FAQs

FAQs 2017-11-15T16:49:40+00:00

Pay Your Bill

  1. How do I pay my bill?
  2. How do I set up an on-line account?
  3. I keep forgetting my User Name and Password – how can I fix this?
  4. How can I estimate my bill?
  5. What are the water rates?
  6. Can I make a payment arrangement if my bill is past due?
  7. When is your payment office open?
  8. How do I get to your office?
  9. How can I tell if you received my payment or what my balance is?

Customer Service

  1. I am selling my house – How can I stop service in my name?
  2. I am purchasing a house that already has water service – how do I put it in my name?
  3. What information do I need to give OCWA to put an account in my name?
  4. I want to put my property in my tenant’s name – how do I do this?
  5. I am having a new house built – will it automatically have a water meter?
  6. How do I secure my camp’s water for the winter months?
  7. I’m going away for an extended period of time, what should I do?
  8. Why do I have to let someone into my house to change my meter?
  9. How do I rent a hydrant meter?
  10. Where can I get information rules of service?
  11. My shut off valve is leaking – will the Water Authority replace it?
  12. The water lines to my house need to be replaced – who do I call?
  13. How can I estimate the cost to fill my swimming pool?
  14. I see people using fire hydrants – is this allowed?
  15. How do I check for toilet leaks?
  16. How can I read my meter? Is it outside or inside?
  17. How can I change my billing address?

My Water

  1. Water maintenance work in my area: What should I do afterwards?
  2. Discolored or rusty water: What should I do?
  3. Cloudy or milky water: What should I do?
  4. White particles in my water: What should I know?
  5. Why is my water running slowly?

Pay Your Bill

How do I pay my bill?

There are many options for paying your bill:
– On Line through our web site https://ipn.paymentus.com/cp/ocwa
– Credit Card, Debit Card, or Check  One-Time payments
– By Phone at 877-768-8266
– Recurring automatic withdrawal through your checking or saving account
– Use an on line or bill pay service through your own bank.
– Mail a check or money order to OCWA, PO Box 4949, Syracuse, NY 13221-4949
– In person at OCWA’s office, 200 Northern Concourse, N. Syracuse, NY

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How do I set up an on-line account?

Click the Pay link to browse to our Payment Partners web site
1. Click the register button and fill in the information. You will need your customer and account number from your bill.
2. Setup a security question/answer

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I forgot my Password – how can I fix this?

Click Forgot Password. You will be prompted to enter your email and answer the security question.

How can I estimate my bill?

Your water meter is usually located in the basement or a utility room (unless you have a meter pit). You can read the numbers on the face of your meter like a car odometer left to right. Some meters require a light to be shined on the face for the numbers to appear. Take the first 4 numbers – this is your reading. You can subtract the reading on your previous bill to see how many units have been used. These units are in thousands of gallons. Use the Rate Calculator on our web site to estimate your bill.

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What are the water rates?

You can access our Water Rates Schedules under the “Pay Your Bill” tab.

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Can I make a payment arrangement if my bill is past due?

If you have a delinquent invoice, you can call our Billing department weekdays at 315-455-7061 extension 3335 to discuss an appropriate payment plan.

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When is your payment office open?

OCWA’s office is located at 200 Northern Concourse, N. Syracuse, NY 13212 and the payment window is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

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How do I get to your office?

You will find directions and a map under the Contact Menu tab.

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How can I tell if you received my payment or what my balance is?

Once you register at our web site on line you can check your payments, balances and history.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE

I am selling my house – How can I stop service in my name?

When a property is transferring from one owner to another, we do not shut off the water – we just transfer the account over to the new owner. To do this, we will need the following:
– The closing date
– The name of the new owner (the new owner will also have to call us with their personal information)
– A reading off your water meter in the basement on your last day at the premises
– A forwarding address for the final bill
The account cannot be transferred if there is an unpaid past due balance

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I am purchasing a house that already has water service – how can I put it in my name?

Similar to the steps above, we will need the following:
– The closing date
– The name of the new owner(s) that will be listed on the deed, and personal information to include date of birth, driver’s license ID, billing address and phone number.
– Meter Reading – During your walk through with the Realtor, obtain a reading of the meter in the basement or utility room. We will end the previous owner’s billing and start your billing with this reading as of the closing date.
– If this account has a past due balance owed, your attorney must be notified so that provisions can be made for
payment before the closing.

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What information do I need to give OCWA to put an account in my name?

To set up a new account, we will need your first, middle initial, and last name. If there is a second person listed on the deed, we can also put that name on the account. We will need the primary person’s date of birth and driver’s license ID number. And a billing address if different from the property address.

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I want to put my property in my tenant’s name – how do I do this?

OCWA’s policy is to have the property in the owner’s name as shown on the deed. However, we have a form, called the Residential Tenant Agreement or Commercial Tenant Agreement, whereby both the owner and the tenant fill out personal and billing information. Signatures of both parties are required along with the date of occupancy and a reading from the meter. This give us permission to put the property in the tenant’s name and bill them directly. The owner receives a copy of the bill as the owner is ultimately responsible if the tenant does not pay.

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I am having a new house built – will it automatically have a water meter?

Once the piping and plumbing is all set, OCWA must be contacted for a meter to be set between the two shut off valves.

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How do I secure my camp’s water for the winter months?

Here are some options:
If you are leaving the heat on in the dwelling, you can have the water shut off at the road, or turn the valve off yourself at the meter. You will still receive a bill for the minimum basic system fee every three months. If there will be no heat in the dwelling, you should have us remove the meter as there is a possibility the meter might freeze. There will be no quarterly fee once the meter is removed, but there is a $66 charge to re-install it.

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I’m going away for an extended period of time, what should I do?

Here are some options:
If you are leaving the heat on in the dwelling, you can have the water shut off at the road, or turn the valve off yourself at the meter. You will still receive a bill for the minimum basic system fee every three months. If there will be no heat in the dwelling, you should have us remove the meter as there is a possibility the meter might freeze. There will be no quarterly fee once the meter is removed, but there is a $66 charge to re-install it.

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Why do I have to let someone into my house to change my meter?

OCWA is required to maintain an accurate, up-to-date meter on your property. These meters must be changed periodically. We do make exact timely appointments on the hour for your convenience.

How do I rent a hydrant meter?

Hydrant Meter Rental instructions and Form are listed under Customer Service, Hydrant Meter.

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Where can I get information on where your rules of service are?

Under the Menu tab, “Customer Service”, an explanation of Customer Rules is stated.

My shut off valve is leaking – will the Water Authority replace it?

OCWA owns only the water meter and the remote reader at your property. All the plumbing and piping, including the shut off valves, belong to the owner. When you are ready to make a repair you can call our office to have the water shut off at the road while you make the repair.

The water lines to my house need to be replaced – who do I call?

The property owner is responsible for all lines from the house to the road.

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How can I estimate the cost to fill my swimming pool?

Calculate how many gallons it will take to fill your pool, and insert that information into the “Rate Calculator”, under the Menu tab for Pay Your Bill. This will include the Base System Fee but not the regular amount of water you use quarterly.
Round Pool: Gallons = pi * radius(ft)*radius(ft)*height(ft)*7.4805
Example: I have a 24′ pool that needs 2.5′ of water -> 3.14159*12*12*2.5*7.4805 = approximately 8460 Gallons of Water

I see people using fire hydrants – is this allowed?

Water haulers can rent a hydrant meter and obtain a permit that allows them to pump water from a fire hydrant. If you have a question regarding the hauler, please call us.

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How do I check for toilet leaks?

Lift the tank top on the back of the toilet. Place a few drops of food coloring into the water in the tank. Wait approximately ¾ of an hour. If the coloring shows up in the bowl of the toilet, your toilet is emptying and refilling itself. Your flapper may need to be replaced.

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How can I read my meter? Is it outside or inside?

On most houses, the water meter is in the basement, sometimes in the pipes behind a clothes washer or sink, or in a utility room. You can read your meter like a car odometer – numbers left to right. We use the first 4 numbers. Some meters require a light to be shined on them. You cannot read the remote reader outside attached to your house. A special device is required – this is how our readers take your reading each quarter. Some properties have a meter pit. You cannot read the meter in the pit.

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How can I change my billing address?

You must call our customer service representative at 315-455-7061 x 3335 to change an address.

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MY WATER

Water maintenance work in my area: What should I do afterwards?

What to do after water is out due to maintenance work or a water main break. You may experience some cloudy, discolored or spurting water. If you experience this, please run a cold water tap for 15-30 minutes to clear the issue. If this persists, call Customer Service at 315-455-7061 or after business hours at 315-455-5342.

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Discolored or rusty water: What should I do?

Customers experiencing dirty, discolored or rusty water should run one cold water faucet for 10 to 15 minutes until the discolored water clears. *By not running the hot water initially, you’ll keep discolored water out of the hot water tank. We recommend you remove any screens, filters, or aerators on the faucet you are flushing before flushing. If you are unable to remove the screen, filter, or aerator you may try to flush the cold water tap in a bathtub. If the water does not start to clear after 10 to 15 minutes, please call OCWA Customer Service 315-455-7061 or after business hours at 315-455-5342, to report the discolored water. The water is safe to use, however, customers should refrain from doing laundry or drinking water that is discolored.

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Cloudy or milky water: What should I do?

Milky colored water is often caused by air in the water. Confirm this by filling a glass with water from the tap and checking for bubbles rising to the top. If you allow water in the glass to stand for a few minutes, the air should completely dissipate. To remove air from the line, run a cold water faucet at the highest location in the house for about 15 minutes. If the problem persists, call Customer Service 315-455-7061 or after business hours at 315-455-5342.

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White particles in my water: What should I know?

Sometimes the plastic filler tube on certain water heaters breaks down into granules that look like powdered soap. It’s most likely to happen with water heaters manufactured between 1993 and 1996. According to the manufacturers, the problem has been solved. Affordable, easy-to-install replacements are available.

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Why is my water running slowly?

If the problem is only with one faucet, it may be a plugged faucet filter screen or aerator. Clean or replace the screen or aerator.

If more than one faucet has low pressure, check the following:
Shut-off Valve: Make sure the valve is open all the way.
Supply Line: If other houses in your area are experiencing the same problem, call Customer Service at 315-455-7061.
Pressure Regulator or Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV): Your plumber can test, adjust, and/or replace the valve as needed.

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