Utility Billing FAQ

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My water smells like rotten eggs or sulfur. What causes the smell and is it safe to drink?

The majority of our odor complaints are due to various supply tubes that are located under sinks, behind toilets and refrigerators. This line is typically clear and braided, opaque or has stainless webbing. The minerals in our water seem to react with these types of tubes.

When water sits for a period of time unused in these pipes, a sulfuric odor may present itself.  After running water a short time, the odor should go away. Replacing the braided type hose with copper or chrome piping usually solves most odor problems. If you have replaced the supply tubing and still have a problem, you may need to replace an anode in your hot water heater.

If you have an odor in your hot water supply, you may want to replace the standard magnesium or aluminum anode rod with an aluminum/zinc alloy anode in your hot water heater.

It is also recommended that you flush your hot water heater annually.

The City of Keizer has testing programs in place at the municipal wells. Even if there is an odor, the water is STILL SAFE to drink water from the City’s wells up to your meter

     For additional water testing information, please see the FAQ on "What about Water Quality Testing."

Why do I have Dirty (Brown) water----and is it safe to consume?

Yes; the City of Keizer’s water is completely SAFE to consume from the City's wells up to your meter, even when it is dirty-looking or brownish in color because the City of Keizer has testing programs in place at the municipal wells. Dirty-looking water is generally minerals that have been stirred up but it could also be from something wrong with your pipes. 

     For additional water testing information, please see the FAQ on "What about Water Quality Testing."

       For individual concerns, please contact the Utility Billing Division at: (503) 390-8280

The City uses well water and because this water comes from the ground, it’s rich in minerals. When wells are activated and deactivated based upon seasonal water needs, minerals are stirred up, which can result in more minerals flowing through the pipes.

If the City is doing work in the area, the water mains may be temporarily turned off, which can also cause an accumulation of minerals to flow through the lines.

RESOLUTION:  Running the cold water in the bathtub for about 15 minutes usually produces high enough water flow to push the minerals through the lines thus clearing the water.

If this doesn’t work, then you can turn on the front and back hose spigots to run simultaneously for about 15 minutes. Once that’s done, run the cold water in the bathtub again for about 15 minutes.

What about Water Quality Testing?

The City of Keizer has testing programs in place at the municipal wells. We provide clean and safe drinking water from the City’s wells up to your meter.

Additionally, our water system meets the Federal water safeguards and the Clean Water Act requirements. Our water quality testing also meets or exceeds the requirements of the Oregon Health Authority, Drinking Water Section and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Unfortunately, the City cannot test the water from the meter into your home. You’re welcome to hire an individual testing company to test the water you’re receiving inside your home. 

It’s a good idea to make sure the testing company is an Oregon Accredited Drinking Water Laboratory via the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program. For more information, please visit the Oregon Health Authority,ORELAP.

To search for Environmental Testing Laboratories by State (Oregon) and then by Lab.

For more information, please visit the EPA on Water testing to protest your home’s water.

What is that yellow, black or blue staining I get in my dishwasher, toilet, sinks and laundry?

Well water has natural minerals which can cause staining. The yellow or orange color stain is mostly caused by iron whereas the blue or black stains are caused by manganese.

How do I get rid of these stains?

In the dishwasher, we suggest running a cycle with a CITRUS-BASED package of drink mix or some tablet form detergent. Sometimes a second cycle is necessary but this should clear up the problem.

In laundry, we suggest you minimize or eliminate bleach and chlorine products. Bleach actually draws out the iron and suspends it in the water, making the staining worse. There are products on the market that are made for hard water stains.

Why do I pay for stormwater when I do not have a storm drain on my street?

The City of Keizer was federally mandated in 2007 to develop a stormwater program to comply with The Federal Clean Water Act. Even though residents may not have a storm drain on their street, it is designed to maintain the entire system throughout the city.

The storm drains help protect our local streams and rivers.  

What is the license fee?

Each municipal public utility is required to pay the City a right-of-way use or business license fee of 5% of the gross revenues of the public utility.

The funds generated from the license fee are placed in the General Fund, to be used for City Administration, Police, Community Development and Parks Maintenance.

If I need to make a repair or if I have a leak, how do I turn off my water?

If you have an updated meter, you should have a handle on your side of the meter.

Turn this handle a quarter turn clockwise to turn off the water. (please see illustrations)


  • To protect from flooding and to save on your water bill, there is a shut-off on your side of the meter at your ball valve. 
    • To turn your water off, simply turn your handle a quarter of a turn to where the handle is not in-line position with your meter. 
    • You may have to remove the cement meter box or move dirt away from the handle. If you have any problems, please feel free to call the office at (503) 390-8280

  • If there’s a WATER EMERGENCY, please call the after-hours line at (503) 393-1608.

Why is my bill so high?

Keep in mind that your bill is for two months usage. Also you will notice that the majority of your bill is for sewer. A unit of water is 748 gallons. For that unit you pay only $1.45. However, sewer costs more per unit to treat than water and for a unit of sewer you pay $3.54. To find out how your sewer rate is adjusted please inquire about our sewer reset period.

How can I detect a Possible Water Leak?

You’re certainly welcomed to call the Utility Billing Customer Service at (503) 390-8280 to request that the we check for a possible leak at your meter before or after you troubleshoot for a possible leak.

 First, taking a walk throughout your home to check for leaky faucets and/or toilets that continue to run after flushing is the simplest step to catching the most common leaks and can be easy fixes. 

Replacing the flapper often corrects toilets from continuing to run and use unnecessary water.If there are no signs of a leaky faucet or toilet, and you think you may have a leak, take the following steps:
Turn off all water faucets, sprinklers, washing machines, or any other water supply. 

Locate the water meter. Water meters are frequently located in the sidewalk near the building, but could also be in a yard or right-of-way strip. If you are unable to locate your water meter, call Utility Billing Customer Service at (503) 390-8280

 Once you have located the water meter, remove the metal lid with a standard screw driver. Check the water meter to see if the flow detector (a small red or black marker on the top of the water meter) is moving. 

Assess the size of the leak. If the flow detector moves, then stops, then moves again, it is a good indication that your toilet valve is leaking or that there may be a very small leak. If the flow detector moves slowly, it is a good indication that you may have a small leak. 

Make repairs, as needed. 

Once repairs are made to stop the leak, contact Utility Billing Customer Service at (503) 390-8280 to see if you are eligible for a credit adjustment to your utility billing account.

 A receipt for the repairs may be necessary for possible account adjustments. 

If you would like assistance or have any questions, please feel free to call the office at (503) 390-8280, Mon - Fri (8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) If there’s a WATER EMERGENCY, please call the after-hours line at(503) 393-1608

How is my Sewer Rate Determined----and what is the Sewer Reset Period?

ANNUAL Sewer Rate Reset Period is:  October 1st thru mid-March, so conserving water during this time period may reduce the cost of your sewer.

Please Click on the Following Link for Details:  Annual Sewer Rate Resets

What if I have Questions about my Sewer?

For BILLING & PAYMENT Questions about your Sewer, please call Keizer Utility Billing Division at (503) 390-8280.

For ANY OTHER Questions, please contact the City of Salem because they operate the Wastewater Treatment Plant and manage sewer concerns and inquiries at:

SALEM Public Works Dispatch


 24-hours a day

Email: http://service@cityofsalem.net

Phone: (503) 588-6311

What about Sewer Backups?

Please Click HERE to Visit the City of Salem's Website.

Do you have Tips to Help Prevent Frozen Pipes?

You can do the following to help prevent frozen pipes:

Disconnect water hoses from outdoor faucets before the temperature drops below freezing.  

Wrap outdoor pipes and faucets with insulating materials. 

Wrap pipes and faucets located in unheated garages, attics, and crawl spaces with insulating materials—especially those located close to outside walls that are not insulated. 

During periods of freezing temperatures, temporarily let cold water trickle at a slow, constant drip from faucets—especially those located close to outside walls.  

Cracks in outside walls or foundations should be sealed to keep cold air away from pipes. medfrozen.jpg 

Leave cabinet doors open under kitchen and bathroom sinks, which allows warm air to circulate around plumbing fixtures. 

Contact a licensed plumber for information on thawing frozen pipes.

Can I Apply for Emergency Utility Assistance?

Yes - if you are experiencing a short-term need for payment assistance, you can contact one of the local service agencies listed below to apply for aid. This financial assistance can be used to pay your City of Keizer utility bill.

Households are limited to receiving a maximum of $150 of assistance during a 12-month cycle, and each agency has its own eligibility rules.

Contact one or more of the local social service agencies to see if you are eligible for help paying your utility bill.

Service Agencies:

Salvation Army
(503) 585-6688
 1977 Front Street SE
 Salem, OR 97301

1pm – 3pm

9am – 3pm

Proof of income Proof of age (over 18 years old) City of Keizer utility shut off notice

St. Vincent de Paul

(503) 364-5672
 3745 Portland Road NE
Salem, OR 97301

10am – 2pm

Must provide:

City of Keizer utility shut off notice 

211 Cell

Department of Human Services - Salem Senior Disabled 

Salem Senior & Disability Services (NWSDS)

(503) 304-3400
3410 Cherry Ave NE
Salem, OR  97303

What's the Billing/Payment Timeline?

1. Billings are Due the 22nd, bi-monthly.

AUTO-PAY:  If you sign up for Auto-Pay on the New Payment Portal, payment will be processed ON THE DUE DATE of your bi-monthly statement.

2. Past Due Statements- The Utility Billing Division mails reminder statements to customers after the 22nd, and copies the Owners if account is under tenant's name. 

3. Automated Phone Calls- The Utility Billing Division generates automated phone calls about one week BEFORE substantial late fees ("shut off processing fee") are imposed and water services are disconnected. 

Please be sure to keep THIS OFFICE (503-390-8280; ub@keizer.org) updated with a good phone number for you. 

Click HERE for current fee amounts (see pg. 11). Water services may also be interrupted. 

TIME EXTENSIONS for making payments- Please call our office at (503) 390-8280 to request more time to pay. We will place a PROMISE TO PAY on your utility billing account in order to avoid a late fee and an interruption in your service. If promise is not kept, a late fee will be assessed with disconnection of water service.