Customer Service

Customer Care FAQ

Q. Why wasn’t I notified before my water was shut off?

Sometimes there isn’t time to notify customers in the event of emergency situations or threats to public safety. We will notify you for pre-scheduled repair work.

Q. When is grading and seeding done to repair damages?

Lawn repairs are typically completed during the months of April through November and are weather dependent. If damage takes place during the planting season, we wait a minimum of two to three weeks for the ground to settle before making permanent repairs.

Q. When are pavement patches made?

The process depends on weather and ground condition. Usually, we install a temporary patch and allow the ground to settle for a minimum of two to three weeks before a permanent patch is made. Large jobs may be delayed until spring since we must obtain patching material from asphalt batch plants, which are often closed from November through April.

Q. Who has permission to open a fire hydrant?

Hydrants are provided for fire protection, with special permits issued for other legitimate uses. Unauthorized or improper hydrant use can result in damage to the system, possibly creating a problem if it were needed in an emergency. If you have concerns about who is using a hydrant or how it is being used, call (585) 442-7200.

Q. My water looks dirty. How can I get it to clear up?

Run cold water* for 10 to 15 minutes from one faucet. When the cold water no longer looks dirty, turn on the hot water and run it until the water is clear. If the water does not clear up by then, call Customer Service (585) 442-7200 or after Business Hours: (585) 442-2009.

*By not running the hot water initially, you’ll keep discolored water out of the hot water tank.

Q. Why is my water milky colored?

Milky colored water is often caused by air in the water. Confirm this by checking for bubbles rising to the top of a glass of water. To remove air from the line, run a faucet at the highest location in the house for about 15 minutes. If the problem persists, call Customer Service (585) 442-7200 or after Business Hours: (585) 442-2009.

Q. Why is my water running slowly?

If the problem is only with one faucet, it may be a plugged faucet filter screen. Clean or replace the screen. If more than one faucet has low pressure, check the following:

Shut-off Valve: Make sure the valve is open all the way.

Supply Line: If other houses in your area are experiencing the same problem, call Customer Service (585) 442-7200.

Pressure Regulator: A plumber can test and replace the valve.

Q. How do I check for toilet leaks?

Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. If after an hour food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Replace the stopper in the tank to fix the problem.

Remove the lid from the tank and flush the toilet. Once the tank is filled listen or look for water still running. Put a little powder in the tank to check if water level is rising above the overflow pipe. If the powder disappears, water is leaking. Adjust or replace the float to fix the problem.

Q. How do I get water service to my house?

Call the Engineering Department, (585) 442-2000 ext. 273, during normal business hours to arrange for service.

Q. How are rental properties billed?

The owner of a property is responsible for the payment of all bills. The Authority, at its option and as a courtesy to the owner, may send bills in care of the occupant. In the event of a tenant default, the owner shall be held responsible for the payment of all bills. To request sending the bills for your property in care of the occupant, please call Customer Service at 585-442-7200.

Q. Why is MCWA changing my water meter?

MCWA has a meter change program in place to ensure both the customer and MCWA are receiving the most accurate registration of the water usage.  Water meters can lose accuracy as they age and typically need to be replaced every 20 years.

Does this mean my bill will increase?

Not necessarily.  In some cases, your bill may increase, but only if your former (current) meter was underregistering usage.

What will it cost me to have the meter changed?

Nothing. MCWA absorbs the cost of the meter change in order to improve the efficiency of the meter reading and billing process.

Who completes the work and how long does it take?

The meters are changed by the Water Authority’s Meter Services employees and the meter change usually takes about 15 minutes.

What type of meter will be installed?                 

The Water Authority is currently installing a Neptune E-Coder R900i Radio Frequency Meter.

What are the benefits of installing a Radio Frequency Meter?

It eliminates the need for a meter reader to enter the property to obtain readings, other than periodic meter inspections.

It eliminates the need for the customer to read the meter and be responsible for supplying the read to the Authority.

It eliminates estimated reads or manual reading errors.

It provides other useful data that can help identify and resolve issues such as unusually high use or leaks.  The radio meters have the ability to log data, which can provide you up to a 90-day history report of your use, helping you pinpoint the timeframe and cause of a leak or high use period.  Our Customer Service Department can offer tips on how to search these leaks out, or they can schedule a technician to stop out to assist you in identifying the leak or reviewing the data log information.