Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer an option to have my payment deducted directly from my bank account monthly?
Yes, we offer the option to ACH from your account monthly. Fill out our ACH Direct Pay form to begin.
How can I pay my bill?
There are multiple options for paying your water bill:
- Fill out our ACH Direct Pay form to have your water bill taken out of your bank account.
- Make an online payment.
- Pay by phone at (833) 208-7228.
- Mail your payment to Ottumwa Water Works, P.O. Box 20, Ottumwa, IA 52501.
- Drop payment in the blue payment boxes in the front and back of our office.
- Pay at the Customer Service desk at North and South Hy-Vee in Ottumwa.
For more details, see our How to Pay page.
Can I pay my bill with a credit card?
When paying online or over the phone you may use a debit or credit card. Please note that payments made by debit or credit cards are subject to a $1.25 processor fee and a convenience fee of 2% of the amount being paid.
Why did I receive a shut-off final notice when I paid my bill?
If your bill shows a previous balance, a shut-off final notice will be generated 10 days prior to the due date on the bill; this also increases the amount due by $10.00. Sometimes your payment and the shut-off final notice cross in the mail. If you feel this has happened please contact our office at (641) 684-4606. Bills not paid by the disconnection or termination date will be assessed a $65 termination (or attempted termination) fee.
I noticed that my water bill stated it was “estimated” instead of being based on an actual read this month.
Occasionally, we are unable to read your meter. This can happen for a variety of reasons but generally indicates to us that there is a problem with your meter and our billing clerk will try to reach you to avoid estimating your bill. When we are unable to reach you to look at the meter or unable to get an actual reading we will then calculate an estimate of your typical water usage.
I’m renting a new property. How do I start service?
I’m moving next month, how much notice will be needed to turn off my water services?
Please contact our office at (641) 684-4606 two working days prior to the day you would like to end your services. You may also contact the office if you are transferring services to a different property in Ottumwa.
Why does someone have to be to have the water turned on, but no one has to be here when you shut the water off?
Ottumwa Water Works requires someone to be home or at the property when water service is restored to protect your property. Once the technician restores the water we ask the tenant or homeowner to check to make sure faucets and toilets are not running or that the meter is not leaking to prevent damage When water is disconnected or terminated these risks do not apply.
Can I schedule a time to get my water turned on the same day I make a payment if it was disconnected or terminated for non-payment, or get a courtesy notice by phone?
While we are committed to restoring your water service as soon as a payment is received, Ottumwa Water Works cannot schedule a specific time for same-day service orders, nor can we offer a courtesy notice. Previously scheduled orders take precedence over same-day orders. Service orders to restore water that has been disconnected or terminated for non-payment will be scheduled for the next day.
How do I get a new garbage container?
Ottumwa Water Works is the billing and collection agent for Ottumwa Sanitation. All questions regarding pick-up, trash cans, recycle bins and bulk pick-up days may call Ottumwa Sanitation at (641) 682-1700.
If I see water in the street, who should I call?
Please contact our office at (641) 684-4606 to report water in the street or fire hydrant leaking. Our Water Distribution team will then determine the cause and arrange for any necessary repairs.
What do I do if something is wrong with my water meter?
If your water meter is leaking or does not seem to be working properly please call Ottumwa Water Works at (641) 684-4606 to report the issue. We may need to ask questions to clarify the issue and schedule a service call if needed.
My water bill has been significantly higher the last couple of months. Could this indicate I have a leak somewhere?
Yes, a noticeable increase in water consumption could be an indication of a water leak in your home.
One of the most common culprits is the toilet. Toilet leaks can waste up to 200 gallons a day! Even though a toilet isn't running, it can still be leaking water. If you suspect a problem, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and let it sit for several hours. If the dye has colored the water in the bowl, there is a leak. Also, look inside the tank for water going into the overflow pipe. If a problem is identified, contact a plumber to make repairs.
You also may want to check for dripping faucets. A simple washer replacement is often an easy, inexpensive repair that can eliminate drips in faucets.
Another way to check for evidence of leaks is to read your water meter before going to bed at night. Simply flash a flashlight on the meter to activate, write down the first five numbers, and repeat this process to check it again first thing in the morning. If the reading has increased and no water was used during the night, you may have a leak. Remember to account for icemakers, humidifiers, water softeners, or other appliances that operate during the night hours.
Lastly, never underestimate the amount of water that is consumed for normal, everyday tasks around the home. Here are some average water consumption amounts for routine household tasks:
- Shower: 25-50 gallons (5-10 gallons/minute)
- Bath: 36 gallons (full tub)
- Toilet flush: 5-7 gallons (less with new low-flow toilets!)
- Brushing teeth: 2 gallons (tap running)
- Hand washing: 2 gallons (tap running)
- Shaving: 3-5 gallons (tap running)
- Dishwashing: 20 gallons (tap running)
- Automatic dishwasher: 12 gallons (full cycle)
- Clothes washer: 30-60 gallons (full cycle)
- Outdoor watering: 5-10 gallons per minute
What is a stop box? What is it used for? If it is broken, who's responsible for fixing it?
A stop box is a valve located between the water main and your home. Often, you can see a metal cap approximately 4-6 inches in diameter in your lawn near the street or in your sidewalk or driveway. Stop boxes allow Ottumwa Water Works employees to turn off the water to your home.
Most often, this is done at the homeowner's request so plumbing repairs can be made or when someone is moving out of the property and wants the water service terminated. On rare occasions, Ottumwa Water Works will turn off the water to a property due to a payment collection issue. To avoid having your water cut off, please contact our office to make payment arrangements if you are unable to pay your bill in a timely fashion.
If it is not operational (after many years, it can corrode and break), the homeowner is responsible for repairing the stop box as well as the service line from the home to the water main. Ottumwa Water Works maintains and repairs the water main, as well as the water meter and meter reading equipment.