Water & Sewer Utility Information
We use water every day and yet we often take safe water for granted. But it requires a dedicated staff, a complicated treatment plant, and a lengthy water distribution system to bring safe water to every home and business in Belgium.
You may be surprised to learn that the Belgium Utility does not receive any tax dollars from the Village of Belgium. It must operate entirely on revenues from the sale of water and sewer services.
At less than a penny per gallon, municipal water remains a huge bargain. But it also takes ongoing planning and investment to manage and replace aging infrastructure before it causes a failure. Investment in public water is an investment right back into the community. The Belgium Water Utility is proud to provide residents with a tremendous value and to be a vital link in the community’s success.
For more information about the Village of Belgium's water treatment please open or download this document:
Who do I Contact?
Billing Questions: Village Treasurer, Vickie Boehnlein
Water Service Questions: Water Superintendent, Daniel Birenbaum
Sewer Service Questions: Wastewater Superintendent, Paul Bley
VILLAGE OF BELGIUM UTILITY RATES
WATER METER CHARGE PER QUARTER AS OF SEPT. 15, 2016
WATER VOLUME CHARGE PER THOUSAND GALLONS OF WATER: $4.33
Your Water Bill = Your consumption x the volume rate noted above + your meter charge noted below + any past due amount.
5/8” Meter = $27.81
3/4” Meter = $27.81
1” Meter = $55.62
1-1/4” Meter = $83.43
1-1/2” Meter = $120.51
2” Meter = $173.04
3” Meter = $318.27
4” Meter = $435.69
6” Meter = $701.43
8” Meter = $1,093.86
SEWER METER CHARGES PER QUARTER AS OF SEPTEMBER 15, 2019
SEWER VOLUME CHARGE PER THOUSAND GALLONS OF WATER: $6.41
Your Sewer Bill = Your consumption x the volume rate noted above + your meter charge noted below + any past due amount.
5/8” Meter = $129.09
3/4” Meter = $180.73
1” Meter = $284.00
1-1/2” Meter = $645.48
2” Meter = $1,032.76
3” Meter = $2,142.99
4” Meter = $2,943.38
OTHER SERVICE CHARGES
Deduct Meter = $13.50 per quarter rental fee (Optional Meter)
Water service reconnection:
$50.00 during business hours, $70.00 after business hours
Missed Appointment Charge:
$35.00 during business hours, $40.00 after business hours
Additional Meter Installation: $50.00
Non-sufficient funds (NSF) check: $35.00
General Water & Sewer Utility Billing Information
The Belgium Utility bills its customers quarterly at the end of March, June, September, and December each year. Utility bills are due by the 20th of the month following each of these billing months.
Payment can be made via mail to Village of Belgium, 104 Peter Thein Ave, Belgium, WI 53004. Village Hall is also open Mondays through Thursdays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and Fridays 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (noon) for those wishing to pay in person. For payments after office hours, there is a locked drop box outside Village Hall’s entrance doors. For your security, do not make cash payments in the evening drop box. The Village of Belgium will not be responsible for any lost or stolen cash payments made in the lock box.
You may also opt to enroll in the quarterly automatic payment program. Please click the link for more information or a downloadable enrollment form.
Accepted forms of payment include cash, check, money order, cashier’s check and credit card. Credit cards accepted by GovPayNet: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Please note that GovPayNet applies a service fee to all credit card payments to cover their cost of processing the payment transaction, therefore it is not negotiable. The Belgium Utility does not receive this fee.
Credit Card payments can be made online at www.GovPayNow.com, via phone 24 hours/7 days a week with GovPayNet toll free at 888-604-7888, or with Village Hall staff during business hours in person or via phone at (262)285-7931. Please be certain to reference Pay Location Code# (PLC#) PLC7390 when paying utility bills with GovPayNet on line or via phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a residential customer, what are my options if I can’t pay my bill in full?
If you are a residential customer having difficulty paying your utility bill, it is especially important to keep the lines of communication open with us. Please contact the Belgium Utility (262-285-7931) to set up a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) to receive additional time to fulfill your payment obligation. Provided you maintain your payment schedule in accordance with your agreement, setting up a DPA will allow you to make payments due on your utility account without penalties or interest charges as well as avoid water shut-off and/or the utility placing delinquent utility bills on the tax roll as a tax against the property that was furnished with utility service.
Why is my drinking water cloudy at times?
Cloudy water is caused by air bubbles in the water similar to gas bubbles in soda pop. After a short while, the bubbles rise to the top and the water clears. Belgium utilizes ground water which varies little in temperature. However, cloudiness generally occurs more often in the winter when drinking water may be colder.
Why do I have rusty water and what can I do about it?
Rusty water is usually due to rust and iron scale buildup in the water mains which loosens and becomes dispersed in the water supply during an event such as a water main break or hydrant flushing. The sudden opening stirs up sediment and rust. Just run the cold water tap until it is clear. Contact the water utility if the problem persists.
I really dislike the chlorine taste in water. How can I get rid of it?
The simplest and most economical way is to add a slice of lemon to your drinking water. Another method is to fill a clean pitcher or container with cold tap water and leave it uncovered overnight. The chlorine content will dissipate.
How do I get help from the utility after hours or on weekends?
If you experience a problem after hours or on weekends, please call the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department at (262)-284-7172 and provide information regarding the nature of your emergency. The dispatcher will then contact the utility for follow-up investigation and corrective action.
Why is my new utility bill higher than normal?
Although water and sewer rates may have recently increased to adequately fund system improvements, water storage or treatment processes, a higher-than-average water bill may indicate a leak. In the summer months, outdoor water usage accounts for many high bills as well.
Check for a possible leak by turning off everything in the house and then looking at your water meter. It should not be moving at all. If it is moving, you have a leak somewhere in your house. Not all water leaks are visible or audible.
If you suspect a leak in your toilet, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank when it is full. Do not flush and let it sit for half an hour. If the color appears in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank. Another common type of toilet leak is caused by an improperly adjusted or broken fill (ball cock) valve. If the float is set too high or if the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow in to the overflow tube. This type of leak can be seen simply by taking the tank top off and observing if water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full.
A leaking faucet is frequently the result of a bad rubber washer. The washer on a sink is typically located under the handle. A washer is relatively easy to replace with the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink, and removing the handle. Check local home centers or the Internet (keywords “repairing leaky faucets”) for help on how to repair faucet leaks.
An irrigation system should be checked each spring before use to make sure it was not damaged by frost or freezing. To ensure that your in-ground irrigation system is not leaking water, consult with a WaterSense irrigation partner who has passed a certification program focused on water efficiency; look for a WaterSense irrigation partner.
Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
It's Only a Small Drip...Right? Slow drips of water can add up quickly. A toilet that “keeps running” after you flush, or a sink that drips after it is turned off, can waste thousands of gallons of water a year. One leaking toilet in your home can easily amount to 40,000 gallons per month or more. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can use more than 3,000 gallons per year! A shower head leaking at 10 drips per minute can use more than 500 gallons of water per year. If the drip is hot water, you are paying for wasted energy too. A small leak in an automatic irrigation system can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month!
What can I do to lower my water bills?
Wisconsin consumers can reduce their water bills by 10 percent by adopting a few simple changes at home and at the office, as well as installing more efficient hardware. Conserving water not only helps the environment, it also helps reduce costs on water and energy bills.
Install faucet aerators in all sinks.
Fix or replace faucet and toilet leaks.
Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes.
Install an on-demand water heater near your kitchen sink so you don't have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
Don’t wait for water to run cold. Instead, store water in the refrigerator.
Take showers instead of baths and take shorter showers.
Install water–saving shower heads.
Use low-flow toilets or, if your toilet was installed before 1992, displace water in tanks with plastic jugs filled with water or pebbles.
Install a dual flush toilet and use the half flush whenever possible.
After flushing the toilet, make sure the valve has closed and water is not running.
Only use washing machines and dishwashers when there is a full load.
Scrape plates clean instead of rinsing.
Use low-volume washing machines.
Wrap water heaters with insulation.
Limit watering outdoor landscaping to every third or fourth day.
Water plant roots, not the leaves. Most water on leaves evaporates.
Water outdoor plants and landscaping in the evening or early morning.
If you use a sprinkler to water, install a timer. A forgotten sprinkler wastes more than 10 gallons per minute.
Use rain barrels to collect rainwater and use for plants and landscaping.
Use native plants in your landscaping. They adapt better to the climate.
Choose shrubs and ground covers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
Landscape with no or low water consuming plants.
Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
Use mulch around plants and trees to reduce evaporation up to 73%.
For a green lawn on a budget, only water 2 times per week, don’t over fertilize, aerate the soil, and don’t mow shorter than 3 inches.
When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at the same time.
Direct water from rain gutters toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.
The Tax Roll Process
Wisconsin Statute §66.0809 requires municipalities to place delinquent utility bills on the tax roll as a tax against the property that was furnished with utility service.
Annual Notification Timeline:
October 1st – Utility determines which accounts are in arrears as of this date.
October 15th – Utility sends written notice of any amounts in arrears as of October 1st to the property owner & tenant. Liens placed on tenant assets for delinquencies.
November 1st – Utility applies 10% penalty to any arrearages. The addition of the penalty is not optional.
November 15th by 5:00pm – Final day to pay any arrearages.
November 16th – Utility transfers the unpaid arrears, plus the penalty, to the tax roll.
Belgium utility will not transfer delinquent amounts being paid through a current Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) to the tax roll. Although commission rules do not prohibit the transfer of DPA amounts, it is the utility’s position that if a customer established a DPA for payment of the arrearage and is current with payments, that amount should not be transferred to the tax roll.
The utility cannot continue to apply late fees to the arrearage after October 1st. The 10% penalty added on November 1st is the only penalty that can be applied after that date.
Similar to delinquent taxes, utility arrearages may ultimately become the responsibility of whoever owns the property. A buyer’s realtor or attorney should make arrangements with the seller for payment of any arrearage at the real estate closing. If that doesn’t happen, the burden for payment becomes the responsibility of the buyer.
Moving in or Moving Out
If you are moving in or out of Belgium, please call (262)285-7931 or email the utility at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 business days prior to your move-in or move-out date with the following information:
Legal first and last name(s) and birthdate of user and person
responsible for utility account (if separate)
Phone number where you can be reached during a water emergency
Address you are moving in to or out of where service is to be/was provided
Most recent previous address of person responsible for bill payment
Mailing address (if different from service address)
Forwarding address (for move-outs)
Date change should occur
If you were/are going to be a renter or owner
One of the following forms of ID:
Driver’s license number
State identification card number
Social security number or the last 4 digits of the social security number
Landlords, please note it is very important we get new tenant information in a timely manner. If the name and information for a new tenant is not provided to the utility in writing at the time of a move-in, the utility account and billing will be placed in the property owner’s name and mailing address. It is equally important the utility is provided with forwarding information in writing on tenants who are moving out. If the utility is not informed of a move-out, the utility bills may not be forwarded to the correct responsible party, resulting in delinquencies.
Utility delinquent balances may ultimately become the responsibility of the property owner, so we recommend that landlords contact the utility department in writing notifying them of any changes in utility accounts (such as move-ins/outs), verify tenant payments are being made timely, and keep their own contact information current with the utility department so that you can be contacted in the event of an emergency and notified of any tenant account delinquencies. If written notifications of tenant account changes are made with the utility by the landlord, a lien will be placed on the tenant’s assets for any delinquencies subject to the tax roll annually. Also, landlords may take the following measures to avoid responsibility for a tenant’s unpaid water bill:
Do a credit check on prospective tenants.
Require a co-signer on the lease.
Have service in the landlord’s name and recover the cost of utility service by increasing the rent.
Add language to the rental lease to make tenancy dependent on payment of the utility bills.
Deduct unpaid utility bills from the tenant’s security deposit.
Seasonal Utility Customers
The following is the PSC Water Division policy on charging water service upon disconnection.
Seasonal customers, often referred to as “snowbirds”, are general service customers who voluntarily request disconnection of water service and who resume service at the same location within 12 months of the disconnection, unless service has been provided to another customer at that same location in the intervening period.
Under our current tariff with the PSC, we must bill seasonal customers the applicable services charges (meter charges) year-round, including the period of temporary disconnection, whether or not the meter is removed. In addition, the water service reconnection fee would apply upon reconnection.
The reasoning behind the PSC’s rule is that the water utility’s investment in the water meter and all of the infrastructure necessary to provide service does not somehow disappear when a customer temporarily does not take water service. Therefore, it’s reasonable that the non-variable costs should continue to be paid by the customer.
When might it be advisable to temporarily disconnect my water service?
A customer may wish to have their water disconnected and may even wish to have the water meter removed if the residence will not be heated during the time of temporary disconnection. Any damage that may result from allowing a water meter to become frozen shall be paid for by the customer (or owner) of the premises.
Additionally, a customer may wish to have their water temporarily disconnected as a security measure to prevent extensive damage as well as water/sewer consumption charges should a pipe freeze and burst in their home during their absence.
It’s always a good idea to contact the utility or water superintendent to ask questions regarding your options as a seasonal customer and to understand the billing and other ramifications specific to your situation.
Village of Belgium’s Cross-Connection Control
All municipalities with public water systems are mandated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to have a Cross Connection Control Program. This survey and inspection program is designed to safeguard public health and to protect our public water supply.
The focus of a cross-connection inspection and/or survey is to identify any existing or potential cross connections between drinking water and non-potable systems, inspect existing backflow prevention devices, and verify the backflow prevention devices have been tested within the past year. Unwanted connections occur when a loss in water pressure allows water to flow back into the distribution system. There are numerous, well-documented cases in the United States where cross-connections have been responsible for contamination of drinking water. The problem is a dynamic one, because piping systems are continually being installed, altered, or extended. An important part of managing the cross-connection control program requires regular inspections of facilities with a potential of having cross connections to the public water supply.
The Village of Belgium has contracted with Aqua Backflow to manage the village’s industrial and commercial Cross-Connection Control Program, while Village of Belgium utility staff will be conducting the mandated residential inspections. While we must adhere to state-mandated inspection timelines, the utility staff will attempt to perform residential inspections in conjunction with water meter repairs and replacements as much as possible for the convenience of residents. There is no fee for the inspection. However, most required corrective actions are the responsibility of the property owners.
Aqua Backflow has licensed inspectors with over 50 years of combined backflow prevention experience. They are licensed by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and Certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to design, implement and manage backflow prevention programs throughout the United States. For more information on Aqua Backflow and cross-connection control, please visit their website at http://www.aquabackflow.com/.
We ask for your cooperation when contacted either by the Village of Belgium or Aqua Backflow to schedule an appointment, provide access for the inspector, or provide needed information. Compliance with this program is mandatory for all water users. If you have any questions related to the program, please contact the Village of Belgium Water Superintendent, Danny Birenbaum, at 414-416-7085 or Village Hall at 262 -285-7931.
Village of Belgium Water Utility Data
The Village of Belgium water utility has 3 wells with a maximum pumping capacity of 2,404,800 gallons per day.
Well #1 – 560 gallons per minute
Well #2 – 710 gallons per minute
Well #3 – 400 gallons per minute
Overhead storage capacity is a total of 375,000 gallons in two water towers.
Tower #1 – 75,000 gallon capacity
Tower #2 – 300,000 gallon capacity
Ground storage capacity is a total of 160,000 gallons in two reservoirs.
Reservoir #1 – 60,000 gallon capacity
Reservoir #2 – 100,000 gallon capacity
Water hardness levels
Well #1 – 288 ppm or 16.8 gpg
Well #2 – 256 ppm or 14.9 gpg
Well #3 – 512 ppm or 29.9 gpg
CCPP = "Calcium Carbonate Precipitation Potential" is a method of testing water's corrosive or scaling tendencies
LSI = "Langleier Saturation Index" is a method of testing water's corrosive or scaling tendencies
MCL = "Maximum Contaminant Levels", which is the maximum allowable amount of a contaminant in drinking water
PPM = "Parts Per Million", or milligrams per liter (mg/L)
Village of Belgium Storm Sewer System
Stormwater runoff is excess precipitation that flows into water bodies and local storm sewer systems largely due to the prevalence of hard surfaces, such as concrete. Large quantities of water that would ordinarily be absorbed into the ground in the natural environment instead enter streams and lakes. Stormwater runoff collects pollutants, chemicals and debris as it flows over paved surfaces and into water bodies. It also causes erosion, decreases groundwater recharge and alters aquatic environments.
Retention ponds are one of the most common forms of stormwater management. In contrast to detention or “dry” ponds, retention ponds hold water from storm events for extended periods of time, effectively treating the stormwater. More than 90% of the pollutant removal in retention ponds occurs between rainfall events. The storage and treatment of water reduces the overall quantity and quality of stormwater runoff, reducing the impact of runoff on surrounding water bodies.
Significant effort is required for initial pond construction. As with any stormwater management strategy, some maintenance is required. Regular inspections for pests and erosion are recommended. Buffer areas must be mowed regularly. Sedimentation, debris and excess algae should be removed periodically as well.
Improved water quality in surrounding water bodies. Retention ponds manage stormwater quantity and quality, lessening the transfer of pollutants and chemicals into nearby water bodies.
Aesthetic appeal. A retention pond may enhance aesthetics via plant selection, plant placement, topography and pedestrian access options.
Increased biodiversity. Biodiversity is defined as the variation of life forms in a given ecosystem. Landscaping with ponds and different varieties of plants can add to the natural environment.
Wildlife habitat. Retention ponds provide habitats for animals, organisms and insects.
Water conservation. Water that is stored in retention ponds is available for non-potable human uses such as irrigation.
Flood prevention. Stormwater quantity reductions minimize the risk of flooding in nearby areas.
Minimization of erosion. Stormwater quantity reductions minimize erosion in the nearby area and along the banks of water bodies.
The Village of Belgium has separate storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems. This prevents any sanitary sewage overflows into our water systems, and reduces the treatment cost and wear on our treatment plant facilities which would be caused by treating rain and ground water.
Village of Belgium Sewer System
Preliminary treatment at the Village of Belgium’s Wastewater Treatment facility consists of grit and fine screen filtration to remove large hard solids that might clog and damage downstream equipment. Sewage enters the grit chambers which allow heavier materials, like sand and stones, to settle out so that they will not cause abrasive wear on equipment, while also removing larger food particles. After the grit chambers, sewage passes through fine screen filtration to remove paper, plastics, and other large objects.
Secondary treatment at the Village of Belgium’s Wastewater Treatment Plant begins when the sewage (BOD) enters the oxidation ditch after preliminary treatment. The wastewater is teaming with microbes, many of which are necessary for the degradation and stabilization of organic matter and are beneficial. In the oxidation ditch, the sewage is mechanically aerated, providing the oxygen required by the aerobic microbes within the wastewater to digest the matter they use for food and reproduction, effectively breaking pollutants present in wastewater down into less harmful components.
Once the BOD is removed from the wastewater, it flows out of the oxidation ditch into the clarifier (or settling tank) where the sludge is removed. In an oxidation ditch type plant, only about 15% of the original BOD ends up as sludge, compared to packaged plants where about 60% of the BOD becomes sludge. Some of the sludge in the clarifier is pumped back into the oxidation ditch to repopulate the microbes within and continue breaking down pollutants, while some of that sludge is pumped into constructed reed beds. The reeds purify the sludge further via “de-watering” it and using its food value for the reeds’ growth, converting it into biomass and low-grade compost without chemical addition or energy use. The remaining sludge in the clarifier continues on for tertiary treatment.
The Village of Belgium’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is a biological oxidation ditch treatment facility, which was built in 2001. The plant’s average daily flow is 0.225 million gallons. Reed beds are used to stabilize sludge. Outflow of the Wastewater Treatment Plant is to the Belgian-Holland Ditch.
Tertiary treatment with the Village of Belgium’s Wastewater Treatment Plant commences with automatic backwash sand filtration. This removes most of the remaining suspended solids which may contain phosphorus.
After automatic backwash sand filtration, tertiary treatment continues with disinfection, the final process before discharge. Disinfection destroys harmful (pathogenic) microorganisms that cause bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases.
The most commonly used disinfectant is chlorine. Chlorine is quite effective against most bacteria, but a rather high dose is needed to kill viruses, protozoa, and other forms of pathogen. Chlorine has several problems associated with its use, among them 1) it reacts to organic matter to form toxic and carcinogenic chlorinated organics, such as chloroform, 2) chlorine is very toxic to aquatic organisms in the receiving water, and 3) it is hazardous to store and handle.
A more powerful disinfectant is ozone, an unstable form of oxygen. Ozone is too unstable to store, and has to be made as it is used. While chlorine can be dosed at a high enough concentration so that some of it remains in the water for a considerable time, ozone is consumed very rapidly and leaves no residual. It may also produce some chemical byproducts, but seldom as harmful as those produced by chlorine.
The other commonly used method of disinfection is ultraviolet light, which the Village of Belgium uses in our disinfection process. UV light, which continues to be a reliable means of disinfection, involves exposing contaminated water to radiation from UV light. The treatment works because UV light penetrates any organism’s cell walls and disrupts the cell’s genetic material, making reproduction impossible and renders microbes useless. UV light disinfection does not form any disinfection byproducts, nor does it carry any risk of overdosing. It has no volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions or toxic air emissions. Additionally, this process requires minimal space for equipment, little supervision and maintenance, very little contact time to disinfect (seconds versus minutes for chemical disinfection), and low operation and maintenance costs. After disinfection, the treated water is released into the Belgian-Holland Ditch.