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Extreme and extended cold weather can cause water pipes to freeze and possibly burst due to the pressure build up. To prevent this, it is advised to run your water at a trickle until the weather breaks. You can also open a cabinet doors located under your bathroom and kitchen sinks to allow heat circulation to those pipes. Click here for additional Cold Weather Advice.
All main breaks are considered an emergency situation. If the water leak or main break is sited during office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT), please call the main office at 219-462-6174, ext. 0. If outside regular business hours, please call 219-462-6174 and select the emergency prompt. A repair crew will be dispatched as soon as possible.
A "Boil Water Advisory" is a notification issued as a preventative measure. Boil water advisories are distributed if there is a possibility of bacterial contamination in the drinking water system that could make you sick. If one is issued, it is recommended that all potable water be boiled for five (5) minutes before consuming or cooking with it. To learn more about Boil Advisories and how to handle them . CLICK HERE
VCU is responsible for the meter itself and from the street to the curb box. The homeowner is responsible from the curb box to the house and throughout, including the meter horn set that is attached to the meter.
A 3-foot clear space must be maintained around the circumference of all fire hydrants (unless otherwise approved or required).
- Lakes Area Conversancy District? 219-464-3770 (LAC)
- Shorewood Forest? 800-492-8373 (Indiana American Water)
- South Haven? 800-492-8373 (Indiana American Water)
- Wheeler? 800-492-8373 (Indiana American Water)
The services provided do very by location. Customers inside city limits will have water, sewer, stormwater and trash services. CLICK HERE to view a sample of a VCU bill. We do not service sewer if you have a septic system. Stormwater and trash services are not provided for customers outside the city limits.
Whether you are new to the community or already have an established account, you will need to fill out a SERVICE AGREEMENT FORM. If the water service is currently off at the service location you will also need to call 219-462-6174 x 0 to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians to have it turned back on. Someone over the age of 18 must be present.
There are two ways to get service out of your name. You can call 219-462-6174 x 0 to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians to have service terminated at your location. Someone over the age of 18 must be present. If you wish to leave service on, the new occupant /owner can simply fill out a Service Agreement Form to transfer service. Please make note that you will continue to be responsible until the proper paperwork is submitted by the new occupant/owner of service is shut off by appointment.
Monthly minimum charges are based on meter size. Customers pay a minimum bill to cover the costs of maintaining the water lines, meters and providing service each month. Even if no water is used, VCU still has costs associated with producing water, maintaining the lines, reading the meters, providing customer service and the fixed cost of infrastructure and maintaining the treatment facilities year-round. The amount varies based on your meter size and the services you receive View / print the
Yes. Customers have the ability to view and pay their bill through our third-party vendor as well as sign up for paperless billing. Online payments do have a maximum allowance of $250 per transaction and can be paid by E-check, debit card or credit card. A service fee will be applied with every payment transaction. For additional information, please contact Customer Service at 219-462-6174 x 0 or click the ONLINE PAYMENT LINK.
All single-family residential customers that have a least three bills prior to June, will automatically receive the summer reduced sewage rate (Sprinkling Average Discount). The charge is based on the average of your November through April consumption. The discount starts on your June Bill and continues through your October bill. If you account number starts with 01 or 02 your eligible consumption dates are April 25th-September 25th each year. If your account starts with 03, 04 or 05, your eligible consumption dates are May 15th-October 15th each year. See ORDINANCE No. 9, 2001 for further information, or please contact our office at 219-462-6174 x 0.
The full past due balance must be paid by the disconnect date listed on your bill, to avoid service termination. We do not provide extensions or accept postdated payments. If you need assistance paying your bill, please contact the NWI Community Action’s 211 program by dialing 211 or 800-826-7871 before the date of disconnect. This is a 24hr service that is free and confidential.
The credit card payment can be made either online or over the phone. The toll-free number is 877-278-2205. For additional information on this service, please check our
The cost of a new meter depends on the size. This is determined by the calculation of the maximum gallons per minute demand and usage formula. You should consult with your plumber, architect or design engineer to determine the required meter size. For further questions please call 219-462-6174 x 0.
Most leaks are considered an emergency. If it occurs on the homeowner’s side of the service line, you will need to contact our office to have service turned off at the curb box, then call a plumber for the repairs. If it occurs on the VCU side of the service line or at the meter itself, please contact our office so we can have a repair crew or technician sent to the location.
No. Only a representative of Valparaiso City Utilities can install the meter.
Our meters have an Advanced Meter Reading (AMR) system that enables one-way communication form the meter to the meter-reading device in our utility vehicle. data is collected at regular monthly intervals by drive-bay and provided to the utility for billing.
Provided that your meter is not in a lock-type underground meter box, you can see the digital or dial reading located on the register head of your meter.
After all necessary plumbing is done and heat is on, you can pick up a meter horn set in the main office at 205 Billings St. Once the meter horn is installed, a service agreement form will need to be submitted, then you may schedule an appointment for one of our technicians to install the meter and turn service on. Someone over the age of 18 must be present.
The chance of reading or billing errors in your water bill will be greatly reduced because the reading data is electronically transferred from the meter and used to prepare the bill by a computerized process.
If you have any additional questions, please call our office at 219-462-6174, ext. 2.
This depends on temperature conditions. We adjust the amount of chlorine at the plants daily. When the air temperature gets warmer, we have to increase the chlorine level because heat will dissipate the chlorine. The water smells because as we adjust the level up and the air temperature cools, more chlorine will remain in the water than if the air temperature had stayed warmer. There is no harm in drinking the water. If you have any questions, please call Water Quality at 219-462-6174, Option 5.
If you have rust-colored whites due to brown water, a rust stain remover such as Iron Out will remove the discoloring.
Possible causes for low pressure in your house might be: - A plumbing problem - Screens on the faucets are plugged - The main valve at the water meter is off or partially off Possible causes for low pressure in your area might be: - A main break in your area - A major fire - Water main construction work - Water main maintenance work If you are experiencing low pressure problems, please contact the Customer Service Department at 219-462-6174, ext. 1322.
There are 23 to 28 grains per gallon of water. Iron levels discharged from the treatment plants are from 0.03 to 0.06 milligrams per liter or parts per million. Iron levels can be higher due to the iron pipes in the distribution system. On rare occasions, problems in the filtration process can cause higher levels of iron to be discharged from the treatment plants. Fluoride is added to our water. The levels of fluoride are kept around 0.7 milligrams per liter or parts per million. Chlorine is added to disinfect the water. Chlorine levels vary depending on the distribution system. The chlorine levels in the water discharged from the treatment plants ranges from 1.2 to 1.5 milligrams per liter or parts per million.
If the water is cloudy, it will clear up after it sits for a short time. Cloudiness in the water is caused by air in the distribution lines. However, cloudiness that does not dissipate may be calcium. If you have this problem, please call Water Quality at 219-462-6174, Option 5.
Brown water is caused by iron and other materials stirred up in the water mains. This can be caused by a water main break, Street Department street sweepers pulling water from the hydrants, or Water Department crews flushing out hydrants, etc. The water is safe to drink, but do not wash whites, since the clothes will become discolored. If you are experiencing this problem, simply turn on any cold water faucet (do not turn on the hot water faucet), and let the cold water run for a few minutes. This should clean out the residue in your service line. If the water does not clear up, please contact Water Quality at 219-462-6174, Option 5.
Your community funds the MS4 program locally through user fees. These fees are shown on your utility bill each month labeled as a Stormwater Fee. There is no state or federal funding for this mandate.
MS4 stands for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. It is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:
- Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater
- Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.
- Not a combined sewer
- Not part of a publicly owned treatment works (sewage treatment plant) Regulated conveyance systems include roads with drains, municipal streets, catch basins, curbs, gutters, storm drains, piping, channels, ditches, tunnels, and conduits.
MS4 program, commonly known as Stormwater Phase II, is a federally mandated program through the Clean Water Act which requires municipalities to take measures to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff through MS4s in urbanized areas to protect waterways.
Rule 13 (327 IAC 15-13) was the approach by Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to meeting the guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Stormwater Phase II regulations. Rule 13 required about 170 communities and other urban entities in Indiana (including the City of Valparaiso) to obtain permits for stormwater discharges from MS4s and implement a stormwater management program that would reduce the amount of pollutants entering the waterway as a result of stormwater runoff. MS4 permits were granted in five year cycles at the end of which the permit must be renewed. The City of Valparaiso’s first permit was granted in 2003. The permit was renewed in 2008, 2013, and 2018.
Effective from December 18, 2021, Rule 13 was repealed and IDEM started to regulate the program under the Indiana MS4 General Permit (MS4GP).
As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports pollutants to surface waters. Although the amount of pollutants from a single residential, commercial, industrial or construction site may seem unimportant, the combined concentrations of contaminants threaten our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other water bodies. Pollution conveyed by stormwater degrades the quality of drinking water, damages fisheries, and habitat of plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival. Pollutants carried by stormwater can also affect recreational uses of water bodies by making them unsafe for wading, swimming, boating and fishing.
Everyone can help reduce water pollution through stormwater runoff. Simple things such as washing our cars on a grassy area where the detergents will soak into the ground instead of running along the driveway and street into an inlet that will carry it all the way to a lake or stream can make a difference. Use the correct amount of fertilizer for your plants when needed so that the excess is not washed off, creating algae blooms in nearby lakes and ponds. Never pour anything down an inlet that you wouldn’t want in a stream or lake because that’s where it will go. Dispose of trash and yard waste in proper ways so that they do not get washed into our lakes and streams. There are many such activities that can make a difference and preserve our lakes and streams for future generations.
The $12.5 fee added to all single family residential utility bills is used for maintenance and repairs of the stormwater drainage system operated by the City of Valparaiso. Commercial and industrial sites pay more each month based on the square footage of impervious area on their facility. The funds are used to solve flooding problems, as well as a host of other activities. Every resident benefits from these activities because they maintain the systems that drain stormwater from city streets to provide safe travel and transport as well as prevent stagnant water from becoming a problem.
The stormwater system includes anything that would convey the water into a pond, lake, or stream. This includes a resident’s backyard if it drains outside the property lines. The chlorine discharged can damage aquatic life in lakes and streams as well as pose a hazard to other residents downstream. Swimming pool discharge should never be released in such a way that it would inconvenience adjacent properties.
Erosion is the indiscriminate transport of soil sediment by any means. Most erosion happens as the result of rainfall, but wind and vehicular tires also produce erosion. Sediments from erosion settle in swales, ponds, lakes, and streams until they eventually fill them. This then requires excavation to return the drainage features to their original state, many times at the taxpayers' expense.
Any land disturbance may require an erosion control permit. The details on this are in City's UDO Division 15, Section 15.202. Every building permit is reviewed to see if an erosion control permit is needed. Some projects such as landscaping, installation of utilities, or replacement of pavement, that do not require a building permit will still require an erosion control permit.
The Valparaiso City Services picks up yard waste. Porter County Solid Waste District hosts hazardous materials disposal days at throughout the county where residents can drop off hazardous materials that should not even be placed in the trash, let alone poured out on the ground or into an inlet. Please contact the City of Valparaiso if you have any questions about these services.
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System General Permit (MS4GP) is the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM’s) response to the federal mandate known as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Phase II requirements. The EPA's Phase II is the second part of its non-point source pollution regulation under the Clean Water Act. Phase I included all large metropolitan areas in the United States, and Phase II included many of the more moderate sized urban areas. More information on this program can be found at the MS4 webpages.
Everyone is affected by these regulations because individual communities, as a response to the regulations, needed to alter their existing ordinances to reduce the amount of non-point source pollution produced within their boundaries. This would lead to increased maintenance costs, new development design standards, and/or new regulations regarding fertilizer use just to name a few.
If the water leak or main break is sited during office hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT), please call the main office at 219-462-6174, ext. 2. A repair crew will be dispatched as soon as possible.
The Mapping Department requires three site drawings (blue line) showing all streets, street names, lot layouts, lot numbers, addresses, and utilities. The department will also accept electronic files with the above information in the latest version of AutoCAD or in PDF in lieu of three blue line drawings. These files may either be stored and delivered on CD or emailed to the Mapping Department. The distribution manager will develop a cost estimate and mail and / or fax you this information when completed.
The owner's responsibility is anything beyond the shutoff box, which is usually located in the right of way or at the property line. Anything from the street to the shutoff box is the Valparaiso City Utilities' responsibility. The Valparaiso City Utilities is also responsible for the meter itself and its connection. For a visual representation of the City and owner responsibilities, review the link below.
There are several steps to manage a sewer backup. Please check the attached brochure for additional information. Click here to view the Sewer Backup Brochure....