What are my responsibilities as a water and sewer customer?
- Providing access to the property when needed for inside meter readings, removing the meter for non-payment, and maintaining the metering system.
- Payment of the utility bill by due date shown on bill. Failure to receive a bill does not relieve you of the obligation to make timely payments.
- The cost to repair damage to the metering system resulting from events such as negligence, accidents, vandalism, freezing, or back flow from a hot water tank.
- Maintenance of the water service from the curb shut off valve to the building including all inside plumbing. However, no repairs are to be attempted on the water meter itself; such work shall be performed by the Division of Water and Sewer personnel.
- Maintenance, including cleaning and repairs, of the sewer service from the building to the connection with the main.
What are the property owner's responsibilities?
Real estate owners are liable for all water, sewer, sanitation (including trash) and miscellaneous charges incurred at their property. We may directly bill a tenant for service if the tenant completes a Water Service Agreement, but this direct billing of a tenant does not relieve the property owner of the liability for charges incurred. The owner has the right to request information regarding the payment history on their tenants. The owner can also request notification, in the form of a duplicate bill, if a tenant is past due on their bill. Once property ownership is transferred, the previous owner’s unpaid utility charges (including those from a tenant) become the new owner’s liability.
We attempt to collect unpaid utility charges from the user. However, unpaid charges are assessed to the property in September of the year following the date the account was closed. Please contact the Utility Billing Office for more information.
“Single Meter” Property for Two or More Users: In all cases where two or more dwelling units or individual users are served by only one water meter, the utility bill must be in the name of the property owner.
“Single City Shut-Off” Property for Two or More Users (1-Turn Off Property): In all cases where two or more dwelling units or individual users are served through only one building service line with one city shut-off, the utility bill is the responsibility of the property owner. Upon written request, the owner may request the City to allow the individual users to sign-up for service with the understanding that the owner is financially responsible for all charges.
If an owner or designee calls to request service to be shut off at their property, it indicates that the property is vacant.
How do I report a water and sewer emergency when the City offices are closed?
If a water/sewer emergency occurs after normal business hours or on the weekend, call the Police Dispatcher at 937-754-3000, option 2. The dispatcher will contact an on-call Water and Sewer Maintenance employee to handle the call. Depending on the nature and/or source of the problem, you may be billed for certain after-hours maintenance calls.
Is remote water meter reading accurate?
There is an electronic meter interface unit known as an ERT (encoder - receiver - transmitter) connected by wires to the water meter, which enables the City to remotely read your meter. This unit collects the reading from the meter and transmits it when queried by a mobile reading van or fixed base collector.
The ERT collects a true reading from the meter. Both field testing by the manufacturer and the city's experience have shown the system to be highly accurate. Sometimes meters themselves may fail although this generally tends to result in under registration of water rather than over registration.
In the event you want the meter physically removed and tested, there is a Meter Test fee. The meter’s flow will be tested and the results compared to the AWWA (American Water Works Association) meter flow standards for your type of meter. If, based on the AWWA standard, the meter is registering too fast, the Meter Test fee is refunded and your prior bills may be adjusted. If the meter is registering within the AWWA standard, you forfeit the Meter Test fee and may be charged the cost of the meter installed when your original meter was removed for testing.
How can I locate the main water control or "shut-off" valve?
Every home or apartment should have a main water shut-off valve, usually located near the inside water meter. In case of an emergency, such as broken water lines, use the valve to shut off the water to the entire dwelling. Since you may need to locate the valve quickly, mark the valve with a brightly colored ribbon or colorful paint. Be sure you mark the correct valve! Turn the valve off briefly and verify the water is off by checking a cold-water faucet. (Safety Note: Even with the water valve turned off, you will still have hot water until the hot water tank runs dry!) If the valve is not working, have a qualified person repair or replace it. All responsible family members should be aware of the valve location and how shut-off the main water valve. If your home does not have an inside shut off valve or it is not operational, it is strongly recommended that you contract with a plumber to have one installed or a repair made. This can save valuable time and prevent property damage in the event of an inside water leak.
Who is responsible for a frozen water meter?
A water meter can freeze and break resulting in a major expense for the homeowner. In addition to the cost of damage to your home and property from free flowing water, you are also responsible for the cost of the meter. Insulate and protect the water meter to help prevent freezing.
If you are going to be away from your home or have another reason to lower the temperature in your home, contact our Water & Sewer Division at 937-754-3097 for tips to winterize your meter.
Does the Utilities Division deal with landlord/tenant relationships?
In keeping with Ohio statutes, the City of Fairborn Utility Office may not be used as an eviction tool for property owners to remove unwanted tenants. All regular policies regarding shut-off for non-payment or other reasons will be followed at all times.
Can my water be shut off while I'm on vacation?
If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, you may request your account be put on “Vacation” status. For a fee, your service will be turned off at the curb box. Once you return, call the Utility Billing Office to restore the service and billing. For more information, call 937-754-3007.
It is important to note that turning the water off at the curb does not winterize the interior plumbing, as it will still have water in it until it is properly flushed.
How can I identify City employees?
All City employees carry a photo identification card. If someone claims to be from the City of Fairborn, ask them to present identification for your inspection. If you have any reservations or concerns about anyone claiming to be a City employee, immediately call the Utility Billing Office at 937-754-3007 or the Division of Water & Sewer at 937-754-3097 during regular business hours or the City's Emergency Dispatch Center at 937-754-3000 after hours and on weekends and holidays.