Frequently Asked Questions
How do I close my account?
You must fill out a Request to Close Water/Sewer Account form and fax it to the number listed on the form.
How do I update my information, add a name, or change the name on the account due to marriage, divorce, or death?
You must fill out an Update Form for Existing Account and fax it to the number listed on the form. If you are changing the name due to divorce, both parties must sign the form.
I have just bought/rented a new property and I need to transfer the water service into my name. What should I do?
You must fill out an Application for Water and Sewer Service. If your property is served by Berkeley County Sewer, this single application process will also activate the sewer service. The person listed on the application will need to provide a photo id and the security deposit. For a typical single family residence, the security deposit is $50 for water and $125 for sewer.
What forms of payment are accepted for a water bill? Can I make a payment over the telephone?
You may pay your water bill electronically, by mail with a check or money order, or pay in person at the Water District office or the Sewer District office with cash, a check or money order. Credit/Debit cards (Mastercard, Visa and Discover) will be accepted at both offices. Telephone credit card payments can be made by calling 304-263-8566.
I am not able to pay my water bill. Are there any community agencies that might be able to assist me?
Yes, there are several community agencies that may be able to help you pay your water bill. Click HERE for a listing.
What if I did not receive my bill in mail?
Your account is billed on a regular basis around the middle of every month. If you do not receive your bill by the last day of the month, you should call our office. You are responsible for paying the bill whether it is received or not.
Why is my water off?
There can be several reasons for your water being off; a water main may be shut down for maintenance purposes (planned or emergency) or your water service may be terminated because of failure to pay your water bill or your sewer bill. If your water is off and you have questions, please call the Water District at 304-267-4600.
How will I be informed if my water will be shut off for planned maintenance?
The Berkeley County Water District is required to notify their customers of any planned maintenance when the water is to be shut off. Customer notification is an important part of our work plan. Depending on the situation, we may place an article in the local newspaper, mail notices to you or go to door-to-door. In extreme cases we may broadcast information on local television and/or radio stations.
Why is my water bill so high?
A number of reasons cause an increase in your water bill, including: plumbing leaks in toilets and faucets; an increase in the number of people living in the house resulting in greater water usage; a dry hot summer, resulting in higher consumption; or an increase in the number of days in the billing period.
Is public water available everywhere in Berkeley County?
No, there are limited water mains in Berkeley County. Inquiries regarding the extension of water service to various neighborhoods may be directed to the Engineering Department. To determine if water is available we require that you provide us detailed information about your property location including Tax Map and Parcel number.
Where does my water come from?
If you live south of Martinsburg your water is either from the LeFever Spring which is treated at the Bunker Hill Water Filtration Plant or from groundwater wells located at the Springdale Farm Well Field on Goldmiller Road or the Morning Dove Well Field on Giles Mill Road. If you live north of Martinsburg your water is from the Potomac River and it is treated at the Potomac River Water Filtration Plant.
Is my water safe to drink?
Yes, the Water District routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water. All monitoring results are reported to the WV Bureau of Public Health.
Is chlorine in water safe to drink?
Testing has proven that the amount of chlorine used as a disinfectant in drinking water is safe to drink.
Why does the water sometimes appear cloudy? It looks milky or opaque. Is it safe to drink?
A disruption such as repairs in the water distribution system can sometimes allow air to enter the water pipes. Air will cause the water to appear milky or cloudy. If you place it in a clean glass, the water will clear from the bottom to the top. You should run the water for a short period of time to flush any entrapped air from the lines. Yes the water is safe to drink.
What is the hardness of my water?
If you live south of Martinsburg or in the Hedgesville area your water is very hard (18 to 20 grains per gallon) and you may wish to consider a water softener. If you live north of Martinsburg your water has a hardness of 7 to 8 grains per gallon.
What is the reason for running water from fire hydrants out into the street?
Water systems require an annual cleaning. This is done by flowing water from fire hydrants and blow-offs, thereby increasing the velocity of water inside the pipes. This removes any sediment that has accumulated over time.
What is backflow Prevention?
Water distribution systems are designed so that water flows in one direction from the treatment plant to the customer. Backflow is the undesirable reversal of flow (backflow or back siphonage) of water or mixtures of water and other liquids or substances into the distribution pipes of the potable supply of water from any source. A cross connection is a link between a potable water (safe to drink) system and a nonpotable system or a system of questionable quality. A cross connection can allow undesirable liquids to enter the potable water system. To insure the safety of our drinking water, BCPSWD has a Cross Connection Control Ordinance to protect the system from cross connections and backflow. We work closely with consumers, architects, engineers and contractors to ensure that all those who are required to comply with cross connection control and/or backflow prevention requirements, do so.
If I want to have the water lines marked so that I do not damage them while digging ditches, post holes, and planting trees, etc., who do I call?
The Water District is a member of Miss Utility of WV. They can be reached at 1-800-245-4848. Within a couple days the water lines will be marked with blue paint.
Who is responsible for my water system?
The customer “owns” the water system from the point at which it exits the water meter, and is responsible for maintaining it in good condition and free from all leaks and defects. While the Water District “owns” the water meter and the pipe connecting it to the water main, the customer is responsible for preventing damage to the meter, the box in which it sits (the crock) and all pipes and connections to it. The costs for damages that result from negligence, misconduct or other actions by the customer or others may be billed to the customer. The Water District routinely checks meters for signs of normal wear and tear, tests and repairs or replaces the water meter as necessary at no cost to the customer.
If I experience low water pressure, and the Water District doesn’t have a problem, what are some things I can check at my house?
- Pressure reducing valves can malfunction (close and not reopen and/or the screen could clog with dirt).
- Aerator screens in faucets could be dirty.
- In line water filters may need to be changed.
- A shut off valve may not be turned on all the way.
- You may have a leak big enough to cause low water pressure.
What causes the pink stain on bathroom fixtures?
The reddish-pink color sometimes seen in bathrooms on shower stalls, tubs, tile, toilets, sinks and toothbrush holders and on pet’s water bowls is caused by the growth of the bacterium Serratia marcesens. Serratia is commonly isolated from soil, water, plants, insects, and vertebrates (including man). The bacteria can be introduced into the house through any of these sources. The bathroom provides a perfect environment (moist and warm) for bacteria to thrive.
The best solution to this problem is to continually clean and dry the surfaces. Chlorine bleach can be used periodically to disinfect the toilet and help to eliminate the occurrence of the pink residue. Keeping bathtubs and sinks wiped down using a solution that contains chlorine will also help minimize its occurrence.