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Sartell Utilities and Billing

The City of Sartell provides billing for the water/sewer and storm water monitoring services. Residential and Commercial customers are billed every 60 days.

You are billed for your actual water usage, based off of the water meter reading that you submit with your previous bill payment. If you fail to return this water meter reading, your bill will then be estimated and a charge will be produced based off of previous history at that residence.

The sewer rate is based on the January/February billing cycle and is set for the summer months at that rate. That way you don't pay sewer charges for water that runs outside during the summer (i.e. for lawn irrigation, watering plants or filling pools.)The storm water monitoring fee is different from the sanitary sewer in that it is the fee assessed to monitor storm water through the system. This is a fee assessed because of a mandate by the Federal Government.

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FAQ’s regarding your Sartell Utility Account

Water Meter Related Questions

Where is my water meter, and how do I read it?
What is a unit of water?
Why is my consumption so high?
Can I test the accuracy of my water meter?
How can the water meter tell me if I have a leak?
How do I determine if I have a toilet leak?
My toilet isn't leaking, where else could it be coming from?
Why is my water cloudy and then clears up after I run it for a while?
What can I do to improve water pressure?
I'm installing a water softener, how hard is the water and how much iron is in our water?



Water Billing Questions

How are utilities billed?
My bill shows a credit. How do I get that back?
What if I did not receive my bill in the mail?
Can I get copies of my monthly bills for the last year?
How is my due date determined, and can I change my due date?
How do I dispute a bill amount?
Why is my bill estimated?
What can I do if my bill was estimated or is not correct?
I am going south for the winter; do I still need to pay my water bill?
Does the City issue an adjustment for leaks?
What if I know I won't be able to pay my bill on time?
Is there an Auto payment system?



Water Meter Related Questions


Where is my water meter, and how do I read it?

Your meter is located by the water heater on your property. It is not outside, as it would freeze in Minnesota. The water usually comes in from the street side of the house. The meter sits on the water pipe that comes in through the floor. The City of Sartell uses a few different types of meters. Most homes are equipped with a meter where the head of the meter is about three inches in diameter and has a large hand and a small red diamond or triangle. Read the six or eight numbers on the meter display, where it says cubic feet, from left to right. If your home was built after 2009, you may have one of the new meters which has a digital top. You will need to use a flashlight to shine on the top of the meter to get the numbers to activate when you read your meter.

Note: You may see what looks like water on the face of the dial. It is oil that prevents corrosion and increases the life of the dial mechanism. It does not enter the water supply and does not affect the quality of the water delivered to the customer.


What is a unit of water?

Water usage is measured by cubic feet. One cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons.


Why is my consumption so high?

Consumption may be high for many reasons. If a bill is estimated too low for a length of time, an actual meter reading may result in a large increase. More people may be living in the household. During the summer, water consumption may be higher because you are watering the lawn or garden, or an outside hose may be left on. A leak in the residence may also lead to high consumption.


Can I test the accuracy of my water meter?

Customers often think the meter is not working right causing high readings. To test the accuracy of your meter, use the following procedure:

Run water until the test dial (the red sweep hand located on the face of the meter) points to zero. The test hand will be straight up in the 12 o'clock position when it is on zero. Fill a one-gallon container with water. Check the position of the red test dial. It should measure .1333 cubic feet.


How can the water meter tell me if I have a leak?

Newer types of water meters have a leak indicator on the face of the dial; see the photo. It is a triangular or diamond-shaped indicator that revolves 354 times for every gallon of water that passes through the meter.

To check for leaks, look at the indicator when no one is drawing water. It should not be moving. If it is moving, check every plumbing fixture at the property, i.e., toilet, sink, outside sprinkler, washer, etc. Shut off the valves that supply each fixture, one by one, and check the indicator after each shutoff. When closing the water supply, a valve stops the indicator from moving, or slows its movement, you have found the location of a leak. There may be more than one leak! Once the leak is repaired, check the leak indicator again and make sure all leaks are repaired.


How do I determine if I have a toilet leak?

Toilet leaks are leaks in which water from the tank seeps into the toilet bowl. From there, the water goes into the sewer system. If you can hear the toilet running or need to jiggle the handle to get it to stop running after you flush, you have a toilet leak.

Sometimes you cannot hear the leak, however. To determine if you have a leak, place a dye tablet or food coloring into the tank and do not flush the toilet for about an half an hour. If the dye coloring has seeped into the stool from the tank, the flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. Local hardware stores carry new flappers for about $5.00, complete with installation instructions. If you have more than one toilet, either do the dye test for all of them, or turn the toilets off one at a time, and do the overnight reading again. This may take a few nights to work out.


My toilet isn't leaking, where else could it be coming from?

You will need to check every plumbing fixture on your property, i.e., sink and tub faucets, outside sprinkler system, washer, water softener, etc. You will need to shut off the water supply to each fixture, one at a time and check the water meter for movement. If movement on the meter stops when the valve is shut, you will know that is the the fixture that has the leak. There may be more than one leak at your property.


Why is my water cloudy and then clears up after I run it for a while?

The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and disappear. This type of cloudiness occurs in the winter, when the drinking water is very cold.


What can I do to improve water pressure?

If a recent loss of water pressure has occurred at all the faucets in your building, make sure that the meter valves next to the water meter are fully open. The most common cause we seen in loss of water pressure is when the water softener is malfunctioning. To check your water softener, shut off the bi-pass valve to the water softener and see if your pressure resumes. If your pressure comes back, you know that you will need to have your water softener serviced.

A few other common causes of water pressure is:

  • Meter valves and/or other valves are not fully opened.
  • Old or corroded piping or corroded connections in the home.
  • Clogged screens on faucets.

I'm installing a water softener, how hard is the water and how much iron is in our water?

The City of Sartell has on average 23 grains of hardness per gallon. A water softener is recommended for use in the City of Sartell. The water's iron levels are very low at just .03 mil/per liter.


Utility Billing Questions


How are utilities billed?

Utilities are billed bi-monthly. They are sent out the even calendar months of the year around the 15th of the month. Water is billed based on meter readings or estimated according to historical usage if no reading is obtained.


My bill shows a credit. How do I get that back?

If your account is active, the credit is applied to the current balance.


What if I did not receive my bill in the mail or by e-mail?

Please contact Sartell City Hall at 320-253-2171 to request another copy of your bill. If you didn't receive it by your e-mail account, please check your junk e-mail folder or your deleted items to make sure that it didn't copy into those locations. You can contact city hall to request another copy either sent to you by mail or to your e-mail account.


Can I get copies of my monthly bills for the last year?

Yes. Just call Sartell City Hall and we'd be happy to send that out to you.


How is my due date determined, and can I change my due date?

Due dates are established by City Ordinance and fall 21 days after the billing date. The City of Sartell bills the entire city at one time, therefore the dates cannot be altered. Bills are sent out the 15th of the even numbered months (February, April, June, August, October and December) and due on the 6th of the odd numbered months (January, March, May, July, September, November)


How do I dispute a bill amount?

You may question the basis for one or more of the charges shown on your bill. If you'd wish to discuss your bill, please call Sartell City Hall at 320-253-2171.


Why is my bill estimated?

The bill will be estimated if you do not submit your water meter reading when requested. Estimated bills are based on previous history at the service address. At this time all residents read their own meters.


What can I do if my bill was estimated or is not correct?

If your bill was over or under estimated, you can call Sartell City Hall with your current water meter reading and an adjustment can be made to that reading.


I am going south for the winter; do I still need to pay my water bill?

Please call Sartell City Hall prior to your leave of absence from the home. We can set your account to a vacant status while you are away so you don't need to worry about receiving water meter readings or bills while you are gone.


Does the City issue an adjustment for leaks?

If you have a leak in your home, the leak is using water that the City has processed through it's water plants and has treated, that water is then sent through our sewer system. Therefore, normally, that usage will need to be paid by the resident.


What if I know I won't be able to pay my bill on time?

If you cannot pay your bill, or can only pay part of it, please contact Sartell City Hall to determine whether you are eligible for a payment agreement. Eligibility for an agreement depends on your payment history, history of the account or any other relevant circumstances. The bill statement indicates that all charges are due and payable 21 days after billing. You must pay current charges in addition to the installment agreement. We will work with you to avoid turning off your water service.


Is there an auto payment system?

Yes, you can sign up for auto pay and the amount of your utility bill will be automatically deducted from your VISA, MasterCard, Discover, Checking or Savings Account on a specified date that you determine.  To sign up, just log into our payment provider PSN and enroll. You can enroll in this plan at anytime.  There is no charge for this service.

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