Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Frequently Asked Questions

Customer Service Questions

  1. Where can I pay my water bill, and what are my payment options?
    You can learn about options to pay your water bill here.
  2. Has my bill been mailed out yet and when is it due?
    Bills are usually mailed out within five days of your meter reading, and are due 21 days after the bill is produced. To access your account information and find out if you have charges due (and the due date for these charges), call 513-591-7700 and select Option 2 for account and billing information. This information is available during our business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Note: You must have your Water Works account number.
  3. When is my next meter reading date?
    If you have your billing statement, the next meter reading date is printed in the top section of the statement in the upper right-hand side. You can dial 513-591-7700 and select Option 4 to find out your next meter reading date. If you don't have your account number, press 0 to speak with a customer representative who will check the date for you.
  4. How are sewer charges calculated when I am watering my lawn or filling my pool?
    If you live in Hamilton County, the Metropolitan Sewer District bills sewage on one- and two-family residential homes according to how much water they use in their winter billing period (the billing period that ends with the meter reading in February, March or April). For the rest of that year, if you use more water than what you used in the winter quarter, GCWW will only bill sewage up to the amount that was used in your winter quarter. See City of Mason's website.
  5. How do I report an "outside" water main leak or break?
    Call 513-591-7700, 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. Be sure to give the exact street address with the nearest cross street. GCWW will investigate all reported leaks and breaks. The property owner is responsible for service line and all plumbing on private property. The owner is also responsible for protecting the meter from damage caused by freezing or other hazards.

Water Quality Questions

  1. How often is my water tested?
    GCWW's priority is safe drinking water. An average of 600 tests are performed each day throughout the system to ensure safe drinking water.
    • Source waters are tested routinely to detect contaminants before they enter treatment plants.
    • Water quality experts test the water after each stage of the treatment process.
    • Water Samples are collected in the distribution system to monitor the quality of water once it has left the treatment plant.
    • Monitors are located throughout our treatment plants and in the distribution system to continuously monitor the water quality.
  2. What do the results of the water quality tests really mean for my family?
    The bottom line is that our water meets or exceeds every health standard developed by the USEPA to ensure safety of the drinking water. Customers may also visit the USEPA online for additional information on understanding your drinking water.
  3. How hard is GCWW water?
    First, let us explain "hard water." Calcium and magnesium salts are the minerals in water that are responsible for its hardness. Groundwater tends to contain more of these minerals than surface water because they are present in the rocks and aquifer. Miller Plant water has an average hardness of 137 milligrams per liter or 8 grains per gallon. Bolton Plant water has an average hardness of 147 milligrams per liter or 9 grains per gallon. Hardness does not affect the safety of water.
  4. Why is fluoride added to the water?
    Fluoride is added to the water to protect teeth, as required by state law passed in 1969. According to the American Dental Association, persons who drink fluoridated water have a 20% to 40% reduction in the number of cavities that would have occurred without fluoride. Some home filtration devices remove fluoride. Bottled water may not contain fluoride.
  5. Sometimes my water is reddish-brown. Is this safe?
    The reddish-brown color can be caused by rust from corrosion in GCWW's pipes, the pipes in your home, or from corrosion in your home's water heater.  This is not a health concern; the water meets all health-based regulations. If you have questions, or your laundry is stained from rusty water, call GCWW at 513-591-7700. We will deliver a laundry aid to remove the rust.  Do NOT put stained laundry in the dryer.  If you have rusty water, try running cold water slowly for several minutes.
  6. Why does drinking water sometimes look cloudy?
    Cloudy water which clears quickly from the bottom up is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to gas bubbles in soda. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and disappear. This cloudiness occurs more often in the winter, when drinking water is cold. Air does not affect the safety of water. If you have questions, call 513-591-7700.
  7. Why is water treatment so important?
    The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, steams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
    • microbial contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife
    • inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming
    • pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses
    • organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems
    • radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

For all these reasons, we treat the water using state-of-the-art technology and test the water frequently to ensure the best quality of water for our customers.