Laconia: City on the Lakes

Photo Courtesy of Bill Hemmel

Laconia Aerial Photo Courtesy of Bill Hemmel
Departments >> Water >> Documents >> Frequently Asked Questions

City of Laconia Water Department

Frequently Asked Questions


General
What should I do if I notice a leak at my water meter?
How often are water meters changes?
Do I need a backflow prevention device?
What do I do in case of a water emergency?
Who is responsible for water service to my house?
Where does our drinking water come from?
How many gallons of water are there in a cubic foot?

Water and Sewer Billing/Rates
Can water be shut off if I do not pay my bill?
Do I have to pay sewer charges when I fill my pool?
Can I put my bill in my tenant's name?
How to I get a final water bill?
How can I pay my water bill?
Can I pay my water bill with my debit/credit card?
How much will my water bill be?
Why is my bill so high?
How do I set up a water account?

Water Quality
What are the drinking water standards?
Can I get my water tested?

Distribution
Low Water Pressure
Discolored Water
No Water
Leak in Street
Leak in Basement
Who is responsible for repairing a leak on my water service?

 

General

What should I do if I notice a leak at my water meter?
Laconia Water Department owns the water meter. Please call the office at 524-0901 for water meter repairs. All other plumbing fixtures are your responsibility. If the leak is in the house, please shut off the water before the leak if possible before calling for assistance. All valves located inside the building are the responsibility of the homeowner and should be maintained in proper working order.

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How often are water meters changed?
The Public Utilities Commission recommends testing of residential water meters at least every 7-10 years. Some larger commercial meters are tested more frequently. There is no charge to change a meter, and customers are notified in advance to schedule an appointment.

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Do I need a backflow prevention device?
Any residential property that has an irrigation system is required to have a backflow device installed. This will avoid cross contamination of the drinking water system. Commercial, industrial and multiunit properties are also required to have devices and should contact Laconia Water Department for more information.

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What do I do in case of a water emergency?
If you do not have any water or if you see a water main break, please call us at 524-0907. Water Department personnel are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there is a water leak inside your house, please try to shut off the valves before and after the meter. This will prevent further water damage and possibly save you the cost of a "service call."

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Who is responsible for the water service to my house?
The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of all service pipes from and including the curb stop (outside shut off by street) into the structure. The property owner shall maintain the plumbing and fixtures at their own expense within their own premises in good repair and protected from freezing.

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Where does our drinking water come from?
Laconia Water Department gets its water from Paugus Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee. It is pumped to our treatment plant facility on Stark Street where it is processed. It is then fed to other tanks in the city and then to your house.

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How many gallons of water are there in a cubic foot?
There are 7.48 gallons in 1 cubic foot. Laconia Water Department bills in hundreds of cubic feet and there are 748 gallons in 100 cubic feet.

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Water and Sewer Billing/Rates

Can water be shut off if I do not pay my bill?
Payment on water bills is due approximately 30 days from the billing date. After that time a penalty is added to the bill. After that the property is posted to be shut off. If you are unable to pay the bill by the due date, please contact the office as soon as possible.

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Do I have to pay sewer charges when I fill my pool?
If you read the meter before you start the pool fill and directly after filling the pool and call our office with the two readings then we can abate the sewer charges for that pool fill. Please keep in mind that only the initial pool fill is deducted. Hot tubs do not use enough water to qualify for this abatement.

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Can I put my bill in my tenant's name?
Yes. We can bill your tenant as a courtesy to you. Please be aware that as the owner of the property any unpaid bill becomes your responsibility. You will need to read the meter at the start of the lease and call the office to change billing information. You will also need to read the meter at the end of the lease and call the office for a final bill for your tenant. Please note that billing information will only be changed for leases lasting at least 1 year.

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How do I get a final water bill?
The meter will need to be read 2 days prior to the closing. Call the office 524-0901 with the reading, the new owner's name, billing address and phone number. We will prepare a final bill for pick up at the office. Please be aware that we do not fax or e-mail final bills. Currently there is no charge for final bills.

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How can I pay my water bill?
There are four options to pay the water/sewer invoice. The first option is to pay by cash or check in our office at 988 Union Avenue or at City Hall at 45 Beacon Street East. The second option is to mail in a check to PO Box 6146, Laconia, NH 03247-6146. The third way is to pay online with a credit/debit card or check, see below. The fourth way is by automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account.

Water bills can be automatically withdrawn from a bank account on the due date. A Preauthorized Payment form needs to be filled out and delivered to our office along with a voided check or deposit slip. These cannot be faxed as we need an original signature on the form. The form can be obtained at our office or on this website.

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Can I pay my water bill with my debit/credit card?
At this point Laconia Water Department can only accept check or cash for water bills in the office.  However, you may pay online at www.laconianh.gov; go to Online Payments and choose the blue Water Spigot icon next to Laconia Water Department.  Online payments can be made using debit or credit cards and electronic check.  There is a small convenience fee for this service.

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How much will my water bill be?
There are two parts to the water/sewer bill. The first part is the base rate. A single family house will be billed a $20.00 base rate per quarter for water and a $34.00 base rate per quarter for sewer. The second charge is the consumption charge. Water is billed at $1.85 per hundred cubic feet and sewer is billed at $4.75 per hundred cubic feet. Each bill will fluctuate due to the amount of water that goes through the meter.

Quick Reference formula for invoice calculation:
(#of units x $20.00) plus (consumption x $1.85/hcf) = quarterly water invoice
(#of units x $34.00) plus (consumption x $4.75/hcf) = quarterly sewer invoice
(#of units x rate of fire protection items= quarterly fire protection invoice
Note: Franchise areas (specific service areas outside of city limits) are charged a 15 % surcharge for water. Charges are $23.00 base charge and consumption charges of $2.13/hcf. See Tariff for complete rate schedules. Unmetered Sewer Charges are a flat rate of $226/semi-annually and are billed by the tax collector.

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Why is my bill so high?
What will make the bill fluctuate from quarter to quarter is how much water goes through the meter. Bills tend to rise in the summer months. If you see a large jump in the water bill, a running toilet might be the cause. These are not always easily detectable. Check the water level in the tank to make sure it is not dripping into the filler pipe. Another test is to add food coloring to the tank before going to bed at night. If in the morning the water in the bowl has turned to that color, then there is a leak. Another way to check for a leak is to look at the meter. Make sure no one is using any water in the house and see if the numbers and/or dials on the meter are moving. If they are, water is being pulled into the property somewhere and it usually is a toilet or a dripping faucet. These leaks can be quite costly.

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How do I set up a water account?
An application for service needs to be completed for each new water service installation. Please contact the office at 988 Union Avenue. There is no charge for this application.  If you are purchasing a home, please call the office at 603-524-0901 to be sure a final bill is being processed before the closing.

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Water Quality

What are the drinking water standards?
Laconia Water Department posts its annual "Our Daily Water" Consumer Confidence Report elsewhere on this website. The report is also mailed to all property owners in the spring of each year.

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Can I get my water tested?
Customers of Laconia Water Department should contact the Water Treatment Plant Laboratory at 524-1096. One of our technicians will call to schedule an appointment to collect an appropriate sample and you will be notified with the results in 2-3 days. Individuals who are not Laconia Water Department customers can have a basic potability (bacteria) test done. You will need to pick up our sterile bottle at the office at 988 Union Avenue along with instructions. Water samples must be dropped off at the office no later than 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The cost of the test is $17.00 payable by cash or check.

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Distribution

LOW WATER PRESSURE
If you are experiencing lower pressure than usual, check to see if the low pressure is in all locations in your house, if so call the Water Department. If the low pressure is isolated to one location you can check your strainer at the outlet of your faucet to make sure it is clear. If after cleaning the strainer you water pressure is still low you should contact a plumber.

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DISCOLORED WATER
If you experience discolored water the one thing you can do is run just the cold water until it clears. If the water is still discolored, call the Water Department. If the cold water runs clear, shut off the cold water and let the hot water run until it clears.

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NO WATER
If you turn on a faucet and find that you have no water, try another faucet in your home. If you find that you do have water at the second faucet, you have an internal problem and need to contact a plumber. If you find that you do not have water at the second faucet and you are the homeowner and know that no one is working in your home that may have shut your water off, then call the Water Department. If you are a tenant in a multi-family dwelling check with other tenants to see if they have water. If no one does check with the owner to see if work is being done. If you are the only one experiencing no water a plumber must be called.

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LEAK IN STREET
If you see water bubbling up in the street or sidewalk, please call the Water Department at (603) 524-0901.

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LEAK IN BASEMENT
If you notice water leaking into your property or have pipes leaking in your basement that you cannot control by closing the shut-off valve, please call the Water Department at (603) 524-0901.

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Who is responsible for repairing a leak on my water service?
A leak on a copper water service from the water main up to the customer's service box will be repaired by this department.  A leak on any water service from the service box (including the underground shut off), entering the structure and any plumbing up to the water meter is the responsibility of the owner.  If the service is iron from the water main to the service box, then it is also the resposibility of the owner to repair any leaks on this service.

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copyright 2017 City of Laconia, New Hampshire| 45 Beacon St. East| Laconia, NH 03246| info@city.laconia.nh.us