To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.
When was the VLACD established?
The Flint Area has been a resort area for Valparaiso and environs for over one hundred years. The Valparaiso Lakes Area Conservancy District, or VLACD, was established in 1975 primarily to purchase and maintain the small water utility in that area that was on the verge of bankruptcy. Today, VLACD's services include providing water supply, providing collection and disposal of sewage produced within the district, improving drainage, preventing the loss of topsoil from injurious water erosion,and flood control and prevention.
How could I have used this much water?
You may not have - the numbers on your meter may have been transposed or hard to read. You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.
What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?
Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.
Why is my water discolored?
A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.
What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?
Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.
My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?
All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line) by state law. Systems that use chloramine as a disinfectant must maintain a level of 0.5 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.
Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?
Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.
Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?
We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.
What are your office hours?
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. For your convenience, we have a drop box to the left of the front door for payments dropped off after hours. Our phone number is (219) 464-3770. For all billing or service questions, call the office during working hours.
Do you have any emergency telephone number?
For EXTREME emergencies only, call the pager number at (219) 548-6254. After you hear the tone, punch in your number and press the # key. Someone will return your call.
Do you require a security deposit?
A $40.00 deposit is required from all new customers of LAC Utilities, and a signed Water Agreement Card must be on file at the office. For renters, both the owner and tenant must sign the Agreement Card. Upon termination of our services, the $40.00 deposit will be applied to the final bill if there is a balance. If there is no bill owed on the account the customer will receive their deposit back in the form of a check mailed to their new address. There is a $30.00 fee for any check returned NSF from the bank.
When do you read my meter and when do you bill me?
The meters are read on the 15th day of the month and billed on the last day of the month. Payment is due twenty (20) days after the billing date. After the 20th, a late charge will be assessed on the unpaid balance. Failure to receive your bill does not excuse any penalty charges. Water service on delinquent accounts will be terminated on the 10th day of the month following the due date. The service department is not required to knock on doors prior to the shutoff. There is a $40.00 turn-on fee. After normal working hours, the turn-on fee is $80.00.
What if I would like to turn on and off my water service for the winter?
A 24-hour notice is required Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m..Fees will not be accepted by our service department personnel.
Are there any additional charges on the bill?
All accounts have a monthly Fire Protection Charge of $0.97 assessed to them. In case of a fire, you would not be charged for the water used to extinguish the fire. Meters larger than 5/8" are charged accordingly.
Where should I place my water meter?
All water meters must be readily accessible to our meter readers. If you have animals hindering the reading, or your Read-O-Matic is inaccessible, you must make alternate arrangements with the office, or your bill will be estimated for 1,000 cubic feet of water.
What if I read my own meter?
If you read your own water meter, the meter reading should be called into the office on the 15th of the month. Please have your account number and meter number ready.
What is the minimum water / sewer bill?
If the water service is active and there is no consumption, the monthly minimum charge is $41.83. If the water is turned off, there is still a $16.78 base sewer charge. If our charges are allowed to become delinquent, we have the authority to put a lien on the property and eventually sell the property at a tax sale. Landlords are held responsible for all delinquent bills incurred by their tenants.
What about my sump pump?
Sump pumps that pump unmetered water into the sewer system are in violation of the sewer ordinance and are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 per day.
Do you have a sprinkling average during the summer months?
Yes. If you water your lawn during the summer months, the sprinkling rate adjustment will be automatically reflected on the July 31st and August 31st billings. The sewage for the months will be based on an AVERAGE of water usage during the previous nine (9) months. The sprinkling rate adjustment shall not be available to users who have lived in the billed premises for less than three months (or April1) and have not received bills prior to July.
What if I wish to fill my swimming pool?
If you have a pool, the FIRST FILL ONLY will have sewer adjusted off if you take the reading at the beginning of the fill and the end of the fill and report them to the office. Unfortunately, no adjustments can be made unless these procedures are followed.
What is the hardness of the water? And what about Iron? Fluoride? Chlorine?
There are 17 to 22 grains per gallon of water. Iron levels discharged from the treatment plants are from 0.03 to 0.06 mg/L (milligrams per liter or parts per million). Iron levels can be higher due to the iron pipes in the distribution system. On rare occasions, problems in the filtration process can cause higher levels of iron to be discharged from the treatment plants.
Fluoride is added to our water. The levels of fluoride are kept around 1.0 to 1.3 mg/L (milligrams per liter or parts per million).
Chlorine is added to disinfect the water. Chlorine levels vary depending on the distribution system. The chlorine levels in the water discharged from the treatment plants range from 1.2 to 1.5 mg/L (milligrams per liter or parts per million).