FAQs

When do you open the Highland Park Water Tower to visitors?

The Highland Tower was open from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, July 20 - 21, 2019.
It will be open again from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, on October 12 - 13, 2019.
 

Every year, the summer open house is held in conjunction with Highland Fest, usually the third weekend in July.
The second open house is timed to offer a view of the fall colors, usually the second weekend in October. 

The Highland Tower is at the intersection of Ford Parkway and Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul.

View the Highland Tower Video Tour (3:52)

How do I get the water bill in my name?

Contact customer service at 651-266-6350 and they will assist you.

Where is my water meter, and how do I read it?

Your meter is inside your house, about one foot off of your basement floor. It could also be in a crawl space, pit in the floor, or utility room. It is not outside. The water usually comes in from the street side of the house. The meter sits on a water pipe that comes through the floor. The head of the meter is about three inches in diameter. 
 

Learn How to Read Your Water Meter  (PDF - 508KB)

How do I determine if I have a toilet leak?

Toilet leaks are leaks in which water from the tank seeps into the toilet bowl. From there, the water goes into the sewer. If you can hear the toilet running or need to jiggle the handle to get it to stop running after you flush, you have a toilet leak.

Sometimes you cannot hear leaks. To determine if you have a leak, place a dye tablet or food coloring into the tank and do not flush the toilet for about a half an hour. If the dye coloring has seeped into the bowl from the tank, the flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. Local hardware stores carry new flappers, complete with installation instructions.

Learn More About Finding Toilet Leaks

When my water first comes out of the tap, it looks cloudy, but then clears up. Should I be concerned?

The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and are gone. This type of cloudiness occurs most often in the winter, when the drinking water is cold.

How much should I expect my water bill to be per quarter?

Your water bill consists of water and sewer usage charges measured by unit (a unit is 100 cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons). In Saint Paul, your bill also includes a water service base fee (based on water meter size), a main replacement surcharge, and a right-of-way (ROW) fee.

Depending on where you live, other municipalities may include charges for storm water management or storm sewers, sanitary sewers, recycling, street lighting, water/hydrant charges, or other surcharges.
These charges are determined by each individual city council, and questions about these rates can be addressed by the city in which you live. Their phone number appears on the back of your bill.
Please check your bill for information on water and sewer rates if you live in one of the other cities we serve.

The Minnesota Department of Health via the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires we charge 53 cents per month, or $1.59 per quarter for testing public water supplies.

See an Explanation of Water Charges

What is typical water usage?

On average, a family of four uses about 17 units per 91-day billing cycle. One unit is equal to 748 gallons.

Why am I being charged a $1.59 fee?

This is the Safe Drinking Water Act fee. Saint Paul Regional Water Services is directed by the State of Minnesota Department of Health to test all drinking water in the state, mandated as part of the Phase V of the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act. The act mandates a charge of 53 cents per month ($1.59 per quarter).

Why is my bill so high?

Water bills are based on how much water is used. Watering the lawn or garden will increase usage, as will the addition of occupants in the home. A leak will also increase your water bill. 
If you look at your line items, you will see that communities that we serve add their own charges specific to that city. Nearly all communities add sanitary sewer charges. Some add storm sewer charges, recycling fees, hydrant charges, or street lighting fees. These are determined by each city we serve. These costs are not related to water use, but other services your city provides.

I can't pay my entire bill. Will my water be shut off?

Not necessarily. We always work hard with our customers to avoid termination of water service. If you cannot pay your bill, or can only pay part of it, please call customer service at 651-266-6350, and request a credit arrangement for payment of your bill.

How can I conserve more water?

View this helpful brochure from SPRWS to learn tips for conserving water in your everyday life!

How do I get my account set up for automatic payments?

Complete the automatic bill payment application (PDF - 300KB; hard copies available by request) and return it to SPRWS. The balance on the account needs to be zero before we can set up automatic payments.

I'm moving, what do I need to do?

Get a reading from the meter on the day of the move. Call customer service to set up or close an account. More information available on our moving page.

How I set up an online account?

Register on our bill pay site using your customer and account numbers.

When is my payment due?

The due date is 15 days after the billing date.

Why is there a "balance transfer" on my first bill?

Water bills are liens against the property, not the person (per Minnesota law). Any dollar amount owed by the previous owner will be moved to the new owner's account. Most of the time, these amounts are collected at closing - check with the closing company and/or realtor. If the balance isn't paid by the previous owner, the new owner is responsible.

How do I have my water tested for lead?

Free lead testing is offered to SPRWS customers. Pick up a bottle from the SPRWS front desk (8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday, 1900 Rice Street, Saint Paul MN 55113), follow the instructions at home, and return it.

There are blue paint / flags near my property - why?

SPRWS marks boulevards and streets with paint and flags in response to Gopher State One Call locate requests. This does not necessarily mean construction work will be performed. Contact Gopher State One Call (via phone at 811) for more information.