DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

WATER & SEWER UTILITY

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY IS MY UTILITY BILL SO HIGH?

High consumption - if you notice an increase in your consumption, we suggest you check for possible leaks. One way to check would be to take a reading from the water meter before you retire to bed, allowing no one to use the water through the night. When you awaken, and before any water is used, take another reading. If there has been consumption while you were asleep, there is the possibility of a leak. You may want to check the toilets; running toilets can use a significant amount of water (the most common reason for high water bills is a leaky toilet).

 

Zero consumption - it is important to contact our office if you should receive a bill indicating a zero consumption reading. This could indicate a possible problem with the meter. If the problem is not corrected, a large water bill may result when an actual inside reading is obtained.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM SELLING MY HOME?

A final meter reading appointment must be scheduled at least 5 days prior to closing and are scheduled between the hours of 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

Click here for final meter reading procedures.

 

WHERE DO I MAIL MY PAYMENT?

Payments should be made payable to:

Spotswood Utility Department

77 Summerhill Road

Spotswood NJ 08884-1233

 

Please return payment stub along with your check. Be sure to include your account number or property location if you are not sending your payment stub with your check.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE TO DISPUTE A UTILITY BILL?

Any customer that disputes a bill rendered by the utility for water shall bring the disputed bill to the attention of the Borough Collector within 15 calendar days of the due date of the bill.  Said dispute shall be presented to the Office of the Borough Collector in writing, stating the exact portion of the bill that is in dispute and the reasons why the bill is in dispute.

Upon receipt of a disputed bill claim by a customer, the Borough Collector shall present a temporary estimated bill to the customer which shall be computed on the basis of the average usage during the preceding twelve-month period or the usage during the same period of time in the preceding year, whichever, in the estimation of the Borough Collector, presents a more accurate estimate.  The customer shall pay the amount of the temporary estimated bill within the same time limits for payment of the original bill.

The Borough Collector shall investigate the bill dispute presented by the customer and shall receive whatever supporting evidence the customer may wish to present and shall determine whether the disputed bill is valid or invalid in whole or in part.  In the event that the Borough Collector determines that any or all of the disputed bill is due and that amount exceed the amount paid by the customer under the temporary estimated bill, the difference shall be paid by the customer within 14 calendar days after notification in writing by the Borough Collector.  After said 14 calendar day period, the bill shall be classified as delinquent. All billing disputes must be in writing within 15 days of the due date of the bill.  Be sure to compare all billed readings with your inside meter.

WHEN IS A WATER BILL CONSIDERED LATE?

If payment is not received by 33 days of billing date, interest is calculated from billing date to payment date at 8% up to $1,500.00 and 18% over $1,500.00.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A RESIDENTIAL USER?

Residential user is defined so as to include all structures, buildings, mobile homes, apartment buildings, or garden apartments which are designed or used primarily as the residence or sleeping place of the owner or occupant thereof. 

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE A WATER EMERGENCY AFTER BUSINESS HOURS?

Emergencies, evenings, weekends and holidays, call 732.251.2121.

HOW DO I PROTECT MY WATER PIPES FROM FREEZING?

The Borough of Spotswood Water Department would like to share some basic tips to help protect meters and pipes throughout the winter.

1). Locate and  mark master shutoff valve and be prepared to turn it off in case a water line should burst.  This valve, typically a wheel type valve, is usually located were the water pipe enters your home or dwelling near your inside water meter.  Mark it with a tag, a bright ribbon or colorful paint.  Make it easy to see.  If the worst happens and we hope it never does you will know where it

2). Make sure the water meter is protected from freezing conditions.  If it is located in an unheated area such as under a mobile home cover it with an insulating material and using heat tape will help avoid freezing and possible breakage.

3). Close the stop and waste valves on outside faucets.  These valves are located near the faucet on the inside basement wall.  After the valve is closed tightly, drain the outside piping and remove any hose from the outside faucets.

4). Insulate pipes located in our near outside walls, in the basement and in the garage. Repair any cracks or broken windows in the basement to further safeguard against freezing.

5). Consider allowing your cold water to run slow.  This will keep the water moving through the pipes thereby preventing freezing.

6). If you are going to be away for a long period of time it is suggested that you contact a plumber to come and winterize your pipes to protect them from freezing and subsequent damage.

I LIVE IN A MOBILE HOME IS THE SHEET METAL OR VINYL SKIRTING SUFFICIENT TO KEEP THE METER FROM FREEZING?

No, this is considered an unheated area and the meter should be covered with an insulating material and heat tape should be used to protect it from freezing.

WHAT OTHER WAYS ARE THERE HELP DEFROST A FROZEN PIPES IF THEY SHOULD FREEZE?

1). Use a hair dryer or heating pad to thaw slowly. NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME.

2). Wrap cloth around the frozen pipe and soak it repeatedly with hot water.

3). If these alternatives fail after a reasonable amount of time, contact a plumber for assistance.

We wish to thank Captain George Ahrend, a former Borough of Spotswood resident and police officer, for sharing his artistic talent in contributing to the design of the Borough of Spotswood's seal. We thank Mr. Thomas Sullivan, a former Borough of Spotswood resident and sanitation employee, for sharing his artistic talent in contributing to the design of the Borough of Spotswood's seal.