Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is my water bill high?
On average, each person uses 90 gallons of water per day. To calculate your average household usage, multiply the amount of residents in your house by 90 and then multiply that number by the amount of days in your billing cycle. You may expect an above-average usage if you have a pool or hot tub, irrigate your lawn or pressure clean frequently.
- Who is HRUBS?
HRUBS is a cost effective billing service provided by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) that bills JCSA customers for their water, sewer and HRSD charges. This cooperative agreement allows customers to receive one combined bill for water, sewer and sewer treatment charges Commercial and Residential Customers are billed monthly. James City County's Newport News Water Works customers receive their water bill separate from their sewer and sewer treatment bill and are billed monthly.
- How do I stop or start water/sewer service?
There are several options to stop or start service:
- Contact a Customer Service Representative by calling 757-253-6800.
- Visit our Full Service Customer Service window located at 119 Tewning Road, Williamsburg, VA.
- Fill out our Apply or Stop Water and/or Sewer Service Form and submit online.
- How do I check for leaks?
Every connection in your waterline has the potential for a leak, especially if pipes are old or exposed to freezing temperatures. Pipes that are located in vanities or cupboards under sinks should be checked periodically for leaks. Supply lines to toilets should be checked for water dripping at the connection to the tank. If crawl spaces are accessible, you can check for pooling water under your house indicating a possible leak. Not all drips are indications of a leak, condensation may form on cold water supply lines.
Faucets: Most leaks result from worn washers which allow faucets to drip or leak. Faucets, as well as hose bibbs or seldom used taps in crawl spaces or basements, should be checked periodically.
Toilets: Flappers that are worn and do not close properly will allow for water to leak unnecessarily into the toilet bowl. Usually you will hear the water trickling intermittently from the tank to the bowl. If you do not hear water leaking, you can test the flapper by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait for about 20 minutes without flushing. If the food coloring appears in the bowl, then your toilet has a silent leak.
- How do I change my billing information?
If you are relocating and need to cancel or start your water or sewer service, call our Customer Service at 757-253-6800 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Why is my water discolored?
Reddish/yellow or orange water is most likely the result of sediment being stirred up due to high water demands, waterline breaks/repairs or the operation of fire hydrants.
A milky or whitish discoloration is the result of air that has been introduced into the system either through water line breaks/repairs or that has naturally come out of solution.
If you have discolored water, call our Operations at 757-229-7421 and we will send a field technician to investigate and institute water flushing if necessary. If the water does not look safe to drink seek alternative drinking water until the issue is addressed by the JCSA.
- Why do I have stains or mineral deposits from the water?
Deposits and stains are the results of naturally occurring minerals in our water. Although these minerals are in trace amounts, over time they can leave deposits on fixtures, toilets, sinks and tubs. Applying a commercial car wax so that the water runs off the fixtures and cleaning fixtures regularly will go a long way to reducing the deposits. Do not allow the water to evaporate leaving the minerals behind. Products found at hardware and grocery stores that are advertised as hardness stain removers are effective. A home treatment system like a water softener or reverse osmosis will remove the minerals that cause these stains, but water softeners can increase sodium levels. Stains and deposits do not mean that your water is not safe to drink.
- Why do I have a bad taste and/or odor in my water?
We introduced chlorine as a disinfectant into the water system to meet state and federal Regulations. People not accustomed to chlorinated water may be more sensitive to the odor.
Hydrogen sulfide, which causes a sulfur taste/odor is naturally occurring in our groundwater. Chlorine usually eliminates the hydrogen sulfide. However, trace amounts may still be present in the water. Hydrogen sulfide tends to come out of solution over time and migrate to high points and dead-ends in the water system. Hydrogen sulfide can also be the result of anodes found in your hot water heater. If the chlorine or sulfur odor/taste is unacceptable to you, there are home treatment systems such as a granular activated carbon that will help remove taste and odors. Since these systems remove chlorine, they must be properly maintained to prevent bacteria growth. If taste and odors are abnormal, call Operations at 757-229-7421 and we will send a field technician to investigate.
- Why do I have low water pressure?
Are you experiencing low water pressure throughout your whole house or is it just in 1 faucet? If you are experiencing low water pressure or volume throughout the household, contact our Operations at 757-229-7421 and we will check the pressure at the water meter coming into your service line. If your entire home has low pressure, we could be experiencing high water demands or a water line break. If, however, the pressure or volume varies throughout the household, the problem is localized to the immediate residence and may require a plumber to rectify the situation.
- How can I prevent my pipes from freezing?
Prevent frozen water pipes and breaks in your home during freezing temperatures by following these preparedness tips:
- Let water drip from a fixture that is the furthest away from the water supply line.
- Leave cabinet doors open under the sinks so heat from the room reaches the pipes.
- Make sure the water is turned off to outside spigots, remove any hoses or attachments and cover the spigot.
- Locate your emergency water shut-off valve in case a water pipe freezes and breaks.
For more information on preventing frozen pipes, please visit our informational page.