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Water/Sewer - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is it legal to discharge my sump pump? Anywhere outside your home as long as the first place it hits the ground is at least 20 feet from the road to avoid icing in the winter. Underground connections into the County storm drain (below the curb) require a permit from the County.

2. Is the Township responsible for repairing water and sewer lines between the road and my house? No. Our responsibility does not extend past the utility easement onto private property but we will assist you in determining if you have a leak in your line.

3. Can I use plastic for my water service line? Township installs soft K-type copper lead from township water main to the water service shut-off valve located at the property line. Copper material is recommended to be installed on private property; however, an approved equal material may be installed as reviewed and approved by the township plumbing inspector or Water Department.

4. Who do I call if I have a blocked storm drain or need my road plowed in winter? Oakland County Citizen's Service Bureau for Roads and Drains, 248.858.4804.

5. What is the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm drain? Sanitary sewers remove waste products from your home and send them underground to a treatment plant. Storm drains gather rain and storm runoff and direct them to wetlands and lakes. Ditches and curb line grates are storm drains. Sanitary manholes have solid round covers. The two systems are not connected.

The Township maintains the sanitary sewers and the County maintains the storm drains in the road right of ways. Storm drains located elsewhere are usually the responsibility of property owners.

6. What causes my water to be cloudy or milky looking? Air in the lines. It can occur when valves are turned on or off to work on water mains. Extreme amounts of air can cause vibration or banging noises in your pipes. Most times this air can be eliminated by running a cold faucet tap on the top floor of your home. If situation does not clear up, please call the water department.

7. Why is my water brown or dirty looking? When we turn water off to make a water main repair it can stir up the mineral content that settled to the bottom of the main. You do not need to boil your water. Run the cold water only until it clears up. Using hot water before you have cleared the cold water will draw the dirty water into your hot water heater. We will announce via radio, television and newspaper in the unfortunate event that you ever need to boil your water.

8. Can I pay my water and sewer bill online, by credit card or automatic deduction? Yes. Payments can be made at: www.officialpayments.com.  A processing fee of $5.95 will be assessed for each $500.00 or less transaction.

9. Do I need insurance on potential repairs to my water & sewer lines?

Water and Sewer utility lines that run from private homes to the public sanitary sewer or water main are on private property and any repairs or replacement of failing lines are the responsibility of the homeowner. The Township of West Bloomfield does not endorse or represent any insurance company and encourages all homeowners to get the facts before deciding to purchase a policy. In most cases, water and sewer lines can last decades before they need to be replaced. Therefore, many factors should be considered before purchasing a policy including the age of the home, invasion from tree roots into the sewer line, and whether your current home insurance policy already covers repairs.

10. Who is responsible when I experience a sewer back up?

Liabilities for sanitary sewer backups are regulated by the State of Michigan through Public Act 222. The act requires those seeking compensation for property damage must show: 1) that the Township's sewer system had a defect; 2) that the Township knew about the defect; 3) that the defect was not remedied by the Township in a reasonable amount of time; and, 4) that the damage resulted because of the defect. The Act requires the claimant report the damage to the Township Clerk's office within 45 days of the sewer backup. The sanitary sewer system consists of the Township mainline and not the sewer lead or internal plumbing components of the property.