Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Is my drinking water safe?

    Yes, The City of Clearwater's drinking water meets or exceeds all Federal Water Quality Regulations.

  • I have questions about my utility bill. Who do I call?

    You can call (727) 562-4600 or come by in-person to our Utility Customer Service Department at 100 S. Myrtle Ave., Clearwater, FL, 33756.

  • Why is my water discolored?

    Water supplied by the city of Clearwater's Public Utilities Department meets existing state and federal water quality standards. Occasionally, water may become discolored due to main flushing, dead-end lines, repairs, etc. Call (727) 562-4600 for assistance during working hours, or call the after-hours emergency dispatch number at (727) 462-6633.

  • Why do I have low water pressure?

    Low water pressure may occur for several reasons, frequently in the customer's own system, such as leaks, closed house valve, water softener/conditioner, etc. It also could be caused by a water main break in the area. Call (727) 562-4600 for assistance.

  • I've found a leak in my city water service. What should I do?

    Water division employees maintain water mains and service lines up to the outlet (customer side) of the meter. To report water leaks, call Utility Customer Service (727) 562-4600, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All other times, please call emergency dispatch at (727) 462-6633.

  • How do I get a water meter installed?

    You can call (727) 562-4600 or come by in person to our Utility Customer Service Department at 100 S. Myrtle Ave., Clearwater, FL, 33756.

  • What is a backflow device, and why do I need one?

    A backflow device stops water from traveling backwards, caused by Backpressure (higher pressure on the customer side of the meter) or Backsiphonage (low pressure on the City side of the meter). Backflow devices are required by City Ordinance and Federal regulation where a potential hazard exists (on the customer side of the meter) which could cause contaminants to come into contact with the city water supply. Some examples of potential hazards are: chemical injection, chemical manufacturing and handling, gasoline storage, exterminators, food preparation, automatic car washes, greenhouses and nurseries, laboratories, irrigation systems, swimming pools, but there are many more not listed here.

  • Who owns and maintains backflow devices?

    All backflow devices are installed, owned and maintained by the City of Clearwater. They are tested and certified annually by City of Clearwater Personnel.

  • A sanitary lift station has a flashing red light or an alarm ringing. What should I do?

    For sanitary lift stations that have a red light flashing or an alarm bell sounding, please call (727) 562-4960, ext. 7228, between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All other times, please call (727) 462-6633.

  • My sewer is stopped up. What should I do?

    First, call a plumber, who will diagnose the problem. If the problem is between the roadway and your house, the plumber will make the necessary repair. If the problem is found to be in the mainline or the service lateral from the main line to the edge of the roadway, your plumber should call Public Utilities, Wastewater Collections Department at (727) 562-4960 ext. 7228, between 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday. After hours, call (727) 462-6633. We will dispatch a truck to investigate and clean out or repair the main wastewater line or service lateral as needed.

  • A sanitary sewer manhole is overflowing. What should I do?

    Contact the City by calling (727) 562-4960, ext. 7228 between 7:00 am and 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. All other times, please call (727) 462-6633. The City will dispatch a crew to correct the problem.

  • Is sanitary sewer available to my property?

    Contact the City's Engineering Department at (727) 562-4747.

  • Why is grease a problem?

    Grease is singled out for special attention because of its poor solubility in water and its tendency to separates from the liquid solution.

    Oil and grease in the wastewater cause trouble in the collection system pipes. It decreases pipe capacity and, therefore requires that piping systems be cleaned more often and/or some piping to be replaced sooner that otherwise expected. Oil and grease also hamper effective treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.

    Problems caused by wastes from restaurants and other grease-producing establishments have served as the basis for ordinances and regulations governing the discharge of grease materials to the sanitary sewer system. This type of waste has forced the requirement of the installation of preliminary treatment facilities, commonly known as grease traps or interceptors.

  • What is a grease trap and how does it work?

    A trap is a small reservoir built into the wastewater piping a short distance from the grease producing area. Baffles in the reservoir retain the wastewater long enough for the grease to coagulate and rise to the surface. The grease can then be removed and disposed properly.

  • What is a grease trap interceptor?

    An interceptor is a vault with a minimum capacity of 750 gallons that is located on the exterior of the building. The vault includes a minimum of two compartments, and flow between each compartment is through a 90° fitting designed for grease retention. The capacity of the interceptor provides adequate residence time so that the wastewater has time to cool, allowing any remaining grease not collected by the traps time to coagulates and rise to the surface where it accumulates until the interceptor is cleaned.

  • How often should a grease trap be cleaned?

    Undersink grease waste interceptors shall be monitored by the food service facility at least once per week. Removal of grease waste and sediments is required when operational capacity is reduced to 80% or less.

    In ground grease waste interceptors shall be pumped at a frequency that maintains a grease and oil layer of less than 6 inches on the top of the grease waste interceptor and a solids layer of less than 8 inches on bottom of the grease waste interceptor. The measurement point for determination of the grease and solids layer shall be adjacent to the outlet pipe.

  • Does my facility need a grease trap?

    Grease trap interceptors shall be required at all food service facilities in Clearwater if grease waste is produced in quantities that could otherwise cause line stoppage or hinder grease waste disposal as determined by the administrator. All fixtures within such food service facility which may introduce fats, oil or grease into the wastewater collection system must be connected through the grease waste interceptor, including sinks, dishwashers, automatic food wash units, floor drains in food preparation and storage areas, and any other fixture which is determined by the administrator to be a source of fats, oil or grease. In no case shall grease waste be introduced into the wastewater collection system.

  • Under what Statutory Authority is the Pretreatment Program Administered?

    The National Pretreatment Program's authority comes from section 307 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (more commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act). The federal government's role in pretreatment began with the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. The Act called for EPA to develop national pretreatment standards to control industrial discharges into sewerage systems.

  • Are there any prescribed National Standards for Pretreatment?

    There are two sets of standards: "categorical Pretreatment Standards" and "Prohibited Discharge Standards." These are uniform national requirements that restrict the level of pollutants that may be discharged by nondomestic sources to sanitary sewer systems. All POTWs that are required to implement a Pretreatment Program must enforce the federal standards.

  • What are Categorical Pretreatment Standards?

    These are technology-based limitations on pollutant discharges to POTWs promulgated by EPA in accordance with Section 307 of the Clean Water Act that apply to specified process wastewaters of particular industrial categories [see 40 CFR 403.6 and 40 CFR Parts 405- 471]. Go to http://www.epa.gov/ost/guide/ and NPDES Regulations for more information.

  • What are Prohibited Discharge Standards?

    These are standards that prohibit the discharge of wastes that pass through or interfere with POTW operations (including sludge management). These are the general prohibitions. There are also specific prohibitions that prohibit the discharge from all nondomestic sources certain types of wastes that

    1. create a fire or explosion hazard in the collection system or treatment plant,
    2. are corrosive, including any discharge with a pH less than 5.5, unless the POTW is specifically designed to handle such wastes,
    3. are solid or viscous pollutants in amounts that will obstruct the flow in the collection system and treatment plant, resulting in interference with operations,
    4. any pollutant discharged in quantities sufficient to interfere with POTW operations, and
    5. discharges with temperatures above 113 F (45 C) when they reach the treatment plant, or hot enough to interfere with biological processes.
  • What is the National Pretreatment Program?

    The National Pretreatment Program is a cooperative effort of federal, state, and local regulatory environmental agencies established to protect water quality. The program is designed to reduce the level of pollutants discharged by industry and other non-domestic wastewater sources into municipal sewer systems, and thereby, reduce the amount of pollutants released into the environment through wastewater. The objectives of the program are to protect the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) from pollutants that may interfere with plant operation, to prevent pollutants that may pass through untreated from being introduced into the POTW, and to improve opportunities for the POTW to reuse wastewater and sludges that are generated.

    The term ""pretreatment"" refers to the requirement that nondomestic sources discharging wastewater to POTWs control their discharges, and meet limits established by EPA, the state or local authority on the amount of pollutants allowed to be discharged. The control of the pollutants may necessitate treatment prior to discharge to the POTW (therefore the term ""pretreatment""). Limits may be met by the nondomestic source through pollution prevention techniques (product substitution recycle and reuse of materials) or treatment of the wastewater.

    Program objectives are:

    • To prevent industrial facilities' pollutant discharges from passing through municipal wastewater treatment plants untreated;
    • To protect treatment plants from the threat posed by untreated industrial wastewater, including explosion, fire, and interference with the treatment process
    • To improve the quality of effluents and sludges so that they can be used for beneficial purposes.

    There are more than 1500 publicly owned treatment works that are required to implement local Pretreatment programs. By reducing the level of pollutants discharged by industry into municipal sewage systems, the program ensures the protection of America's multi-billion dollar public investment in treatment infrastructure.

  • What are the services/responsibilities of the Public Utilities Department?

    Public Utilities provides citizens with the essential services of water, reclaimed water and wastewater collection.

    The department is responsible for the continuance of clean and safe potable water and reclaimed water and a wastewater collection system for the health and well being of the public.