the District prepares an annual drinking water report (available on this website) which details each mineral and substance found in the water. This report is mailed annually to all current District customers. If you would like an additional copy, please contact our customer service department at 209-632-3522.

Why does Hilmar County Water District let water run down the street?
When old pipes are replaced or new ones are installed, the pipes must be disinfected with chlorine before they are connected into the District's system. After a day or two, water is flushed through the pipes to rinse out the chlorine before the pipes are put into use. In addition, the District regularly runs water through the system to flush lines where stagnant water can collect. This is done to assure high quality to our valued customers.

Can I make payment arrangements for my water bill?
Customers that are having financial difficulty or receive a large water bill resulting from a water leak may establish payment arrangements with the District. Terms are on a case by case basis.

If I have a leak, who is responsible for repairing it?
It depends on the location of the leak. If the leak on a waterline is located on any line after the water meter, it is the customer’s responsibility to have it repaired. If the leak is located at or prior to the water meter, it is the District's responsibility to repair it.

Am I responsible for the condition of the plumbing system where it is connected to the District's meter??
Yes, in fact the District from time to time will make improvements to its system by replacing older water service laterals and meters with new components. During the course of this work, if reconnection to the customer's plumbing is difficult or impossible due to its deteriorated condition, the customer will be responsible for making any necessary upgrades. The District will provide notification when this situation arises.