Rates - Effective November 4, 2019
Water $7.08 minimum monthly billing, which includes 2 units of water. Additional usage is billed at $3.54 per unit.
Residential Sewer: $31.29 per month
Commercial Sewer: $31.29 per month for the first 32 units of water billed, then $2.93 per unit of water billed. In addition to sewer charges a monthly IWC Charge is based on meter size. (Charges may be found under Ordinance 68).
On August 1, 2019 we transitioned to monthly billing. Depending on your previous quarterly billing period, your August bill may be for one two or three months.
If your water meter cannot be read and you receive a door hanger, please contact our office within two business days to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, you will receive an estimated bill.
ACH (Auto Payment) is now available! If you are interested in monthly Auto Pay through your Checking or Savings Account, please contact the Water & Sewer Division or you may download this form and bring to our office or mail to:
Water & Sewer Division
Attn: Marsha Carroll
2525 Joslyn Road
Lake Orion, MI 48360
ACH ENROLLMENT FORM IS DUE BY THE 15TH OF THE MONTH PRIOR TO YOUR BILL DUE DATE
If you would like to receive your monthly bill via email please email the completed form.
HOW DO I PAY MY BILL?
There are several ways to pay your water/sewer bill. You may pay:
- In person at Township Hall Treasurer’s Department with cash, check or credit card
- Drop Box located in front of Township Hall
- ACH (Auto Payment) Please print this form and mail or bring the completed form into our office by the 15th of the month prior to your bill due date
- Online through your financial institution
- Online through www.bsaonline.com (Credit Card or e-Check)
- Pay by phone 1-888-891-6064
A convenience fee will be charged for all Credit Card payments at Township Hall or online and Pay By Phone payments.
To avoid a delay and a penalty with your Online Payment, please ensure that your FULL Account number, including all dashes and zeroes are included with your form of payment.
There will be a $35 Service Fee imposed on all forms of returned payments.
WATER QUALITY REPORT:
Each year The Charter Township of Orion is required to provide a Water Quality Report. This report describes the source and quality of your drinking water. To receive a paper copy of this report in the mail please call our office at (248) 391-0304 extension 8503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View Water Quality Report
MANDATORY SUMMER WATERING RESTRICTIONS:
From the beginning of May until the end of September of each year, a MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTION has been adopted for EVERYONE who is connected to Orion Township water and has an automatic sprinkling system.
The following MANDATORY WATERING RESTRICTIONS shall apply:
- Monday through Saturday: Water may only be done between the hours of MIDNIGHT and 5:00 a.m.
- Sunday: Watering may be done at any time.
Watering of any kind MAY NOT be done during the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday. If the restrictions for Monday through Saturday are not followed, then your water service could be discontinued.
If you are connected to Orion Township water, and do not have an automatic sprinkling system, meaning you water your lawn from a hose, please water your lawn between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
We appreciate everyone's help and cooperation in the following mandatory watering restrictions.
At the beginning of each summer, our office must be contacted when a subdivision sprinkler location or commercial sprinkler location is ready to be turned on. After the meter is installed our department must be called to confirm the meter serial number, get a read off the meter and turn the water on at the street.
At the end of summer, when the location is ready to be turned off, our department must be called again to get a final reading off the meter and turn the water off at the street. This should be done before the meter is pulled for the year.
Do I Need A Separate Meter for Irrigation at My Home? NO!! In Orion Township, a separate irrigation meter for a residential property is not needed. Communities that offer separate meters for irrigation calculate their sewer bill on water usage, so they meter outside water usage separately and only calculate the sewer bill on water used inside of the home. In Orion, our sewer bill is not based on water usage for residential properties; it is a flat rate. Your water bill is based on your water usage, whether it is used inside or outside of the home, and your sewer bill is the same amount every quarter.
MOVING IN OR OUT OF ORION / FINAL BILL INFORMATION:
As with other utility companies, you must contact us when moving out of your home. Our office generates final bills once a week, no exceptions. Please have the following information available upon contacting us:
- Property Address
- Date of Closing
- New Owner's Name
- Name and address of Title Company, or whoever is holding the escrow as to where the final bill should be sent.
If you have moved into a new residence in Orion Township, please contact our office to confirm that we have received all the necessary information. In Orion Township, water and sewer bills stay with the property, per Ordinance 68. If a final bill does not get paid, as the new owner of the property you are responsible for any outstanding water/sewer bills and debt balances if they apply.
With a new commercial property, whether it is moving into an existing commercial space or new, our office must be contacted to check for any water or sewer fees associated with a new business.
What is Cross Connection Control?
The Charter Township of Orion Water & Sewer Division is responsible for providing safe drinking water to Orion Township residents and businesses connected to the municipal system. State and Federal laws (Safe Drinking Water Acts), the Plumbing Code, Michigan Residential Code, and the Charter Township of Orion Ordinances require Orion Township to verify that cross connections on private plumbing systems do not pose a contamination risk to the public water system through the enforcement of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Law and Rules for Cross Connection Control.
A cross connection is any arrangement of piping on a plumbing system that could allow a backflow of containments into the public drinking water supply. A backflow occurs when a reversal of the normal flow of water occurs. This could happen due to a drop in water pressure from a water main break or other failure. It also could occur when a plumbing fixture such as boiler or pump generates more pressure than the public water supply and pushes the water back to the public drinking water supply system. Garden hoses and irrigation systems may contain pesticides and bacteria that could contaminate the water supply.
What is a Backflow Device?
Backflow Devices are installed on water lines to prevent backflows from occurring. There are many types of backflow devices and MDEQ requires testing of these devices at a minimum of every three years. Testable devices include Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB), Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assemblies (RPZ), and Double Check Valve Assemblies (DCVA).
Testing and Inspections of Backflow Devices:
Orion Township's Cross Connection Control Program was approved by the State of Michigan in 1991. Since then, commercial properties and sub division irrigation accounts have had routine inspections of backflow devices and annual reports are submitted to the township on testable devices.
However, a new MDEQ mandate requires all testable backflow devices on residential homes be tested every 3 years. A typical testable backflow device you will find on a residential property will be a Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) installed on a lawn irrigation line. This device will be on the outside of the home and designed to prevent pesticides or herbicides from entering the water system. Beginning in May 2019, Orion Township shall require all testable backflow devices in residential properties be tested every 3 years.
Only Licensed Plumbing Contractors can test, repair, and install Backflow Assemblies pursuant to State of Michigan Law - Public Act 733 (State Plumbing Act) of 2002. Further, effective January 1, 2019, the plumbing contractors must be ASSE 5110 certified through the State of Michigan.
A list of certified esters is available for Oakland County or www.asse-plumbing.org. If a new backflow device is being installed , or repair is needed, a plumbing permit must be obtained through the Building Department.
Letters are mailed out to all residential and commercial properties who are required to test and submit test report.
A Cross Connection Test Form may be downloaded and printed. Test reports may be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to our department. For more information on cross connection, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 8504.
OAKLAND COUNTY WATER TESTING:
Orion Township is a drop off location for Oakland County water testing. Sample bottles can be purchased and picked up at the Oakland County Pontiac and Southfield offices. Pool samples, bacteriological and partial chemical samples can be dropped off at our office every Tuesday before 12:00 p.m. Exceptions may apply to certain holidays, please contact Oakland County Health Department for further information at 248-858-1312.
Any questions please contact the Oakland County Health Department at (248) 858-1312.
WATER QUALITY MATTERS:
We all play a role in maintaining the quality of our drinking water. The Great Lakes Water Authority, local municipalities and customers are connected through a complex water infrastructure system that is designed to protect public health.
The Great Lakes Water Authority operates five water treatment plants that treat water drawn from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to meet Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Our commitment to deliver the best water quality possible is evident in our use of proven treatment techniques and a comprehensive monitoring program. We set target treatment standards that are stricter than state regulatory requirements and test more frequently during treatment.
The 126 communities that receive drinking water from Great Lakes Water Authority operate a local distribution system that includes a network of water mains, fire hydrants and sometimes booster stations and pressure reducing valves. These communities keep water flowing through local piping at the right pressure, maintain pipes and valves, flush and maintain fire hydrants, monitor the distribution system for specific contaminants, and address customer concerns.
The nearly 4 million customers that receive GLWA water rely on this service each day to drink, cook, clean, flush toilets, wash clothes and water their lawns. Customers have a responsibility to maintain the plumbing in their homes and to follow steps to support good water quality. These steps include running water if it hasn’t been used for a while, cleaning faucet aerators and shower heads, and flushing hot water heaters.
WATER USAGE FACTS:
On average, each American uses 60 gallons of water every day. You can reduce your water use by as much as 30% if you are efficient. TIP: If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in tank. Don’t obstruct the float. Don’t use bricks. Source: Detroit Water & Sewerage Department.
HOW TO READ YOUR WATER METER:
One way that you can keep an eye on your water usage is to read your meter regularly. Most of the homes that are connected to the Township water supply will find their meters in the basement. As you will see in the diagram, the meter head looks similar to a car odometer. The standard meters can be read by using the first four numbers on the left. These four numbers can be subtracted from your current bill to get the number of units.
The red triangle under the N in Neptune is a low flow detector. If this triangle is spinning, that will tell a resident that there is a small amount of water being used, which could be helpful in determining leaks in the home.
WHAT CAUSES LOW WATER PRESSURE?
During the summer months the Orion Township water supply sees an increase in water usage which can cause temporary low water pressure throughout the Township. This increase in demand can be due to irrigation systems, watering of flowers and gardens, power washing and children playing in sprinklers and pools. A water main break and water used to fight a fire can also cause temporary low pressure.
In some situations, a home can experience low pressure on an ongoing basis. This could be caused by the elevation of the home (meaning the home is on a hill and/ or sits higher than the water main). It also can be caused by the plumbing lines inside of your home. In older homes, the lines could have built up sediment leaving little room for the water to flow through them. Sometimes low pressure within the home can be caused by a plugged faucet aerator that simply needs to be cleaned.
WATER CONSERVATION TIP:
Water conservation measures are an important first step in protecting our water supply. Such measures not only save the supply of our source water, but can also save you money by reducing your water and sewer bills. Here are a few suggestions.
Conservation Measures you Can use Inside Your Home Include:
- Fix leaking faucets, pipes, toilets, etc.
- Replace old fixtures, install water-saving devices in faucets, toilets and appliances.
- Wash only full loads of laundry.
- Do not use the toilet for trash disposal.
- Take shorter showers.
- Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Soak dished before washing
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
You Can Conserve Outdoors as Well:
- Water the lawn and garden in the early morning or evening.
- Use mulch around plants and shrubs.
- Repair leaks in faucets and hoses.
- use water-saving nozzles.
- Use water from a bucket to wash your car and save the hose for rinsing.
WATER SAFETY DURING AN EMERGENCY:
Having good information about water safety could help your family get through a winter storm or other emergency situation. It is recommended that at least one gallon of water, per person per day, be stored for emergency purposes. It is further recommended that a two week supply of water be stored in clean plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has had a toxic substance in it. Make sure all containers are sealed tightly and store them in a cool, dry space. You should also rotate your backup water supply every six months.
If a water main break occurs, you may be without water for a period of time and a ‘BOIL WATER ALERT” may be issued. A “BOIL WATER ALERT” is issued when the purity of the water in the lines is questioned. The water should be brought to a rolling boil for five minutes. Let the water cool, then pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add air for improved taste. The water will then be safe for cooking and drinking purposes.
In the event your water service is completely lost for an extended period of time, there are sources of water within your home that are safe for consumption. Water in the pipes of your home can be drained and used. You can also access the water in your hot water tank in an emergency situation. Begin by making sure the electricity and gas are shut off. Open the drain at the bottom of the hot water tank and turn off the cold water intake at the top of the tank. If there is a hot water faucet, turn it on, and the water should begin draining. When your water service is restored, fill the tank back up. DO NOT TURN THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS BACK ON WHEN THE TANK IS EMPTY. Wait until the tank is full – otherwise you could damage your hot water tank.
SUMMER WATER USAGE AND OUTSIDE WATER LEAKS:
When warm weather arrives and your outside water usage begins to increase you should anticipate a higher water bill for the 2 bills that cover the summer months. Watering lawns and gardens, power washing such items as your house, lawn furniture, boats, and filling a pool will all increase your water usage.
With increased water usage, there will also be the possibility of outdoor water leaks. Most common are irrigation leaks that can be hard to detect and most often are not discovered until a bill is received reflecting high usage. Our department is frequently asked if the water bill can be adjusted due to an outdoor water leak. For any type of leak, once water has gone through the water meter, water billing cannot be adjusted.
We recommend if you are concerned about how much water your household is using, monitor your water usage. This can be easily done by writing down all the numbers on your water meter before and after heavy water usage. You can call our office with those numbers and we can give you an estimate of how many units of water you have used. Because our department only reads water meters every 3 months in conjunction with billing, if you keep a diary of your water meter reads and usage you can track your usage and possibly determine a leak before you receive a high bill.
If you are interested in reducing your water usage, there are resources online that can provide water conservation tips around your home.
FILLING A POOL?
Every summer we receive phone calls from residents who want to fill a pool with water from their hose wondering about the cost.
For residential customers we bill water usage the same way whether the water is used inside of your home or outside. Sewer billing is not based on water usage; it is a flat rate, so if you use a considerable amount of water to fill a pool, your sewer bill will remain the same.
Water usage is billed in units and 1 unit of water on your bill is equal to 748 gallons of water. Our minimum water billing per month is $7.08 and 2 units of water (or 1,496 gallons of water) are included. After the first 2 units, water is billed at $3.54 per unit.
Using a per unit rate of $3.54, a 10,000 gallon pool would equate to 13.36 units of water or $47.29. Keep in mind, this amount would be in addition to your normal water usage.
We hope this information is helpful when deciding to fill a pool using a hose.
WINTER WEATHER WATER TIPS:
During the fall months, there are several things that homeowners can do to protect their homes from winter water damage. Before the cold weather hits, be sure:
- Outside water faucets are opened, and inside the home the line is closed.
- Locate and mark the main water value for your home and make sure the adults in your house know where it is located. Water damage can be minimized if all adults know where to turn off the water in case of an emergency.
- Consider insulating any pipes that are near outside walls, under the home (in crawl spaces) or in the attic.
If you have had problems with lines freezing in the past, inspect the lines before the winter hits. In addition to insulating the pipes, seal any gaps in the walls with caulk or other means. Check with your local hardware store for other effective ways of insulating and sealing gaps. In the event that your pipes do freeze, remember that you should never thaw pipes with an open flame. It is best to use a small portable heater, or a hair dryer. Please make sure you are careful about electric shock around standing water!
If you plan on going out of town for any extended period of time, you may consider keeping your heat over 60 degrees F. You may also drain the water from your lines inside your home and you can contact our office so we may turn the water off at the street.
During a winter storm there is always the probability that you will lose power to your home. If the power will be off for a long period of time, turn the water off at the main shut off valve in your home. Open faucets in all levels of your home to allow for expansion should any water left in the lines freeze.
If you notice anything unusual like unfrozen puddles or large pools of water, please contact us so we can shut off the water at the road. If you have a water pipe that has broken in your home or on your property, you will have to contact an independent contractor to fix any damage that occurs within your property.
SEWER MAINTENANCE DURING THE SUMMER:
During the spring and summer months, our Department will be throughout the Township providing routine sewer maintenance. Sewer manholes will have to be opened, so any sod or landscaping that may be over them will have to be removed. If you see our vehicles in your neighborhood, we will be jetting (sending high pressure water) through the sewer lines to clear any debris in them. The only preparation that a homeowner needs to do is put toilet lids in your home down and make sure your sewer vent pipe is clear from blockage.
When a sewer vent pipe in your home is clean from blockages, then sewer jetting does not have any effect on your home. The pressure from the sewer jetting will go out through the vent pipe and not cause any problems in your home.
If the sewer vent pipe is blocked, then you could experience water and/or sewage coming up from your toilets and drains in your home. A blockage could be caused by any number of things, including leaves, animals or snow.
There are a couple ways you may check your vent pipes:
- Open the faucets at the tub and sink nearest the roof vent pipe. Go on the roof with a flashlight and visually inspect the roof vent. If the vent is clear, you should be able to hear the water running.
- When it is cold outside, you can run hot water inside your home and simply check to see if you see steam coming out of the roof vent.
If you find the roof vent is blocked, run a hose down the vent pipe to flush out the debris. The water will run down through the pipe and out the sewer line. If the vent pipe begins to fill with water, you have a major blockage and should contact a licensed plumber.
After the sewer jetting is done, if you experience a smell coming from inside your sinks or toilets, run water down them. This will fill your traps with water again, and should fix the problem.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while our routine maintenance takes place.
FOG AFFECTS EVERYONE:
Fat, Oil and Grease in the sanitary sewer lines is commonly referred to as FOG. The FOG enters the sanitary sewer lines through the drains in a residential home or business. Once it enters the sewer system it sticks to the pipes and lines, and can eventually block the sewer line completely, causing sewage backups and overflows.
Sewage backups as a result of FOG can have an impact on residents, everyone connected to the sewer system, and the environment. If a backup occurs within a resident’s sewer line on their property, then they are responsible for the cleanup. For example, if a homeowner consistently pours grease or oil from cooking down their sink drain, it will eventually cool and harden. When the sewage backs up in their home, they will need to hire a licensed plumber to clean their lines and make any necessary repairs. Cleaning FOG build-up from the main sewer line can increase maintenance costs for Orion Township. The environment can be impacted by sewage backups overflowing into streets, lakes and rivers.
Sources of FOG include:
- Cooking Oil
- Butter, margarine or shortening
- Meat fats
- Food scraps
- Dairy products
To keep your drains clear, follow these easy tips:
- Pour or scrape oily or greasy foods into a container and allow it to cool before disposing of it in your garbage. Mix any liquid oils with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing it in the trash.
- DO NOT pour fat, oil or grease down your sink. Hot water does NOT dilute the FOG when rinsing cookware, utensils or dishes.
- Keep your drain clean by pouring one (1) cup baking soda down the drain followed by one (1) cup vinegar. Wait 10-15 minutes and then rinse with hot water.
FLUSHABLE WIPES: TO FLUSH OR NOT TO FLUSH?
Not to flush. Even though the packaging clearly states they are environmentally safe and dissolve in water, manufacturers don’t state how long they take to dissolve in water. The fact is they don’t dissolve as quickly as most would think and cause a tremendous amount of issues in the sanitary sewer mains and associated pump stations. Unlike normal toilet paper that decomposes quickly, these flushable wipes are more cloth like than tissue like and end up clogging the sewer mains and pumps. In Orion Township, we have had several instances where our sewer lift station pumps were plugged with flushable wipes. Not only does this cause strain on the sewer pumps, it also could lead to a sewer main backup. They can even clog residential sewer lines, which can result in a homeowner having to hire a plumber to unplug the line. Municipalities across the country have expressed their opposition to flushable wipes and asked their communities not to flush them down the toilet, and we are in agreement.
PLEASE DO NOT PUT FLUSHABLE WIPES DOWN THE TOILET.
DON'T FLUSH UNUSED MEDICATIONS:
The majority of residents in Orion Township probably have old prescriptions in their homes and the most common way of disposing of them was to flush them down a drain or toilet. In recent years information has surfaced showing that the wastewater treatment plants can’t always remove the high concentrations of metals, chemicals and/or organic substances found in medications. Ultimately, trace amounts of these medications can end up in our water supply and although research has shown that the amounts detected are way too low to have any impact on human health, there are several alternatives to flushing them down the toilet.
- Ask your pharmacy if they have a drug take back program.
- The Oakland County Sheriff's Department has a program called "Operation Medicine Cabinet". The Orion substation is a drop-off location for this program. They collect unused, unneeded or expired medications. More information is available online at www.oaklandsheriff.com or www.operationmedicinecabinet.com.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers guidelines on how to properly dispose of medication in other ways on their website at www.fda.gov/drugs.
SEWER OVERFLOW CLAIMS NOTICE:
On January 2, 2002, Public Act 222 of 2001 came into effect. This new State law provides procedures to be followed in making a claim in the event of a sewage overflow or backup on your property. The following information is required to be provided, in writing, within 45 days of the date the sewer overflow or backup was discovered or should have been discovered:
- Your name, address and telephone number.
- The address of the affected property.
- The date of discovery of any property damages or physical injuries.
- A brief description of your claim.
Failure to provide this information within 45 days of the date that the damage or physical injury was discovered, or should have been discovered, will prevent you from being able to make a claim against the Charter Township of Orion for economic damages. The information should be sent to Bill Basigkow, Water and Sewer Superintendent, Orion Township, 2525 Joslyn Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48360.
NOTE: In the event of a sewer emergency, please call (248) 391-0304, ext. 8502 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) or (248) 858-4911 (evenings, weekends and holidays).
In the event of a sewage overflow or backup, you must contact Orion Township at the above listed number(s). They will check the sewer main to determine if the backup is in the main or in the service line. Any backup caused by the sewer main is the responsibility of Orion Township and a claim should be submitted by using the procedures outlined above. A backup caused by a service line is the responsibility of the homeowner and should not be submitted for a claim.