Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I go to pay my utility bill online?
Click Here to your Utility Bill Online
How do you calculate my utility bill?
Utility bills are determined by the amount of water that passes through your water meter multiplied by the current water and sewer rates. For example, if you receive a bill and in the “current usage” column you were billed for 7 units of water, we would calculate your bill as follows:
(Effective July 1, 2023. Water and Sewer rates were approved by City Council on May 15, 2023. Visit fee schedule.)
$35.49 - Water Rate 7 x 5.07
$38.22 - Sewer Rate 7 x 5.46
$5.00 - Average Infrastructure
$12.91 - Rubbish Collection Fee
$29.08 - Average Stormwater Runoff
$120.70 - TOTAL
What are stormwater charges?
Stormwater treatment cost is displayed as an individual line item on all customer's utility bills. For more information on our stormwater billing changes, visit this webpage.
What is the “Infrastructure fee”?
The infrastructure fee is a restructured fee that is based on the potential demand of each customer placed on the water/sewer system as governed by the size of the water meter. This helps to improve equity (fairness) in the rate structure by accounting for the fact that customers with larger meters represent greater potential demand on the system. This fee helps covers the cost of operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the systems.
How do I know if my bill is estimated?
If there is an E printed in the TYPE column on your bill, your usage was estimated. Batteries on outside reading devices can sometimes need replacements or the devices can require upgrades. Because of the high volume of replacements, new products on back-order, and limited available staff, some bills do receive estimated reads. If you receive an estimated bill, you have the option to contact us to request an actual read.
Suddenly I have received a high bill, what could be the cause?
When you receive your bill, be sure to check for estimates. Consecutive estimated bills could result in under billing and once an actual read is obtained, all of your unbilled usage will be applied to that bill resulting in a higher than normal bill. It is advised to periodically check for leaks. Leaking faucets and running toilets are usually the culprits, especially basement toilets. Sudden high bills can be a result of underestimates, undetected leaks, or a combination of both. Also, be sure to check the usage dates printed on your bill. Since we bill in arrears, you are likely paying for water you began using over a month ago. Remembering this bit of information will help you prepare for your summer bill, which is usually your highest bill.
How can I monitor my water usage and check my leak detector?
The red diamond or triangle on the face of your meter is your leak detector and only spins/agitates when water is passing through it. To check, shut all faucets off and do not flush toilets immediately before checking. At this point, your detector should be still. If it is moving, you are losing water somewhere. Another way to check your meter is to write the numbers from your meter down before leaving for work. If, upon returning home, the numbers have changed, you could have a leak. You can also do this before bedtime and check the numbers the next morning.
My neighbor has more people living in their home than I do and their bill is less than mine, how is that?
We often hear residents say that they’ve compared their bills to their neighbors. This is not an accurate way to gauge your utility bill usage. Although your neighbor could have more people living in their home, their water habits/usage can be completely different. For instance, they could only take baths or have newer/different appliances (i.e. dishwasher, washing machine). There are several variables that cause differences between you and your neighbor’s bills so it is best monitor your usage and take measures to use less.
What is a Final Bill and when should I request one?
Final bills are special billings done per request when property changes possession. They are essential when either moving into or out of a property. Final bills provide you with a bill that will verify what charges belong to you and what was incurred prior to your occupancy. This is ideal if you are moving into a home and need to forward old charges to landlords or agents.
I am a landlord, how can I make sure my tenants pay their utility bill?
For landlords, it is a good idea to have duplicate bills sent to your home or office. By doing so, you are able to check for any previous unpaid balances and keep up with the current amounts owing. You can also monitor Utility Bills by clicking Pay Utility Bill Online. We also have ACH Bankdraft Autopay available to tenants. Sign up is free. To download an electronic copy of our bankdraft, click here.
I am a tenant, how can I make sure I am not paying for a previous tenant’s usage?
Requesting a final bill is important when moving into a new home. You can contact Utility Billing to schedule a meter read and we will bill the account up to the day the read is taken. It is ideal to have the read done as close as possible to the date you are moving in so that you are able to separate your new charges from any previous balances. Speak with your landlord to determine who will be responsible for payment of any final bills.
What should I do, I haven’t received a utility bill?
We understand that sometimes things get lost. This could be during delivery or it could have possibly just been overlooked. If you haven’t received a bill during your billing month, contact the utility division to receive your balance. Alternatively, balances are available online. Visit us at www.oakparkmi.gov and click on the Pay Utility Bill Online page. Not receiving a bill will not waive the penalty and does not release you from the responsibility of paying.
TIPS YOU CAN USE:
Running toilets & dripping faucets cost! Check often for leaks! Check leak detectors often. Catching a leak early, can save you money! Shorten shower times when possible and turn off water while brushing your teeth. This could help lower your usage while also preserving water for our environment. Please click on the Water Consumption Tips link for more helpful information.