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Frequently Asked Questions about
Illinois American Water

Billing
Your water bill is made up of a fixed service charge and a water consumption charge. The fixed service charge is based on the size of your water meter. The consumption charge is based upon the amount of water you used during the billing period. If you have questions about your bill, Illinois American Water is here to help. Just call our Customer Service Center at 1.800.422.2782.
When is my bill due? Your water bill is due 21 days after the date it is mailed (14 days for nonresidential customers) and the due date is shown on the front of the bill. Bills not paid by the due date are considered past-due and a late payment charge of 1.5% of the overdue balance may be assessed.

How can I pay my bill?
Illinois American Water offers five ways to pay your bill – by mail, by phone, online, at a nearby payment location and through our automatic bill payment program.

How can I get help paying my bill?
Sometimes customers face circumstances that stretch their financial resources. If you cannot pay your bill by the due date, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1.800.422.2782 immediately, before the due date.
When you call, our customer service representatives will work with you on a plan to pay the balance of the bill over time. These payment arrangements require you to:
    • Pay at least 25% of your bill within 48 hours of your call.
    • Pay the rest of the bill, including any applicable late payment charge according to an agreed upon schedule, not to exceed 6 months.
    • Pay all future bills as they become due.
Illinois American Water will create these payment arrangements only with customers who have not broken a similar agreement with us in the past twelve months.
Illinois American Water's disconnection policy outlines customer rights and responsibilities

Reading your meter
Some Illinois American Water customers have outside water meters, usually located near the curb. Most customers have indoor water meters. Many of these indoor meters have remote reading touch pads that allow our crews to read the meter from the outside. The meter is the responsibility of Illinois American Water.
Both types of water meters measure the amount of flow from the water mains into the home plumbing system. Only the flow of water into the meter can cause its dial to move to register water usage. Because the register is never reset while the meter is in service, the usage for any given period is determined by subtracting the previous reading from the present reading.

Service

How do I start and stop my water service?
You can start or stop your water service online or by calling our 24 hour Customer Service Center at 1.800.422.2782. Following your application for service, we will make a service call to read the meter and will start your billing with an actual meter reading.
An adult should be at the property when our service representative turns on the water.

Who owns the meter and the water line in my yard?
Illinois American Water is responsible for the distribution main in the street, the service connection from that main to your property line and the installation and maintenance of the water meter located outside or inside your home or place of business.

All other water pipes, such as the plumbing system in your home and the service line from your home to the curb stop or property line, are your responsibility to maintain. Electric wires should not be grounded to your plumbing system, as doing so can present a safety hazard.

The water meter is the responsibility and property of Illinois American Water and may be located inside your home or business, or outside in a meter pit. Only Illinois American Water personnel are permitted to open the meter pit. It should be readily available to our meter reading crews at all times.

When the meter is located inside your home or business, you have the responsibility to keep your meter accessible and properly protected from severe cold or heat. The meter must be kept free from obstructions, pets must be restrained and obstacles that would prevent the meter reader from reading the meter must be removed.

You may be charged for repairs if your meter freezes, bursts or is damaged due to neglect on your part. It is unlawful to tamper in any way with the operation of your water meter.

Who do I call to get a water line location?
For information about water line or other utility locations, call J.U.L.I.E. at 1.800.892.0123

What should I do if there is a leak?
Turn off your inside shut-off valve. If you can't turn it off, call our Customer Service Center to have the water shut off at the curb. You will also need to call to have service restored.

If the company's portion of the service line is involved, call us with your account number and/or property address to arrange for repairs or to identify the problem. If your portion of the service line is involved, you may want to call a plumber for repairs.

Where is the shut-off valve?
Your main water shut-off valve controls the water coming into your house. It is important that everyone in your home be aware of its location and know how to turn it off. In case of an emergency such as a burst pipe, fast action could prevent costly damage from flooding.

Normally, the shut-off valve is near the water meter. If your meter is outside, find the place where the water service line enters your home or building. The shut-off valve is likely to be located near the point of entry, and in many cases may be found in the basement or under the kitchen sink. We recommend you put a tag on it, or paint it a bright color, so that you can find it easily in the future. American Water also offers shut-off valve tags.

After finding the shut-off valve, turn it to make sure it isn't stuck. Water valves are generally closed by turning the handle clockwise. If a valve does not turn easily, do not force it. Rather, you may want to have the valve repaired so that it will work should you ever need it. Once the valve is turned off, check sinks and other fixtures to be sure you have found the main valve and that it is working properly. When opening the valve again to turn the water back on, open it fully, then close it just a quarter of a turn to make closing the valve easier the next time. You should also check every water fixture shut-off valve periodically, and consider operating the main and individual valves annually.

There’s a water main break in my street. What causes this? Who do I call?

Please call our Customer Service Center at 1.800.422.2782 to report a water main break. We will send a crew out to repair it as soon as possible.

Illinois American Water’s distribution system – the pipes that bring quality water to homes, hydrants and businesses – consists of thousands of miles of pipelines. Many were installed 50 to 100 years ago. Older pipes tend to break when the weather gets cold or when the ground is dry and shifting.

For many years Illinois American Water has proactively replaced aging pipelines – prioritizing the replacements based on the cost/benefit opportunities that these projects will provide. We invest in these important projects to make sure that future generations can count on reliable water service.

A water main break caused some damage to my property. Who do I call?
Illinois American Water is committed to restoring customers’ property in cases where a water main break has caused damage. Please call customer service at 1.800.422.2782.

It’s important to know that the ground around the repair will need to settle for a period of time before the restoration begins. Allowing time for settling means that the restoration work can be done one time, without having to re-do the work after the ground has settled.

Water Quality
How do I find out about the quality of my drinking water?
Water quality is our top priority. All water we deliver to you meets or exceeds stringent standards for public drinking water established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We collect and analyze thousands of water samples each year. Highly trained chemists, microbiologists, and technicians staff our state-certified laboratories. We work hard every day to make sure you have a refreshing and steady supply of water every time you turn on the tap.

Every year Illinois American Water issues a Consumer Confidence Report that provides extensive information on drinking water quality. These reports are mailed to all customers before July 1 of each year and can also be found online. 

If You Have Any Questions
Our customer service team is ready to help you with any questions you have about your water service. You can call toll-free, 1.800.422.2782, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each customer inquiry is handled with attention and care and every effort is made to satisfy you.
If you feel that we have not responded to your inquiry in a satisfactory manner, you have the right to request that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) review the unresolved dispute. You can learn more about the ICC bill of rights or contact the ICC directly through:

 Illinois Commerce Commission Website

ICC Consumer Services Division 1.800.524.0795
ICC email:
consumers@icc.illinois.gov
Or at the ICC mailing address
527 Capital Ave.
Springfield, IL 62701