Water & Sewer Bill FAQ's

How to determine if you have a leak that could be causing a higher than normal Utility Bill.
  • Toilets are typically the most common causes of high water usage.  You should periodically check the water tank to ensure that the "flapper" completely closes.  The "flapper" is typically a rubber gasket that allows water to "flush" into the bowl when the handle is depressed.  A moderate leak may allow approximately 12,000 gallons (1600 cubic feet or 16 Consumption).
  • If you hear water constantly running from your toilet, check the overflow tube to make sure it is not running.
  • A few drops of food coloring or water dye in the tank can allow you to see if water is seeping into the bowl during unused hours.  Allow the dye to set for 30-45 minutes before checking.  Dye packets can be obtained from the Utilities Administration Office @ 1106 First Street.  You can either come in or call us 440-204-2500 to request a dye packet.
  • Remember that pipe joints can be areas of leaks as well.  Not all pipe joints are visible and leaks can go unnoticed for a long time if they occur in areas such as crawlspaces, under porches or structures, and underground.
Number of Occupants - Rule of Thumb
  • Each individual in a household is estimated to use between 3 and 4 Consumption of water (1 Consumption is 100 cubic feet, which is 748 gallons).  This is an industry estimation and not a certainty as individuals vary in their habits of water usage.
  • Water usage typically increases during the warmer months due to seasonal use.  The City of Lorain provides residents with this savings as a Summer Sewer Average.
  • Other considerations should be given that water usage can increase during periods in which company may be staying over or children are home from school.
  • The average days of service is 30 days, however, please understand that sometimes due to holidays and other factors the reading period may range anywhere from 28 to 34 days.
How is my water charge calculated?
  • A customer's water charge is calculated based upon water usage measured by the customer's water meter. The City of Lorain uses a tiered usage system to calculate a water charge based upon 100 cubic feet of water consumed. A breakdown of the water rates can be found here. An example of how your water charge is calculated is as follows: 600 cubic feet is consumed @ $5.76 per 100 cubic feet.  600/100 = 6 HCF x $5.76 = $34.56 for 600 cubic feet consumed
What does "Readiness to Serve" mean?
  • The "Readiness to Serve" charge you see on your billing statement is a fixed dollar amount based upon the size of your water meter.  This amount covers fixed costs as well as needed improvements and upgrades to the Water Distribution System and Water Purification Plant.
How is my sewer charge calculated?
  • A customer's sewer charge is calculated based upon water usage measured by the customer's water meter. The City of Lorain uses a no minimum usage method, therefore, a customer is only charged for how much water is consumed. A breakdown of the sewer rates can be found here. An example of how your sewer charge is calculated is as follows: 600 cubic feet is consumed @ $6.48 per 100 cubic feet. 600/100 = 6 HCF x $6.48 = $38.28 for 600 cubic feet consumed.
What does "EPA Compliance Charge" mean?
  • The "EPA Compliance Charge" charge you see on your billing statement is a fixed dollar amount based upon the size of your water meter. This amount covers fixed costs as well as needed improvements and upgrades to the Sewer Collection System and both of the City of Lorain WWTPs (Black River and PQM).  These dollars will allow the City of Lorain to meet EPA mandates within their Administrative Consent Order and NPDES Permits.
What does the "Trash" charge mean?
  • The "Trash" charge is set forth through contract between the City of Lorain and Republic Waste Services.  Monies collected are not kept by the City of Lorain and are instead remitted to Republic Waste Services.  The only service the City of Lorain provides is billing service on the Water/Sewer Bill monthly for Republics' services.
What does the "Storm Fee" charge mean?
  • The "Storm Fee" charge is collected to fund the Engineering Departments efforts to control and reduce the negative effects caused by excess stormwater during wet weather events.  These funds allow the City of Lorain to clean ditches, repair catch basins, develop plans for stormwater management projects, and protecting our waterways.
Why didn't I receive my utility bill this month?
  • The City of Lorain contracts with an outside printing service for utility bills.  Utility Bills are sent out on the 1st of each month.  If you do not receive yours, please contact our office first so we may verify your information on our end.  If the problem seems to persist, contact your local post office to determine if there is a problem on their end.
Who is responsible for paying the utility bill in a lease/rental situation?
  • In some instances the landlord may pay the utility bill for their property, however, that is not to say some lease/rental agreements may put the responsibility on the leaser/renter.  Please make sure to read your lease/rental agreement to determine responsibility.  The City of Lorain has included language in the Codified Ordinance for this matter as well.  Please Click Here to take you to the appropriate section.