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Utility - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Utility Billing

What is the rate study?
Water and Wastewater services are what is known as "Enterprise Funds".  These services are not subsidized by taxes at all;  they operate like a business, where revenues must cover the maintenance and operating costs, including long-term replacement.   The Rate Study report identifies the improvements necessary to keep these critical infrastructure systems functional and it projects the costs of keeping them compliant with a variety of requirements.
Can I pay my utility bill with a debit or credit card?
The City is not currently equipped to take debit or credit card payments; however, the Finance Department is working on a project to be able to take credit card payments in the future.
How do I sign up for automatic bill pay for my utility bill?
An Authorization for Automatic Payment form is available on the Utility Billing page, or at City Hall, 701 Fourth St. The amount owed will be debited from your account on the 10th of every month, or if that date falls on a weekend, then the amount will be debited on the 11th or 12th.
Why is my utility bill unusually high?
You may have a leak in your plumbing. Please visit the Water Leaks page for more information.
What do I do if I am receiving a utility bill for a previous tenant?
Please call (530) 841-2386 or come into City Hall at 701 Fourth St.
Why do we still have to pay the monthly landfill fee listed on our utility bill?
The landfill fee pays for the use of the County owned waste facility, operating as a transfer station.
Can I view my bill online?
Not yet, but the City is working towards creating an online system where water service can not only view their bills online, but also pay them online.
What does the account set up fee pay for?
The water service set up fee covers a number of costs associated with new water service, including, reading the water meter when you move in/out, setting up your account, and other administrative costs.

Water

Who do I contact when I have a waterline leak?
During business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM) you may call City Hall at (530)841-2386. After hours call the Yreka Police Department at (530)841-2300. For water emergencies there may be a call-out fee for the City to turn off your water. Alternatively, you may have your plumber turn it off for you. You may also want to think about installing a hand valve on your line. This will enable you to turn your water off yourself, without charge, for future emergencies. Property owners are responsible for maintaining all water laterals and water pipes on their side of the meter.
How do I apply for a meter down-size?
A Request for Water Meter Downsize form is available on the Utility Billing page or at City Hall, 701 Fourth St.
Where does my water come from?
Our water source is Fall Creek, which is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Yreka. This is an abundant supply of high quality water, and does not vary appreciably from season to season. The City also has an emergency water source referred to as the North Well. The well is on emergency standby, and is capable of producing approximately 1 million gallons per day. This source meets drinking water standards as set by the California Department of Public, but is not as desirable as Fall Creek.

The California Department of Health Services, Klamath District, completed an assessment of the drinking water source for Fall Creek in January of 2003. The assessment states that there have been no contaminants detected in this water supply. A complete copy of the assessment for Fall Creek and the North Well is available at: http://swap.ice.ucdavis.edu/TSinfo/TSsources.asp?mySystem=4710011.
How is the water treated?
Water from Fall Creek is filtered and chlorinated before it is delivered to the customers. All water systems using surface water are required to routinely measure the turbidity or "clarity" of the filtered water. Stringent turbidity measurements are needed in order to monitor the effectiveness of the filtration process at removing microbiological contaminants that may be found in surface water.
Why does my water look cloudy?
Water in the distribution system is under pressure. Any air trapped in the pressurized pipes will dissolve while under pressure. At the faucet, the air is released and gives water a "cloudy" or "milky" appearance. A small amount of air may be normal; in fact many faucets have aeration features built in. The quality of the water is not affected by the entrapped air. If the air entered the distribution system after the repair of a pipe in the distribution system, you may experience more air than usual in your household plumbing for a short time. You can help purge the excess air from your plumbing by opening faucets throughout the house and at outside hose bibs until the water runs clear. If you let us know of the problem, we may be able to flush a hydrant in your area to reduce the amount of flushing needed at your home.
What do I do if I have lower pressure than normal?
Before calling, do a quick check around the house and yard to look for obvious problems that may be affecting your water pressure. Look to see if there is anything else running in the house or outside, check the strainer on the faucet to see if it might be plugged, and check to see if water is coming up in the yard or curb box. The most common problem that we find when investigating a low pressure complaint is a failed pressure regulator. The City of Yreka has many pressure zones so many homes install a pressure regulator to lower the water pressure to an acceptable level. Since too high of a pressure may cause leaks or breaks in household plumbing, pressure regulators are designed to close when they fail resulting in lower than normal pressure. Although pressure regulators are part of the household plumbing system and therefore the homeowners responsibility, we are available to help investigate the problem or to shut off the water at the meter so that the regulator can be replaced. Call City Hall at (530)841-2386 for information about main breaks or hydrant flushing that may affect your water pressure. The Public Works Department will send someone out to check the low pressure if a reason cannot be determined over the telephone.
Is Bottled Water safer than Tap Water?
There is no shortage of news stories these days on the merits of tap water and bottled water from a variety of different perspectives.  The truth is, while tap water and bottled water are regulated differently, both are generally safe, healthy choices. But only tap water delivers public health protection, fire protection, support for the economy and the overall quality of life we enjoy. That's why it's important to remember that whatever you choose to drink, the water system that previous generations handed down to us needs constant attention to keep safe water flowing through our communities every day.

Wastewater

Who do I contact if I have a sewer backup?
During business hours(Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM) call City Hall at (530)841-2386. After hours call the Yreka Police Department at (530)841-2300.