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Update: Our COVID-19 Response

Aug 24, 2020

It feels as if summer weather is providing a welcome respite from uncertain times, but it’s also showing us we can’t let our guard down in the fight against this pandemic.

We’ve begun taking some cautious first steps in a desired return to normal. They’re designed to ensure you continue to receive safe and reliable water, wastewater, and energy essential services, and our communities stay safe.

In March, our COVID-19 Incident Command (IC) team put in place comprehensive polices and protocols governing office closures, remote work, physical distancing, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). These measures, among others, are under constant review as we evaluate reopening and a return to more normal operations.

The IC team, with guidance from public health authorities, have determined only a small number of our North American operations currently meet the stringent criteria for reopening. And where reopening does occur, it will be done carefully and methodically. As all our systems continue to function normally, we’re confident these first steps are the right ones.

We were among the first utilities to suspend and reverse service disconnections, and suspend late fees. But as efforts to reopen the economy move forward, some regulators are allowing and encouraging utilities to return to established billing and disconnection policies, while ensuring temporary billing assistance is available for customers financially impacted by COVID-19.

For the moment, we continue to suspend disconnections and late fees, but we encourage all customers to stay current with payments as much as possible, as unpaid balances may be harder to manage down the road.

We also appreciate the pandemic is creating financial challenges for many households. To that end, We are offering Deferred Payment Arrangements, and other financial assistance, to affected customers. Please contact us for more information about these programs, or any questions regarding your services.

MyUtilityConnect is the trusted way to receive important Alerts by mobile and desktop app, email, or phone. It’s also an easy way to manage your bills and payments. Click here to learn more and sign up today.

Our maintenance activities continue to function normally, so you may see our field staff working in your community. Please do your part to help them stay safe!

We continue to take appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. We’re committed to efforts to control this pandemic and implore you do your part as well.


Flexible Payment Options Now Available for USI Customers

Jun 26, 2020

Grace period for late fees and disconnections

Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. temporarily suspended water service shut offs and late payment fees or penalties in accordance with directives of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). A transition grace period will now go into effect. While we may resume issuing shut-off notices, we will continue to suspend disconnections and the imposition of late fees for non-payment for another 30 days, until July 27, 2020.

Deferred Payment Arrangements (DPA)

Through the end of 2020, residential customers with outstanding balances can set up equal payment plans of up to 18 to 24 months to ensure services remain available while outstanding balances are paid. Flexible repayment plan options for residential customers include:

  • Up to 18-month payment plans for any customers requesting help with a 10% initial payment; or
  • Up to 24-month payment plans for customers experiencing financial hardship with no initial payment required.

Through August 25, 2020, commercial customers may enroll in or renegotiate payment plans of up to three (3) months with a thirty-three percent (33%) down payment, and up to six (6) months with a fifty percent (50%) down payment

Bill Pay Assistance Program (BPAP) 

Additional help is also available to eligible residential customers through a one-time bill credit for customers experiencing dire or ongoing financial hardship due to COVID-19. This includes:

  • Forgiveness of outstanding overdue balances of up to $75 for single service (water or sewer customers), or up to $150 for combined service (water and sewer service) customers.

    Previously Disconnected Customers

    Customers who were disconnected for non-payment or are currently disconnected for non-payment should contact a customer service representative at 800-831-2359 to get their water reconnected and discuss their eligibility for Deferred Payment Arrangements and Bill Pay Assistance. The Company will waive reconnection fees for eligible customers.

    Credit Reporting and Deposits

    The Company will not report late payments and nonpayment for active customers to credit bureaus, and the Company will waive new deposit requirements, if any.

    Contact us to enroll or learn more about available payment options:

  • Phone: (800) 831-2359
  • Email: customerservice@uiwater.com
  • Web: Web access to sign up for DPA or BPAP is still under construction, so please check back later.

Traducido al español

Período de Gracia por Recargos y Desconexiones

Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. suspendió temporalmente las desconexiones de servicio de agua y los cargos o multas por pagos atrasados de acuerdo con las directivas de la Comisión de Comercio de Illinois (ICC). Ahora entrará en vigencia un período de gracia de transición. Si bien podemos reanudar la emisión de avisos de desconexión, continuaremos suspendiendo las desconexiones y la imposición de cargos por mora por falta de pago por 30 días más, hasta el 27 de julio de 2020.

Arreglos de Pago Diferido (DPA)

Hasta fines de 2020, los clientes residenciales con saldos pendientes pueden establecer planes de pago iguales de hasta 18 a 24 meses para garantizar que los servicios permanezcan disponibles mientras se pagan los saldos pendientes. Las opciones de planes de pago flexibles para clientes residenciales incluyen:

  • Planes de pago de hasta 18 meses para cualquier cliente que solicite ayuda, con un pago inicial del 10%;
  • Planes de pago de hasta 24 meses para clientes que experimentan dificultades financieras, sin que se requiera un pago inicial.

Hasta el 25 de agosto de 2020, los clientes comerciales pueden inscribirse o renegociar planes de pago de hasta tres (3) meses con un pago inicial del treinta y tres por ciento (33%), y hasta seis (6) meses con un pago inicial del cincuenta por ciento (50%).

Programa de Asistencia de Pago (BPAP)

También hay ayuda adicional disponible para clientes residenciales elegibles a través de un crédito único de factura para clientes que experimentan dificultades financieras graves o continúas debido a COVID-19. Esto incluye:

  • Perdón de saldos vencidos pendientes de hasta $75 para clientes con un solo servicio (agua o alcantarillado), o hasta $150 para clientes con servicios combinados (agua y alcantarillado).

Clientes Previamente Desconectados

Los clientes que se desconectaron por falta de pago o que actualmente están desconectados por falta de pago deben comunicarse con un representante de servicio al cliente al 800-831-2359 para volver a conectar su agua y discutir su elegibilidad para Arreglos de Pago Diferido (DPA) y Programa de Asistencia de Pago (BPAP). La Compañía suspenderá los cargos de reconexión para clientes elegibles.

Informes de Crédito y Depósitos

La Compañía no informará a las agencias de crédito de pagos atrasados o falta de pago de los clientes activos, y renunciará a los requisitos por depósitos nuevos, si corresponde.

Contáctenos para inscribirse u obtener más información sobre las opciones de pago disponibles:

  • Teléfono: (800) 831-2359
  • Correo electrónico: customerservice@uiwater.com
  • Web: el acceso web para inscribirse a DPA o BPAP aún está en construcción, por lo tanto, vuelva más tarde.


Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. Announces Continuation of Suspended Cutoff

Jun 26, 2020

Bill Payment Options Pursuant to Illinois Commerce Commission Orders

Chicago, IL (June 25, 2020) – On March 10, 2020, it was announced that affiliates of the Corix Group of Companies, which includes Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. (“USI”), was suspending water service shutoffs for delinquent payments in all its U.S. and Canadian business units, effective immediately. Additionally, the company began reconnecting service to those customers who were currently not receiving water service due to lack of payment on delinquent accounts.

When our customers’ personal safety and their communities depend on proper sanitation, the company felt it was a simple decision. Handwashing, surface cleaning and all other measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 were and remain dependent on a safe and reliable source of potable water.

The Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”) has announced an agreement with utilities throughout the state that will offer consumers protection initiatives that help eligible utility customers continue to receive life-saving electric, gas, water and sewer services, once the moratorium on disconnections for non-payment and late payment fees expires. Last Thursday, the ICC voted unanimously in favor of a stipulated agreement negotiated by ICC Staff, the Attorney General’s Office, other consumer advocate groups, and the state’s largest utilities offering temporary, more flexible credit and collection procedures to customers financially impacted by COVID-19. USI is pleased to be part of this important agreement. USI customers who were disconnected for non-payment or are currently disconnected for non-payment should contact a customer service representative at 800-831-2359 to get their water reconnected and discuss their eligibility for Deferred Payment Arrangements and bill pay assistance.

“We are committed to supporting the communities and customers that we serve to ensure our customers have access to clean potable water,” said Steve Lubertozzi, President of Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. “Also, we are offering extended Deferred Payment Arrangements for customers impacted by COVID-19 and waiving any reconnection fees for certain customers.”

The ICC press release can be found here.


The decisions we're making today.

May 12, 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we as individuals, organizations, and communities will have important decisions to make. Decisions that affect us all. 

We responded quickly to the crisis, putting the safety of our customers and employees first. We determined early on that our decisions would be guided by scientific and medical facts, and our actions would be cautious and measured. And when in doubt, we would always err on the side of safety. 

The decision to stay the course... for now.


Based on those principles, we began working remotely, adopted physical distancing schedules for our operators and took other measures to protect everyone.

Those guiding principles remain firmly in place, but we recognize and appreciate the desire to begin opening our economies. We feel it too. And, as things begin to return to normal, please understand that we’ll continue to operate remotely and take precautions to protect you and our employees.

That decision is supported by the knowledge that all our systems continue to function normally, and all necessary maintenance is being done. More importantly, we believe we’re well prepared to continue providing those essential water, wastewater, and energy services you rely on, as we work through this crisis.

The decision to stay safe.


While our services continue to function normally, our employees, like so many, are adapting to the new "not normal." For now, all our employees will continue to work remotely; they will observe physical distancing; and they’ll use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in field and plant work.

For customers, this means we’ll continue our policy of suspending the disconnection of services and late fees; our offices will remain closed; and our staff will continue to observe physical distancing protocols when performing meter reads and maintenance in your area. We’ll keep you informed as the situation evolves.




As Patty Potty says, “those so-called ‘flushable’ wipes might flush down, but they sure don’t flush out, honey.”



We are taking appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. We're committed to this unprecedented global effort and implore you do your part as well. If you require additional information, please contact us!  Thank you!

Important Flushing Notice

Apr 30, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our customers may have temporarily closed businesses, churches, school buildings, or a vacation rental/home. Water that is held in unused pipes while the buildings are closed can become stagnant, and since stagnant water is a potential health risk and can impact water quality, it is necessary to systematically flush your plumbing.

These instructions will help by providing a systematic approach on how to do a complete flush.

Thorough flushing includes operating all sink, tub, shower, and toilet fixtures. Safety equipment, such as eye washes, safety showers, and fire sprinkler systems may also require assessment and necessary maintenance.

Water features inside and outside buildings, hot tubs/spas, and cooling towers also can require attention. Please keep this information available when you start the process of reopening once it is safe to do so.

NOTE: Some buildings have water treatment systems and all those treatment devices   need to be cleaned, flushed and maintained as part of the starting up process.
After flushing, your water filters need to be replaced. If you have any point of entry water treatment system such as a water softener or filter, please refer to the instruction manual for replacement of the filter.

Flushing Instructions

Please complete the following steps in the order set out below. Finish each step completely before moving on to the next step. 

  • Flush ALL cold-water taps for at least 5 minutes
    Begin the cold-water flushing, open ALL of the cold-water fixtures, flush each toilet at least one time. Run all cold-water fixtures for at least five minutes. Shut water off after five minutes. This does include the water in your refrigerator water dispenser.
    Flushing should begin at the water service entrance and proceed through the building to the end points of the plumbing system in the building(s). Depending on flow and pressure you may need to increase the flushing time to ensure all the stagnant water has been flushed.
  • Flush ALL hot water taps for 15 minutes
    Once the cold-water lines have been flushed begin the hot water flushing procedure by opening the hot water taps in your bathroom(s). Open ALL hot water taps including lavatory (sink) fixtures, hot water bath fixtures, and any other hot water fixtures, such as kitchens, wet bars, etc.
    Run these hot water fixtures for at least 15 minutes. Shut water off after 15 minutes. Depending on the size of the hot water tank you may need to flush longer to ensure the water in the tank has drained and fresh water has refilled the tank. These steps should be effective at removing contaminants from the water heater. However, for information on draining and cleaning the water heater please consult the manufacturer.
  • Flush ALL remaining Appliances and Faucets
    Open any remaining fixtures such as hose bibs, external faucets or fixtures not used for drinking for at least five minutes to finish the plumbing system flushing. Take additional steps to remove water from other appliances. This includes:
    • Ice Makers • Dishwashers • Washing Machines • Humidifiers • CPAP Machines
    • Oral, Medical or Health Care Devices • Baby Formula • Water Filters • Water Softeners • Filters, point of use and whole house
    Remove ice from ice maker bin and discard 2 additional batches of ice. Run empty dishwasher and washing machine once on rinse cycle.
  • Ongoing flushes
    Periodic flushing is important to improve the water quality. Full building ongoing flushes proceed the same as the initial flush except water tanks do not need to be drained and hot water flushing times are the same as cold water flushing times.

It is a good idea during this flushing time if you have chlorinated water to measure chlorine residual.

Discoloration may occur during flushing; this is expected and not a health issue.  Any lingering smell, which is expected, is not a health issue.  During the initial flushing, it is a good concept to wear protective respiratory equipment.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has very detailed information on reactivating plumbing systems after dormant conditions on its website at the link below:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html.

Thank you!

COVID-19: An update on your water and wastewater services

Apr 10, 2020
Our employees work every day to provide our communities with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. In the face of COVID-19, that commitment has never been stronger.
 
“Our employees take great pride in providing essential utility services to our customers during these unprecedented times.”
Catherine Heigel, EVP & COO Corix Regulated Utilities
 
We’re also committed to keeping you continually informed of our efforts—and how you can help us, and your community, get through this together.
Please observe Physical Distancing
 
Our field employees continue to perform meter reads and maintenance in your area, while practicing mandatory Physical Distancing (min. 2m/6ft). If you see someone working in your neighborhood, please extend the same consideration—for everyone’s safety.
 
Billing considerations
 
We realize many customers are facing unexpected financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. As announced March 10, we have suspended late fee payments and disconnections for nonpayment.
 
In the meantime, we encourage all customers to stay as current as possible with bill payments, to avoid large balances that may be harder to manage later.
Scammers are still in business
 
A particularly ugly side of this crisis is scammers taking advantage of people when they’re most vulnerable. Please be extra vigilant for these phone, email, and online scams.
 
Disconnection Threat
Never respond to a threat to disconnect your services. Disconnections have been suspended for the time being.
 
Requested Payment
Never respond to an urgent request for payment, or purchase of a prepaid debit card. Our trusted payment options remain unchanged.
 
Personal Information
Never provide personal information to someone claiming to be from a utility company. We would never request this by email or online form.
 
And while Physical Distancing should be your primary concern when allowing anyone into your home, if one of our field employees needs access to your water meter, they will first show you their company identification.
 
If you have any doubts whatsoever about the legitimacy of a phone call, email, or service visit—STOP—hang-up, delete the email, and contact Customer Care directly to report your concerns.
 
Patty Potty says ‘this ain’t no time for nasty plumbing’
 
Keep using those sanitary wipes, but PLEASE put them in the trash, NOT down the toilet.
patty-do-not-flush-horz
Customer Care
 
Our Customer Care staff are ready by email or phone to answer any questions about your utility services. You may experience longer hold times as we help other customers, and we appreciate your patience.
 
We’re taking appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.  We’re committed to this unprecedented global effort and implore you do your part as well. If you require more information, please contact Customer Care.
 
Thank you.



COVID-19 Preparedness Response

Mar 23, 2020

UPDATED 4/3

*Important*

On March 10, 2020, the Company announced its decision to suspend water and wastewater service disconnection in order to provide critical sanitation and potable water services for all customers during this public health event.

This moratorium should remain in place until May 1, 2020, or until the Governor announces the end of the COVID-19 state of a public health emergency, should the state of emergency remain in effect past May 1, 2020. In conjunction with this decision, customers who recently have been disconnected for nonpayment were reconnected at no charge, at their election, and collection of any outstanding balances and late fees will be suspended during this time.

Also, we are trying to avoid temporary interruptions of service do to planned or unplanned work in your area. We are also waiving late payment charges and returned check fees, and have been in regular communication with the Illinois Commerce Commission advising them of the steps we have taken to date and our plans for the future.

Please adhere to the social distancing recommendation issued by healthcare experts and refrain from approaching our employees while they are working out working on the system.


************************

At the Corix Group of Companies, which includes Utility Services of Illinois, Inc., the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities is our top priority. This commitment guides our efforts to mitigate any public health or business impacts the COVID-19 outbreak may cause as we continue to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services.

Core to our COVID-19 response is the creation of a company-wide Incident Command Task Force, charged with planning and executing the recommendations, actions, and protocols below. As this is an evolving situation, please continue to refer to this webpage for updates.

COVID-19 and Water and Wastewater

We are continually monitoring and following directives from primary public health authorities – the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – for any new guidance on water and wastewater treatment protocols. These authorities have declared:

 •  A source of clean, reliable water for drinking and personal hygiene is considered a fundamental necessity in the fight against COVID-19.
 •  According the World Health Organization(WHO) there is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water or sewage.
 •  Water treatment and handling protocols used in North American water and wastewater plants are highly effective against biological pathogens. 

For further information about COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater, please refer to this statement from the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

Our Water Treatment Protocols

 •  All our systems are regulated by state, provincial, and/or federal water agencies. We continually meet or exceed established regulatory requirements with regards to water treatment and testing.
 •  Most of our systems source their water from deep underground wells.
 •  We use treatment protocols (including filtration and chemicals, such as chlorine, if required) to address any pathogens present in source water before it is distributed to customers.
 •  Our systems operators and field workers follow strict protocols in their operation of water and wastewater systems. This includes the mandatory use of protective gear and clothing, which is highly effective against the transmission of water-borne pathogens.

Company-Wide Actions

Our Incident Command Task Force has mandated the following company-wide actions:

 • Suspension of Customer Disconnections and Late Fees
In recognition of the essential services we provide, we have suspended disconnection and late fees as of March 10, 2020. Release here.

 • Remote Work
Remote work has been identified as core to the company’s Social Distancing practices, and all staff able to work remotely are doing so as of March 16, 2020.

 • Customer Contact Centers
Our customer contact centers are fully operational, but longer than normal hold times may occur during the current conditions. Please bear with us as we work through all inquiries. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation.

 • Office Closures
We remain fully operational and performing routine maintenance to ensure our systems are functioning normally, however, all our offices are closed until at least March 30, 2020. If you need to deliver something to one of our offices, please call/email first to arrange delivery or make alternate arrangements.

 • Facility Emergency Action Plans
We are reviewing and updating our Emergency Action Plans to ensure appropriate measures are taken to safeguard employees and customers should one of our employees test positive for COVID-19. No infections have been reported to date.

 • Critical Inventories and Spare Parts
Chemicals and critical spare parts inventories are being assessed to ensure supplies are on-hand to maintain essential business operations.

 • Staffing Continuity
Essential job functions are being identified to prepare for potential large-scale absenteeism in our workplace.

 • Business Travel
We have suspended all business travel until further notice. This suspension does not include essential operational and field activities that can be performed using recommended social distancing measures and established workplace health and safety protocols.

 • Resource Sharing with other Water Service Providers
We have been reaching out to neighboring private and public water services, to recommend system operator and field technician sharing assistance should either become subject to staffing shortages.

The Corix Group of Companies takes pride in providing the communities we serve with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. We are taking the appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts the COVID-19 on our employees and customers. We are committed to the global effort to protect public health and ask that you do your part as well. Thank you.

Should you require more information regarding this notice, please reach out to us via phone at (800) 831-2359 or via e-mail at customerservice@uiwater.com 

 

Please Minimize Contact with Utility Workers amid COVID-19 Concerns

Mar 19, 2020

In an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is asking consumers to minimize contact with utility workers who are working in their neighborhoods.

"As a means to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19, please minimize any contact with utility workers who might come to your home or the home of a neighbor while attempting to service meters,” said ICC Chairman Carrie Zalewski. “Governor Pritzker and the ICC have asked the utilities to stop disconnections at this time. Utility workers may need access to ensure that citizens receive continuous services throughout the Public Health Emergency. Rather than confront the utility worker with your questions or concerns, it would be safer to call the utility or contact the utility through mail or electronic means. If you are a consumer who needs help resolving a utility dispute, you may also call the ICC or file an online complaint.”

We urge everyone to observe the social distancing protocols recommended by the CDC when interaction is necessary.

The ICC is in  daily contact with representatives from each of the electric, natural gas, water and wastewater utilities regulated by the agency in order to keep abreast of issues that may arise during the COVID-19 outbreak. A re-occurring concern heard on the calls by the utilities is with so many people staying home, there has been unusually high engagement and close contact with consumers outside the affected customer (e.g.,family members, neighbors, etc.) while attempting to install services, service meters or perform other essential work at customer homes.

If you are a consumer with a utility complaint, you are encouraged to file complaints online at https://www.icc.illinois.gov/complaints/ or by mail to the Illinois Commerce Commission, 527 E.Capitol Ave., Springfield, IL 62701.

Until further notice, direct access to the Illinois Commerce Commission’s Consumer Services Division (CSD) utility dispute line 1-800-524-0795 will be available,but with limitations. We ask for your patience during this time.

Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. Announces Suspension of Water Service Shutoffs

Mar 17, 2020

Delinquent Accounts Will Not Be Cut and Suspended Accounts Restored


Chicago, IL:
Steve Lubertozzi, President of Utility Services of Illinois, Inc., has announced that the company will be suspending water service shutoffs for delinquent payments in all its service territory effective immediately. Additionally, the company will begin reconnecting service to those customers who are currently not receiving service due to lack of payment on delinquent accounts.

“As a public utility, we understand our obligations to the communities we serve including the personal safety of our neighbors through personal sanitation,” said Lubertozzi. “We know that safe and reliable water and wastewater services are vital for hand washing, surface cleaning, and all other measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”

Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. customers impacted by this decision will be notified as quickly as possible and reconnections will begin promptly. Lubertozzi indicated that the policy will remain in effect until at least March 30 and will be reevaluated at that time considering the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.  Customers who are behind on their bills are encouraged to bring them current or discuss their options with customer service as the suspension of shutoffs is only temporary. 

“Maintaining service to our customers is a simple decision for us as we encourage everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to protect themselves and their families,” Lubertozzi added. 


Utility Services of Illinois

No Wipes in the Pipes!

Mar 15, 2020

Disinfectant wet wipes, paper towels and toilet paper are flying off the shelves. These products help keep us clean and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But when we remember that products like baby wipes and wet wipes are not as “flushable” as typically advertised, it’s no surprise that we’re now at a greater risk for sewer blockages in our communities.

If TP isn’t available, it’s easy to reach for an alternative – but keep in mind these wipes need to stay out of our pipes, period. Keep a bin next to the toilet for disposal! Wet wipes belong in the trash with the baby's diaper and other used hygiene products.

When “flushable” wipes enter your plumbing system, they don’t disintegrate like regular ol’ toilet paper. They often hold together better than a paper towel and they require more water to travel the distance from inside your house to the buried sewer lines outside. At some point in this journey, you’re going to get a clog! If wipes survive the trip to the wastewater plant, they just clog up the giant pumps there, creating even bigger problems.

So now that we’re never flushing our wet wipes again, are you wondering what else doesn’t belong down the drain? Read this quick list of items we’re all guilty of tossing… Now here’s to helping our pipes stay clog-free.

  1. Q-Tips and cotton balls – They will never disintegrate like TP, so don’t flush ‘em.
  2. Feminine hygiene products – Pads and tampons are meant to absorb liquids, not break down in them. They are never safe to flush.
  3. Dental floss – Floss might look harmless, but this stuff is tough. It can create a net when it’s swishing around in your pipes and wrap around parts of your septic system, even burning out the motor.
  4. Diapers – No no no no no! Diaper pails exist for a reason.
  5. Condoms – They’re designed to never break down in water. Put it in the trash.
  6. Medication – Toilet water doesn’t break down the prescription drugs you flush, meaning that whatever you’re taking will end up in the environment. Throw into the trash or return it to a pharmacy.
  7. Kitty Litter – Some cat litter brands advertise as being flushable, but don’t believe the hype. All it does is make water more difficult to purify on the other end.
  8. Cigarettes – Ciggie butts are full of chemicals! Don’t smoke them and don’t flush them.
  9. Hair – When flushed, hair acts like dental floss and creates a net that gets caught on everything. Plus, it never dissolves in water, no matter how long its there.
  10. Bleach – It’s too harsh of a chemical to use as a part of your routine cleaning, try getting toilet stains out with vinegar instead.

And of course, no fats, oils or grease, either! But more on that later.


How to Read Your Water Meter and Check for Leaks

Feb 26, 2020

Hello, and welcome to our video series designed to assist you in reading your water meter and checking your home for leaks.

A water meter is a device that measures the volume of water delivered to a property. If you know how to read your water meter, you can find out how much water your family typically uses, and if there are any leaks in your home. 

Please watch our videos below and feel free to share!







Statement Regarding PFOA/PFOS

Dec 12, 2019
At Utility Services of Illinois, Inc. we are committed to providing safe, reliable and cost-effective water and wastewater services that ensure the ongoing health and safety of every community we serve. Ongoing industry-standard testing of our processes and products helps us meet that goal.

Results of the regular testing required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulatory agencies are made available to customers each year in Consumer Confidence Reports found on our website. Each of our systems publish test results with comparisons to the EPA established Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) standards. We are proud of our record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations to date and intend to keep that record intact.

Two compounds that are not currently regulated by the EPA, PFOA and PFOS, compounds created in the 1930s and used widely in consumer and commercial applications (e.g., Teflon), are among a class of synthetic chemicals (known as perfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS) that accumulate over time in the environment and our bodies. Studies are ongoing regarding the potential contaminative effect of these chemicals. We are taking proactive steps to address the issues surrounding them in anticipation of new regulations at the federal and/or state level.

These steps begin with an evaluation of all systems of greatest potential impact and an immediate plan for the best way forward. This plan includes:

  • Evaluating the use of various raw water sources required to meet volume demands coupled with additional steps to understand the relative importance of each source in overall system operation;
  • Making prudent capital investments as necessary;
  • Reviewing and evaluating related operational expenses where necessary; and
  • Modifying or removing sources of raw water supply.

Developing this plan for all our systems is ongoing and complex, necessitating coordination with various local, state and federal stakeholders. While we believe the costs of any remediation actions should be borne by the polluters, we are committed to addressing the issue proactively and look forward to the EPA and state agencies issuing clear and firm guidance that allows us to target our activity.

Our goal is to maximize the use of our resources to the greatest benefit of the communities we serve in the most cost-effective manner possible while ensuring the delivery of safe and reliable service to all our customers.  

For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas



The Veins of America -

Aug 05, 2019
A stunning new map shows the complex network of rivers and streams in the contiguous United States.

Created by a geographer and GIS analyst with a ‘lifelong passion for beautiful maps,’ it highlights the massive expanse of river basins across the country.

Click to view all maps here. 

River basins

The longest river on the map is the Missouri at 4088 kilometres. 

But the biggest in terms of water volume is the Mississippi, which is deeper.

At 1114 kilometres, the Yellowstone is the longest un-dammed river in the US. 

The veins of America: Stunning map shows every river basin in the US 

How to Find and Fix Household Leaks

Mar 18, 2019

faucet

Did you know that an average household's plumbing leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water being wasted each year? This adds up to almost 1 trillion gallons of water being wasted annually nationwide! Easy-to-fix leaks around your house could be wasting 90 gallons of water or more, every day.

Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. So how do you know if your home hides costly and wasteful leaks? Here's a list of tips from the EPA.

1. Check your utility bill: Try examining your utility bill for January or February. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 10,000 gallons (or 13.4 CCF) per month. You can also look for spikes - is your water use a lot higher this month than it was last month?

2. Read your water meter: Find your water meter, which is usually near the curb in front of your home but can be inside your home (e.g., in the basement) in cold climates. Use a screwdriver to remove the lid on your meter, which is heavy and usually marked “water.” Now that you’ve found the meter, take a reading during a period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same after two hours, you probably have a leak.

3. Test your toilet: Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining, and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.

4. Water world: Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks. Another telltale sign of a leak is decreased or inconsistent water pressure. If you notice a problem with your faucets, call a plumber.

5. Pipe problems: The pipes that deliver your water are a common source of leaks. If you own an older home, it is more likely to have plumbing problems. Replace galvanized pipes with plastic if possible, and insulate exposed pipes and those in the attic or basement if possible. Pipes can break or crack with age, pressure, or freezing.

Leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Adding new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances will help further improve your home's water usage.

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Prevent Frozen Pipes! Winter Weather Tips

Dec 06, 2018


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Winter weather brings icy winds and dipping temperatures which can do a lot of damage to your home by freezing pipes and leaving you without flowing water.

There are many precautions you can take now to help you avoid the expense and inconvenience of frozen pipes during an extended cold spell.

Before Freezing Weather
1. Disconnect and drain hoses from outside faucets. If your home has a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets (usually located in the basement or crawl space) then use it to shut the water off to your outside faucets. Then go outside and turn on the faucets to drain water from the line. If your home does not have a separate shut-off valve for outside faucets, then wrap each outside faucet with insulation or newspaper.

2. Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas such as the garage, crawl space, or attic. Check with your local home improvement store for which materials to use to insulate your pipes.

3. Show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of emergencies. The main shut-off valve is often located near the water heater or the washing machine. If a pipe bursts anywhere in the house – kitchen, bath, basement, or crawl space – this valve turns it off.

4. Turn off and drain irrigation systems and backflow devices. Wrap backflow devices with insulating material.

5. Cover foundation vents with foam blocks, thickly folded newspaper, or cardboard.

During Freezing Weather
1. Leave the heat on at least 55 degrees and open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.

2. Temporarily, keep a steady drip of cold water at an inside faucet farthest from the meter. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze.

3. If you are away for any length of time, you may consider shutting off your home’s water to reduce the chances of frozen or broken pipes. Contact your water provider for more information on how to do this.

4. Have your plumber and water provider’s telephone number handy. During an extended cold spell, your pipes might freeze despite the best precautions.

If Your Pipes Freeze
1. Determine which pipe(s) are frozen. If some faucets work but others don’t, that means pipes inside your home are likely frozen. If none of your faucets work, there may be a problem at the street – contact your water provider.

2. Find the frozen pipe(s) and attempt to thaw them with a hair dryer using a low setting. Wave the hair dryer back and forth along the frozen area. NEVER thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

3. Shut off water and power (or gas) to the water heater if you have a leak or a broken pipe. Contact your water provider if you are unable to find the shut-off valve or the valve doesn’t work. Check with a plumber or home improvement store for leak repair supplies and information.


#ClickClean and Choose Paperless Billing

Aug 10, 2018

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Get rid of paper clutter. Switch to Paperless Billing.

Paperless billing is the easy, secure way to view your bill. The option for free Paperless Billing will email your full viewable invoice directly to you on the date the bill is issued, instead of through the mail. 

If you are interested in free Paperless Billing, please sign up thru your Online Account Access or contact Customer Service.

Phone: (800) 831-2359
Fax: (866) 842-8348
Email: customerservice@uiwater.com
Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm Central

 


Fix a Leak Every Week

Aug 10, 2018


Take the 10 Minute WaterSense Challenge and use the checklist to detect and chase down leaks. Many common household leaks are quick to find and easy to fix - worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking showerheads all are easily correctable and can save on your utility bill expenses and water in your community. 

Visit our Water Conservation page for more tips to help cut back on water waste. 

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