• 1. Who can answer a question about my bill?

    Call Customer Service at 913/895-1800. We’re available to help you manage your water account 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

  • 2. Is WaterOne’s tap water safe to drink?

    Yes! Our water more than meets all regulatory standards and has won awards for taste. Drinking water is regulated through the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • 3. What do I do if there is a water emergency?

    If you are unexpectedly without water or spot a main break (water running down the street without a visible source), call our 24-hour Customer Service contact at 913/895-1800. After regular business hours, our answering service will take your call and mobilize an on-call field team accordingly.

  • 4. What’s the difference between a boil advisory and a boil order?

    A boil advisory is a precautionary measure issued by the water utility to alert customers when there is a potential for compromised water quality. It is recommended that customers boil all water used in the preparation of food and beverage for consumption for 2 minutes. A boil order is a confirmation that contamination is present in the water system. It is essential that customers boil all water used in the preparation of food and beverage for consumption for 2 minutes. Learn more about water emergencies.

  • 5. Can you notify me if there’s a water emergency in my area?

    Sure, register at www.NotifyJoCo.org to get phone, text, or email alerts about water outages and other emergency notifications near your home, office, school, and other important addresses.

  • 6. What's a water "main?"

    "Main" is another term for a pipe. A water main is one part of a system of infrastructure that delivers water to our customers.

  • 7. Do I live in WaterOne's service area?

    Hmm, hopefully! Check out our service area here or call Customer Service at 913/895-1800 to look up your location by address.

  • 8. Do I have to pay a deposit to get water service?

    For most residential and commercial accounts, WaterOne does not require a security deposit. Security deposits are required for all fire hydrant accounts and for accounts that establish a history of late and returned payments.

  • 9. How often am I billed?

    If you live in a single family residence, we bill you bi-monthly for a total of six bills in a calendar year. All other accounts are billed monthly.

  • 10. Do you charge a connection fee for new construction?

    Yes, growth pays for growth. For new construction, WaterOne assesses a System Development Charge (SDC) based on meter size. To learn more, contact our New Services staff at 913/895-5728.

  • 11. What is the service charge?

    The service charge covers certain fixed costs of providing water service, such as meter reading and billing expenses, replacing meters or other minor infrastructure, and public water maintained for fire protection. Look for a detailed description under Rates & Charges here.

    Charges for water cover costs for producing and distributing water to your home or business. Volume-based water charges depend on consumption and consumption is the preference of the customer.

  • 12. My bill includes a Kansas Water Plan charge. What does this pay for?

    It’s a state fee, required of all water customers in Kansas. State law requires all water utilities to collect a consumption-based fee from customers and remit it to the State of Kansas for the Kansas Water Plan. The state uses this money to manage statewide water issues like sustainable sources, flood management, water quality, and wetland protection. To learn more, contact the Kansas Water Office (Topeka) at 1-888-KAN-WATER.

  • 13. What’s this Block 2 charge on my bill?

    We keep our rates simple with just two rate blocks, stair-stepping up based on your usage. Your "base" usage is billed at a Block 1 rate. To establish your regular consumption, we measure your water usage during the winter months (meter readings January - April) to set a daily average, called your Average Winter Consumption (AWC). The Block 1 rate applies to 125% of AWC. Block 2 is a premium rate for usage above 125% of your AWC. Block 2 rates incent conservation and more fairly distribute the costs of peak services. Those who use water at a pace that creates the greatest demands – or peaks – on the system pay a higher rate on that usage to help defray the future costs of infrastructure.

  • 14. What’s this “Field Charge” on my bill?

    If your account is past due, we assess a $20 fee each time a trip is made to your address. That’s our real cost for sending a person in a vehicle to your place to turn off/turn on water. We thought it was fair that those who require this pay for it, rather than all customers subsidizing it with higher rates.

  • 15. Does my bill include trash or sewer fees?

    No, just water. WaterOne is a not-for-profit “water-only” water utility. Johnson County government operates wastewater (sewer) services, but since WaterOne is independent of other public agencies our only concern is producing awesome tap water.

  • 16. When do summer rates go into effect?

    WaterOne's Peak Management Rates are in effect all year long.

  • 17. Can I see my account history or water use?

    Yes, signing up for a Paperless Billing account affords customers the opportunity to view three years of billing, payments, and water usage history. As always, if you have questions about your bills, want copies of a bill, or have other questions, call Customer Service at 913/895-1800 or email us at WaterOneCustomerService@waterone.org.

  • 18. If I don't agree with my water bill, what can I do?

    Call Customer Service at 913/895-1800 to review your account. Our knowledgeable staff will answer questions about your bill and may be able to provide some insight based on account history and other information.

  • 19. Where can I pay my bill?

    Check out our payment options here.

  • 20. Can I pay with a credit card?

    Yes, WaterOne accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover through our online EZ-Pay account, EZ-Pay One-time payment, or over the phone through the automated system or a payment representative. A $1.99 processing fee applies. Check out our payment options here.

  • 21. Why is there a $1.99 charge to pay my bill online or by phone?

    It’s a processing fee charged by the payment processor; WaterOne doesn’t profit from this at all. Rather than hiding it in your rates, we thought it was best to be upfront and have customers who use the service pay for it. If the fee is a deal-breaker, consider enrolling in Auto Pay, WaterOne’s FREE automatic direct payment option.

  • 22. Why do water bill payments go to PO Box in Missouri?

    We use Commerce Bank for payment processing and its secure mailbox happens to be located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. To ensure the safety and promptness of your payments, all payments are delivered there. No worries: WaterOne is a Kansas public agency and all revenue collected supports our operations and infrastructure in our service area covering the Johnson County, Kansas area.
     

  • 23. Can I get assistance with paying my bill?

    Contact the Utility Assistance Program run by Johnson County Human Services at 913/715-6653. We’re proud to have a partnership with this well-regarded charitable program helps individuals and families in temporary need of assistance.

  • What does this project entail?

    This project does not change the way water is consumed or metered. Only the way we read meters is changing – for the better. 

    WaterOne is changing the way it reads meters from a manual, labor-intensive process to a remote network that communicates to and from the customer meter. WaterOne will be installing an add-on device to each meter that securely transmits meter readings back to WaterOne.  Once the project is fully implemented, customers will be able to access their own daily water consumption. You can monitor your usage online and set alerts which will help you prevent leaks or avoid surprise high bills.

    In addition, WaterOne can better operate its system and provide services to customers at greater convenience and value such as confirmation readings, move out readings, and finding stuck meters.

  • 24. Is WaterOne part of Johnson County government?

    No, WaterOne is an independent public water utility. Our legal incorporation is “Water District No. 1 of Johnson County, Kansas,” which is a description of our location – not a connection to another public agency. To keep it simple, you can just call us WaterOne.

  • When will the project occur?

    Customer devices will be installed between 2019 and 2021, depending on your location.  At a designated time after we have completed your installation, you will receive a postcard in the mail inviting you to log-on to enhanced online customer tools.

  • 25. Is WaterOne and Johnson County Wastewater the same organization?

    No, WaterOne is an independent public water utility. Johnson County Wastewater (JCW) is a department of Johnson County government; it’s a wastewater (sewer) utility. WaterOne does provide customers' consumption numbers to JCW as a courtesy. JCW figures your sewer charges as a percentage of water consumption. For information on how your wastewater bill was calculated, please contact JCW. If you need the information we provided to them, contact WaterOne Customer Service at 913/895-1800. WaterOne has no further information about JCW, its operations, policies, or your JCW wastewater account.

  • How will this project affect me, the customer?

    Once the project is fully implemented from 2019 to 2021, we will begin contacting customers and inviting them to log on to their new consumption portal online. You will have access to detailed water consumption information through your secure online account. You will also be able to monitor usage online and set alerts which may help you identify leaks more quickly and prevent unintentional high water consumption.

    We too will be better equipped to help you understand your consumption when you contact us with questions, resulting in a better customer service experience for you.

  • 26. Who makes the decisions at WaterOne?

    We’re lead by a seven-member Board of Directors, elected at-large in local elections by our customers. The Board sets the governing policies and provides financial oversight. Day-to-day operations are managed by our General Manager with support from our senior management team and staff.

  • Why is WaterOne doing this project?

    The driver of this project is to keep up with customer expectations about access to their consumption data and communication about their usage. We also want to operate more efficiently and have more opportunities to serve our customers better.  WaterOne is taking this opportunity to invest in advanced meter reading for all customers so that our infrastructure stays current and we provide all customers with the same level of service.

    Most residential WaterOne customers are still on “walk-by” meter reading. A WaterOne meter reader walks by customers’ meters and collects the meter reading by touching a handheld device to the meter pit lid. All commercial and industrial WaterOne customers are read by remote meter reading technology and the reading devices that support that kind of meter reading are reaching the end of their useful life. This opportunity is driving the timing of this project.

  • 27. Where does WaterOne get its water?

    WaterOne draws its water from the Kansas and Missouri Rivers and adjacent wells. Our customers gain advantages from having multiple water sources. We have less vulnerability during drought and an ample supply of fresh water.

  • Who will be installing the project?

    WaterOne has selected a Sensus advanced metering system and UtiliUse, a Sensus partner, to perform the installations of the reading devices. This decision was made following an open, competitive RFP process voted upon by the WaterOne Board in February 2018.

  • 28. What’s the temperature range of my water?

    Depending on the season, water temperature within the distribution system varies between 34oF and 85oF. Typically, this variation is only noticeable if you’re drawing from a spout without temperature control, such as a garden hose or sprinkler. Hot water (i.e. showers) is created in the home/business by running tap water through your plumbing system's hot water tank, which you can adjust to your preference.

  • Where will the technology be deployed?

    Water meters are primarily housed in sunken self-contained pits in the front yard of residential customers’ property. (Commercial customers’ meter pits location vary.) Unless the water meter is already due to be changed out for its age or performance, the meter will not be changed-out. In most cases, we are simply adding a transmitting device to it to be securely read by our new system.

    A small number of WaterOne water meters are still located inside homes, typically in the basement near an outer wall. We will coordinate with the homeowner to gain access to make the installation on the water meter.

  • 29. What is my water pressure?

    Based on the elevation of your location, water pressure varies between 40 psi and 160 psi. WaterOne is required to maintain a minimum pressure of at least 20 psi. If your water pressure exceeds 80 psi, plumbing codes require a pressure reducing valve (PRV) which helps regulate the pressure in your home or business.

  • How will I be affected by this project?

    For the vast majority of customers, the installation will be nearly invisible to them as the installers will quickly come and go without noticeable changes. For device-only installations, there will be no interruption of water service.

    There are a small set of customers who still have their water meter installed inside their house connected to a touchpad on the exterior foundation. For these customers, our installation contractor (UtiliUse) will get in touch with you to schedule an appointment time for updating the equipment and installing the reading device.

  • 30. Does WaterOne water contain fluoride?

    Yes, the water contains both naturally-occurring fluoride as well as fluoride added to reach the target level recommended for oral health benefits. WaterOne started adding fluoride to its treated water in 1967 after voters passed a referendum to do so. Learn more about fluoride here.
  • Will my bill go up because of AMI?

    No, AMI project is not funded through additional rate increases or fees. This project is a “net neutral” cost to customers across its 20-year life span. The cost of the project is offset by operational savings from the new technology.

    Also, we are not doing a large-scale meter change-out as a part of this project. New meters are more accurate than older meters, so when a new meter is installed customers may see their bill go “up” because the same consumption is recorded (and billed) more precisely. However, in general new meters are not a part of this project unless they have been identified for upgrade due to age or performance. If you have a question about your bill, call Customer Care at 913/8985-1800 during business hours.

  • 31. Do I need a water filter?

    Your tap is perfectly safe without one. If you have an internal problem with your plumbing, you may want to consider a filter or treatment system.

  • What time of day will crews come? Will they work holidays and weekends?

    Our installation contractor will work within typical business hours, early morning to early evening. During hot weather, they may start and stop earlier in the day to work more safely in the heat. They will work most Saturdays and some holidays. Their work will not interrupt your water service, if you are receiving just the reporting device addition to your existing water meter. Utiliuse will provide notification to any customer who will receive a new meter and have service interrupted, generally for about 15 minutes. For the vast majority of customers, this change-over will be invisible.

  • 32. Is tap water safer than bottled water?

    Many bottled water companies use tap water as their source. Currently, bottled water is not as closely regulated or tested as tap water. Bottled water is regulated through the Food and Drug Administration; it’s considered a food product. Also, water utilities are required to publish information on their water quality; bottled water companies are not.

  • How will WaterOne control and regulate private contractors that are paid to do the installation?

    WaterOne fully vets and carefully selects contractors who represent the best value, quality, and service to WaterOne and its customers. We monitor and manage contractor services to ensure all deliverables are being met to the standard required.

    All work should be done in the meter pit in your front yard which is located in the public easement. There is no need to enter the home, unless your meter is one that is still installed inside of the home (usually an outer basement wall) in which case a prearranged appointment will be coordinated. Our installation contractors will be happy to show you identifying information and credentials.

    If a customer has a question or concern regarding a contractor’s activity related to the AMI project, they should contact WaterOne at 913/895-1800.

  • 33. Since when have property owners been responsible for the service line?

    Since always. Property owners are responsible for the service line running between the public connection main and the structure. One of the reasons we partnered with HomeServe to offer optional service line warranties was to educate customers and provide them with an option to manage costly repairs.

  • If my property is damaged during AMI installation, who covers the cost of the damages?

    This project is not invasive and should not create property damage. If you believe your property has been damaged, contact WaterOne at 913/895-1800 during business hours and ask to speak with our claims coordinator.

  • 34. Can I get a map showing WaterOne’s water lines?

    If you’re interested in learning more about the location of our mains, valves, hydrants, or fittings commonly used, contact our Drafting and Mapping staff at 913/895-5500.

  • What is WaterOne’s policy regarding privacy and data gathered from the metering system?

    Whether consumption is collected manually or electronically by WaterOne, it is not considered to be a high value asset. All data collected, transmitted, and stored by WaterOne’s metering system is consumption data only – how much water was consumed at what location. It is used for billing and as aggregated data to help us operate our system better. Now, you - the customer - will have secure access to your information too.

  • 35. Why do your crews waste water by flushing hydrants?

    Even the best water will get stale and taste unpleasant if not cycled through the system properly. In areas where water usage is low or crews are repairing mains, flushing is a required step to maintaining good, fresh water.

  • Should I be worried about privacy concerns?

    No. No personally identifiable information (PII) is transmitted with the data signal. And although this data is not considered to be a high value target, the data signal is encrypted and split into separate data packets that can only be reconfigured by a protected proprietary digital key. WaterOne does not share or sell customer consumption or financial data.

    Remember, consumption data has been collected, transmitted, stored, and analyzed since the origin of WaterOne as a utility provider in 1957 and prior to its establishment as a public utility when it was a small private water company. What this project changes is the way the data is collected and the frequency at which it is collected so that we can provide better services to you, our customer. 

  • 36. How do I treat the water for my fish?

    Always use a dechlorinating agent, available at pet suppliers.

  • How will the project impact WaterOne personnel?

    This technology automates meter reading, so WaterOne will be phasing out manual meter reading between now and 2021.  WaterOne is committed to being an employer of choice and retaining good talent, so we have involved affected staff in the progress of this project and are proactively working with them to identify and prepare for other opportunities at WaterOne, should they wish to stay with us. Our goal is to transition each employee into other positions within our organization and we are working with them now to identify opportunities and training to make them competitive for a job change.

  • 37. Is it okay to drink hot water?

    No, never drink or use hot water from the tap for consumption or food/beverage preparation. Internal hot water systems (tanks, boilers) contain metallic parts that corrode over time and contaminate the hot water.

  • Are there negative health effects as a result of remote metering systems?

    There are no proven health effects of this system. We care about our customers and the communities we serve; we live in our service area too. The radio waves emitted by these devices are a tiny fraction of what we already experience in the ambient environment from our cell phones, laptops, microwaves, etc.

    These devices are “asleep” up to 99% of the time, “waking” only to transmit a data point and then turning off again.

  • 38. Why do you charge for water when it is free in the river?

    The value added by WaterOne guarantees quality and the convenience at your tap. As a not-for-profit, water rates are designed to cover the cost of operating and maintaining our water treatment plants, pump stations, and 2,600 miles of distribution pipe, covering our 272 square mile service area. We manage quality from source to tap, ensuring that high-quality water is available on demand. And we’re proud to deliver water at a great value – WaterOne customers enjoy some of the lowest rates compared to neighboring utilities.

  • Can I opt out of this upgrade?

    We strongly discourage it. By refusing the meter reading enhancement, we will have to manually read your meter which will be subject to an additional monthly charge to you.

    If you are considering opting out of this change, let’s talk. Contact Customer Care during business hours at 913/895-1800 and ask to speak with the AMI Project Manager.

  • 39. Why do I have pay the same rate for water outdoors and indoors, since my outdoor water doesn’t need to be treated?

    WaterOne has one distribution system to supply fresh, delicious water. The cost to construct and maintain dual systems of treated and untreated water would be prohibitive of any theoretical cost savings gained from providing untreated water for outdoor use. If you want untreated water for watering your garden, consider rain barrels.

  • Who do I contact for more info?

    Contact Customer Care at 913/895-1800 during business hours.

  • 40. Will WaterOne sponsor my event?

    As a not-for-profit organization, our customers trust us to make prudent and fair use of rate dollars and resources. Due to the overwhelming number of worthwhile community events and causes in our service area, WaterOne is usually unable to contribute financially or with in-kind services. If you would like to submit a request for support, direct it to WaterOne's Communications Manager. Also, consider KidZone and Book a Speaker for resources that may benefit your event.

  • 41. Does WaterOne give tours?

    Unfortunately, no. Due to security requirements we’re unable to offer facility tours at this time. We do offer FREE activities, games, and water science info at KidZone, our online spot for kid-centered resources. We also offer guest speakers for your next event, when staff availability allows.

  • 42. How is WaterOne involved in fire protection?

    We supply the water that firefighters use to fight fires and train firefighters. Without a dime of tax dollars, we maintain hydrants and keep a reserve of water ready for fire suppression. Because of our track record of reliability, our customers get the added bonus of favorable rates on fire insurance.

     

  • 43. Does WaterOne guarantee service to customers requiring water for a medical need, such as dialysis centers or dialysis patients’ homes?

    While we cannot guarantee continuous water supply due to extenuating circumstances (severe weather, required maintenance, emergency main breaks, etc.) and in the case of non-payment, we make a concerted effort to notify customers of planned outages. We strongly encourage all customers to create a FREE contact profile at Notify JoCo, our emergency alert system. We also encourage medically dependent customers and medical centers to contact our Customer Care at 913/895-1800 to flag your account for expedited reconnection in the case of non-payment.