City of Ottawa, Illinois

Q: Where is the Main Shutoff Valve in my home?

A: The main shut-off should be in a basement, crawlspace or utility room, near where the water line comes into the home. It is a good idea to know where this is located in case of an emergency. In the event you are incapable of turning the valve off, at least you will be able to instruct the person called to assist you. The property owner is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the valves and keeping the water meter accessible and warm.

Q: What do I do if I have NO water?

A: 1. Check the plumbing at your premises. In some cases, the valves have been turned off by someone working on the plumbing and were not turned back on.

2. Some homes share water service lines and curb box valves with neighboring homes. Water service lines are the lines that extend from the water mains to the homes. One homeowner may have turned it off to make a repair, unaware they share it with a neighbor. This happens in the older sections of town. Check with your neighbor if you have no water.

3. If you don't have water at a particular faucet, the faucet with no water may be plugged. Taking the screen off and cleaning it with vinegar should remove the deposit which may have plugged the opening.

Q: What do I do about a high water bill?

A: Check the toilets to make sure they are working properly. Ask family members if they hear water running from time to time. If there is a water softener, make sure it is operating correctly.

Q: What is the responsibility as a homeowner in getting the water from the main to the house?

A: As a consumer of City water, you are responsible for the repair of any service leaks between the buffalo box (b-box) or valve box in front of the house and the point it enters your home. The City will repair any leaks between the buffalo box and the water main, and any leak in the main itself.

Q: My water is cloudy?

A: Cloudy water is generally the result of oxygen trapped in the water. As the temperatures go down, this problem affects more residents. To determine this, draw a glass of water from your tap and let it stand for a few minutes. The cloudiness should disappear. If sediment has settled to the bottom off the glass, please contact the Water Department for further investigation.

Crews will respond to all calls related to rusty or cloudy water, evaluate the extent of the problem and may attempt to remove a sediment cloud by flushing the water mains in the affected area

Q: What do I do when there is a Boil Order issued?

A: Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes and let it cool before using. Boiled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.



Gary Scott
Public Works Director
301 West Madison Street
Ottawa, Illinois 61350
815-433-0161 ext. 312 Phone
815-433-2270 Fax

Daniel F. Aussem
Commissioner of Public Property
301 West Madison Street
Ottawa, Illinois 61350
815-433-0161 Phone
815-433-2270 Fax

Water Billing
815-434-0158 Phone
815-434-2290 Fax