Water >>Safety >> Lead
According to U.S EPA, the 15 ppb Action Level is used to indicate whether corrosion-control efforts are effective and to measure progress in reducing lead levels. All large water systems are required to maintain corrosion control. If a large water system detects lead above 15 ppb in the tap water in more than 10% of a sample set of homes, then the water system further informs the public about the health effects so that consumers can make decisions about the sources of lead in their homes.
To find out if you have a lead service, you can call Customer Service at 402-554-6666. To reduce the chance of exposure to lead, only use water from the cold tap for cooking and drinking. If the tap has not been used in more than a half hour, flush water through the faucet for 30 seconds to a minute before using it. Also remove and clean the aerator on the faucet on a regular basis.
Homeowners should also install plumbing fixtures containing no lead. Information on plumbing fixtures and in-home filters is provided by the National Sanitation Foundation at 1-800-NSF-MARK or www.nsf.org.
M.U.D. meets all state and federal water quality standards so home water treatment devices are not necessary. Use of a supplemental filter is a personal preference, however it can also be harmful if not properly maintained. In selecting a filter, determine what substance(s) is/are to be removed and look for a filter that has a NSF/UL certification to remove it.
Congress currently defines “lead-free” as 8% lead content. Instead, Congress should make illegal the manufacture of faucets and fixtures contributing to lead exposure. This would reduce the amount of lead in drinking water.
If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may want to have your water tested. Flushing the tap for 30 seconds to a minute before using your tap water will clear the line of any lead that may have leached into the water while the line was idle. Regular removal and cleaning of the aerator on the faucet spout may reduce exposure to lead as well as bacteriological contaminants.
Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline, call 800.426.4791, visit their website, or call Nebraska Health & Human Services Division of Public Health, Office of Drinking Water, 402.471.2541.
Water >> Service and Repair
The stop box is part of your water service. It is the small round metal box usually set in or near the sidewalk that provides emergency water shut off to your home or business. Properly maintained, the top of the box remains flush with the sidewalk or ground. If the stop box is not flush with the sidewalk or ground, it creates a hazardous safety condition and exposes you to potential legal liability. Please repair it or contact a master plumber. When the repair has been made, call us at 402.554.6666 to inspect it.
Generally, customers will see water where they don't expect it to be. They contact us at 402.554.6666 to help determine the source of the water.
Our employees also may report potential problems. Some leaks are detected during routine maintenance on the water system. Not all leaks appear on the surface. Some can only be detected using special equipment.
A leaking water service requires prompt attention to get it shut off or fixed. If the leak causes damage or an accident, the property owner may have liability exposure for not attending to the situation in a timely manner.
Contact a licensed master plumber. When repairs are complete, the plumber should contact us to make arrangements to have the repairs inspected. We do not make referrals for master plumbers.
- If repairs are not made in the allotted time, the District has the authority to shut off the water service to stop the leak.
- If the leak is between the main and the stop box, the shut off will be made at the corporation to the water main.
- If the leak is between the stop box and the premises, an attempt will be made to shut the service off at the stop box.
- If the stop box is inoperable and the owner does not repair it, it will be shut off at the main.
If a water service leak is causing a safety hazard, such as icing on the street, we attempt to contact you to take immediate action. If we do not reach you or you do not take immediate action, we shut off the service. The cost of this work is billed to the responsible party.
If the work is not completed within the allotted time period, we contract a licensed master plumber to shut off the service. The work is scheduled in seven to 10 working days. You are notified as to who will do the work and when.
If you decide to have the work done by your plumber, it must be completed before our contracted plumber arrives on site. If you contract with the District's plumber to do the repair work, the agreement and payment will be between you and the plumber.
Keep in mind that all the District's contracted plumber will do is dig to the water main and shut off the service at the corporation. The excavation would be left open for four days.
If no one contacts the District's plumber to complete the repairs, the plumber will fill the excavation, and if needed, have the street or sidewalk repaired. This work is billed to M.U.D. by the plumber. The District then bills the property owner.
If the service supplies water to more than one premise, such as two houses, decisions are between the parties involved. You need to work with the other parties to determine who pays what and who is responsible for what.
If your plumber finds the water main is leaking, not the service, we will repair the water main. You may file a claim with M.U.D.'s legal department for charges billed to you by your plumber. The determination of whether the claim will be honored will be made on a case by case basis.
If your property does not front a water main, or your water service is not connected to the water main that fronts your property, you may have a "private water service line." Rules governing private water service lines are slightly different than for a regular water service. Depending upon the extent of the repair, there may be additional administrative requirements and fees that must be paid before repairs can be done. Your plumber can advise you.
The M.U.D. Board of Directors sets the water rates and the non-gas or fixed base part of the gas rate. The fixed base rate covers costs for operation, maintenance and administration of gas plants and mains.
The gas part of the rate, which fluctuates every month depending on the price at the wellhead, goes to buy natural gas. This cost is passed on directly to you.
We also provide a cost-saving service to cities in our service area by collecting sewer and trash pick-up fees. M.U.D. directors do not set these fees.
The City of Omaha sets sewer use rates and is responsible for the sewer system. Metropolitan Utilities District is the billing agent that invoices and collects sewer use fees and provides them back to the City. The combined bill eliminates duplication, resulting in a cost savings to both Omaha sewer users and M.U.D. ratepayers. Residential sewer rates are the total of two charges:
- Customer Charge (fixed monthly fee)
- Flow Charge (varies with usage)
The monthly sewer use fee during the winter season is based on the actual amount of water used. The winter season will encompass four billing cycles, starting with the M.U.D. December billing schedule and ending with the March billing schedule. The four winter billing cycles are averaged to determine a base monthly usage level to be used during the non-winter period when calculating your sewer fees. In some instances, the base monthly usage level may be reviewed and adjusted as appropriate.
During the non-winter period, from April's billing schedule through November's billing schedule, the sewer use fee is calculated by using either 1) the actual water use during that specific billing cycle, or 2) the base monthly usage level (the average of the four winter billing cycles), WHICHEVER IS LESS. Remember, your water use in the winter can impact your bills throughout the year.
If you have an emergency, such as a flooded basement, which may be related to the sewer system, contact your city's public works department. In Omaha, the phone number is 402.444.5332.
The board generally meets the first Wednesday of every month at the District's downtown headquarters at 1723 Harney St. Check the website for meeting information and agendas.
We serve natural gas to 218,979 customer-owners in Omaha, Bennington, Fort Calhoun, Springfield, Yutan and 85 percent of Bellevue.
We also provide safe drinking water to 203,230 customers in Omaha, Bellevue, Bennington, Carter Lake, LaVista, Ralston, Waterloo and the Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District (which supplies water to Fort Calhoun).
The District serves a metro area population of approximately 600,000 people.