Frequently Asked Questions
As a new homeowner/renter why do I need a sewer utility?
The sanitary code of the State of Louisiana, administered by the Department of Health and Hospitals, requires subdivisions with 15 or more connections to have a community sewer system. This system consists of sewer mains, sewer manholes, usually one lift station and a sewer treatment plant. The sewer mains are underground, but you can usually see the sewer manhole covers, the lift station and the sewer plant.
How do I set up new service?
You can download the application for service form on our website and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call our office at 337-474-2805 to establish new service.
How do I report a sewer emergency?
Clean Water, Inc. maintains a 24 Hour Answering Service for any sewer emergencies at 337-912-0625 (ex. sewer backing up, sewer overflowing, sewer lift stations or plant malfunctions.) Always call Clean Water, Inc. before a plumber is called. If you contact a plumber first, you will NOT be reimbursed if a system failure is the fault. When a sewer emergency is called in after office hours, state the type of emergency. Please leave the subdivision name, address, your name and a contact number.
Does Clean Water, Inc. take care of every sewer problem I experience?
Clean Water, Inc. is staffed by certified wastewater operators 24 hours per day/7 days per week. If you are experiencing a sewer emergency, a supervisor will answer or return your call to help you determine if a sewer problem is in your service line or in our main line. Your service line is a 4â€ pipe running from your home into the collection line. You may tie-in with a neighbor into a 6â€ pipe before entering the main line. Our supervisor will ask if you are the only neighbor having this problem, how often this problems occurs, and other questions to help you troubleshoot whether the problem is in your line or in our collection system or sewer plant. The customer takes care of problems in their home and 4â€ service line. Clean Water, Inc. takes care of issues beyond the â€œtapâ€, usually near the street. If a supervisor tells you that the problem is in your service line, Clean Water, Inc. may charge up to $50.00 to inspect the site if the problem is, indeed, in your service line. You will still need to call a plumber since we canâ€™t work on service lines.
Whatâ€™s this white pipe sticking out in my yard?
Usually the 4â€ white pipe, with a push-on cap or a screw-on cap, is your sewer clean-out. Mo-Dad Utilities wants to encourage you to never bury this pipe below ground level and always protect the pipe from lawnmowers. At some point in the future you will be glad to know where this clean-out is located to determine a blockage and keep backups out of your home. This is one of the main places a plumber will use to clean out your drains one day. Replace the cap if it becomes damaged: otherwise, your yard will smell bad and your sewer lines will clog. In the event of major storms and power outages you must remove these clean-out caps to eliminate the possibility of sewerage backing up into your home.
What about the fees and monthly rate?
As stated earlier, our rates are approved by the LA Public Service Commission (LPSC) according to each subdivision. Hereâ€™s an explanation of fees charged by sewer companies:
Your monthly rate is a flat fee of $55.00. This is with accordance to the LPSC tariff of your subdivision and will reflect the rate effective in your subdivision. Unregistered Customers are liable for six months of back charges. The monthly LDEQ Fee is a pass-through charge allowed by LPSC to pay for the discharge permit issued by LA Department of Environmental Quality each year.
The tap fee ($450.00) is an administrative fee charged to the first resident. This fee may be collected and paid by the developer/builder, but not always. A sewer utility only has one customer: the person living in the home. The actual TAP is made by a plumber. Clean Water, Inc. has the right to inspect the TAP before it is covered with dirt. We ask that you call us to make this inspection. In rare instances when Clean Water Inc. has to physically make the TAP (tie in your line to ours), additional charges will apply ($450.00).
LPSC allows us to collect 2.5 times the monthly rate for a deposit which is refundable when you move from the home or after three years by your request. If you were a Clean Water, Inc. Customer before and your account was responsibly paid, we can/may waive the deposit.
Reconnection Fee is a $450 charge for reconnecting your service if disconnected for non-payment. Disconnection is usually by your water company disconnecting your water service. If Clean Water, Inc. has an Agreement with the water provider, disconnection will be made by water disconnect. If such an Agreement is not in place, sewer disconnection will be made by backhoe followed by notice to DHH which can lead to eviction.
Returned Check Fee
A Returned Check Fee ($20.00), Delinquent Fee (5%), and a Service Charge ($20.00) – when the company makes a call when the trouble is in the consumerâ€™s service line – are other possible charges.
Clean Water, Inc. bills after the end of month for service. We mail bills on or about the 28th of each month with payment due on the 15rd of the next month of service to avoid a delinquent fee. Payment can be made at our office at 2885 Hwy 14 E., Lake Charles, LA 70607, by mail (no cash), bank draft or credit card payments through www.cleanwaterinc.net (go to Payment on this same site). Contact the office for more details if needed.
How can I help keep my rates as low as possible?
Cooking oils/grease poured down a drain badly damages your plumbing and our collection and treatment efforts. Please dispose of grease via garbage collection.
Your sewer treatment system is NOT a municipal system. Avoid flushing any items that are not marked â€œflushableâ€. Disposable does not mean flushable. As an example, Do Not Flush:
- Fabric (rags or clothing)
- Plastic bags
- Mop heads
- Towels (paper or cloth)
- Swiffer/mopping pads
- Feminine hygiene products
- Pledge wipes