Water Services FAQs

1.How do I transfer my account when I move?

The City of Flagstaff does not transfer accounts. Accounts must be terminated and a new account may be activated. You may terminate your current account online, via mail, by calling 928-213-2231 or visiting Customer Service in the 1st floor lobby of City Hall (211 W. Aspen). A new account may be activated online or by visiting Customer Service at least one business day prior to activation and before 2 p.m. New accounts will incur and deposit fee that will be billed to the new account. The deposit fee may be waived if the original account has an excellent payment history. Examples of excellent payment history include, but are not limited to: on-time payments, full payments, no payment arrangements, etc. The charge to open normal Residential service is $176.21 which includes a $26.21 Service Charge including tax and a $150 Refundable Deposit (after 12 consecutive on-time payments). All new account set-ups require one full business day notice. Activation information may be found online at: www.flagstaff.az.gov E-SERVICES

2. How do I setup a new water account?

To open your water, sewer and trash account, you may contact the City in one of the following ways: in-person, online, or mail/fax. To set up an account in-person, please visit City Hall at 211 W Aspen. To set up an account online or via mail/fax, please visit the customer service webpage at: www.flagstaff.az.gov E-SERVICES Service Activation Request Please note: The charge to open normal Residential service is $176.21 which includes a $26.21 Service Charge including tax and a $150 Refundable Deposit (after 12 consecutive on-time payments). All new account set-ups require one full business day notice. Service Activation Request 

3. Where does our water come from?

  • Inner Basin wells and springs This water is only available seasonally, June through October. Approximately two million gallons per day is produced during the season.
  • Lake Mary surface water Water from Upper Lake Mary is treated at the Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant. Lake water is used extensively when the lake is above 50% capacity. Up to eight million gallons per day may be available.
  • Lake Mary wellfield The Lake Mary wellfield has six producing wells. The water is high in calcium hardness. This water is mixed with treated surface water at the water plant before entering the distribution system. The wellfield is capable of approximately three million gallons per day.
  • Woody Mountain wellfield The Woody Mountain wellfield has 10 producing wells and is capable of producing approximately five million gallons per day.
  • Local wells The City has seven equipped local wells (Foxglenn, Continental, Interchange, Shop, Sinagua, Tuthill and Rio Wells). They are capable of producing approximately five million gallons per day.

4. Where can I buy water that I can haul?

Flagstaff has 3 locations for water hauling of potable (drinking) water and 2 for non-potable (reclaim) water. Potable water load-out stations are at 5401 E. Commerce St., 410 N. Bonito St. and 4500 S. Lake Mary Road. Non-potable (reclaimed) water load-out stations are just outside the Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Plant at the end of S. Babbitt Way and just outside the fenced area of the Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant at 2800 N. El Paso Road. The former load-out station on Lone Tree has been closed. For a brochure with information and a map for water hauling, follow the link on the Customer Service web page. Current rates can be found on the City’s Customer Service web page. NOTE: Only potable trucks & tanks can be used at potable load-out. Customer Service 

5. How do I get my water turned off if I have a leak?

During business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, you may call (928) 213-2400. After hours, call the emergency phone number at (928) 774-0262.

6. How can I close my account?

There are two ways to close a utility account: phone or online. To close your account via phone, please call (928) 213-2231 during business hours with the account number, forwarding address and termination date. Please be prepared to verify your identification (social security number or driver’s license number). To close your account online, please use the online form located on the customer service webpage. A minimum of 24 hours notice is required for all account closures.

7. Where is my water meter?

Call the Customer Service Division to get your meter location at (928) 213-2231.

8. What is my water pressure?

Your water pressure depends on your elevation and which pressure zone you are located in. Call Utilities Administration at (928) 213-2400 and we can check on our pressure map and tell you approximately what your water pressure should be.

9. Why is my water bill so high?

Check to see if your bill was estimated last month. If last month’s bill was estimated, this month may include water that was not in the estimate. The average Flagstaff residential customer uses 65-100 gallons of water per day. If your water consumption exceeds this amount per household member, you may have a leak. The most common cause of leaks is toilets; float valves sticking or not sealing properly. Dye tablets kits are available at the Customer Service counter in City Hall.

10. Who is responsible for my water service line?

The customer’s responsibility for their water service line starts at the water meter, where the line attaches to the outlet meter coupling and continues to the house.

11. Do you know a good plumber?

The City of Flagstaff does not make recommendations for particular plumbers. A good rule of thumb is to see if the plumber is licensed, bonded, and insured for residential and/or commercial work. Ask for references to find out about past work experience.

12. Where is my water valve shutoff?

Most homes have a water shutoff valve located inside the house where the water service line enters. The City’s valve is located next to the water meter in the meter box. A special valve key is required to operate the valve without damaging it. Residents are not authorized to use this shut–off. Call Water Services at (928) 213-2400 for service.

13. Where did my water pressure go?

Some homes have pressure reducing valves located on the customer side of the meter box. These devices will occasionally fail and are the customer’s responsibility to repair or replace. Call us at (928) 774-0262 and we will be happy to assist you in determining the problem.

14. What are the phone numbers to the water treatment plants?

Lake Mary Water Treatment Plant: (928) 774-0262 Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant: (928) 526-2520 Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Plant: (928) 556-1301 Water Distribution Division: (928) 213-3700 Wastewater Collection Division: (928) 213-3706

15. Can you tour the wastewater treatment plants?

You can contact the staff at these facilities at the following phone numbers:

•    Lake Mary Water Plant: (928) 774-0262

•    Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant: (928) 526-2520

•    Rio de Flag Water Reclamation Plant: (928) 556-1301

16. What is the hardness of our water?

Our water hardness varies from 25 ppm to 325 ppm depending on the source of production. The average throughout the system is 125 to 200 ppm (7.3 to 11.7 grains per gallon).

17. Who do I call if my water tastes bad?

Call the water treatment plant at (928) 774-0262. Typical reasons are fire hydrants being flushed, construction on the system, new home plumbing, garden hose left pressured up and on. Someone will be glad to assist you in determining the cause of the problem.

18. Who repairs my broken/plugged sewer line?

The City is responsible for the main line in the easement/street. The homeowner is responsible for the service line from the structure to the main line. The homeowner may repair the line in his/her own yard but needs a licensed contractor to excavate and make repairs in the street.

19. How do I get a new sewer tap?

You must obtain a permit and pay the tap fee at City Hall. Your contractor exposes the main line; the City crew makes the tap and installs the saddle. If in the street, the contractor properly back-fills / compacts the hole, saw-cuts the street, and the City patches the asphalt or concrete.

20. Where is my sewer tap?

The City does not maintain as-built drawings showing sewer taps installed by others. We do have TV logs for most of the City and can research where the tap is most likely located.

21. Do I need a grease trap?

Contact the Industrial Waste Monitoring Section at (928) 213-2117 to schedule an inspection to find out what you may need for grease collection to prevent clogs in your sewer line and the city’s collection system. If you serve food on the site, it is most like that you will need to install a grease trap or interceptor outside your facility and away from the food prep area.

22. Can I get reclaimed water to my home?

No new meters are being added for reclaimed water at this time. You can contact the Water Services Division at (928) 213-2400 for more information.

23. What waste materials are accepted at the Wildcat Hill Water Reclamation Plant?

The Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant accepts the following wastes from the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County: bio-solids (sludge) from nearby wastewater treatment plants, residential septic tanks, river runner waste cans, chemical toilets, restaurant grease, and commercial interceptors (dirt accumulated in car washes and lint from laundry lint traps). Materials received from nearby wastewater treatment plants, commercial interceptors and laundry interceptors will need prior inspection and written approval from the City of Flagstaff’s Industrial Pretreatment Program to ensure the facility does not accept anything that could damage the plant’s operation. Contact Jolene Hayes at (928) 213-2117 to schedule an inspection for this approval.

24.When does the Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant accept waste? Jim, Mark, Steve

The Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant can receive wastes from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. Please note that extremely cold weather may delay opening of the areas where wastes are received by trucks. Arrangements can be made for after hours, holidays, and weekends for an additional charge.

25.What is backflow? 

Flagstaff’s water distribution system is designed to keep the water flowing from the distribution system to you, the customer. However, when hydraulic conditions within the system deviate from "normal" conditions, water flow can be reversed. When this backflow happens, contaminated water can enter the water distribution system.

26.What causes backflow? 

Backflow is possible in two situations: backsiphonage or backpressure. 

27.What is backsiphonage?  

When there is a sudden reduction in the water pressure in the distribution system, such as during fire-fighting or when a water main breaks, water flow can be reversed. This can create a suction effect, drawing the non-potable substance into the potable water system. 

28.What is backpressure? 

Backpressure is created when pressure in a non-potable system, such as in a recirculating system containing soap, acid, or antifreeze, exceeds that in the potable system that provides make-up water to the system. This can force the potable water to reverse its direction of flow through the cross connection. Non-potable substances can then enter the potable water system. 

29.How can backflow be prevented?  

Flagstaff recognizes four methods of backflow prevention:

•    Air Gap

•    Reduced Pressure Principal Backflow Prevention Assembly

•    Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly or Spill proof Vacuum Breaker

•    Double Check Backflow Prevention Assembly

The Industrial Waste Monitoring Section will determine which type of protection is required based on the degree of hazard that the property represents to the potable water supply. 

30.What is a backflow assembly?  

A backflow preventer is an approved, testable assembly which uses valves, in different configurations, to prevent polluted or contaminated water from reversing direction and flowing backward.

31.How is an assembly approved?  

An approved backflow prevention assembly has gone through an approval process at the Foundation for Hydraulic Research and Cross Connection Control at the University of Southern California. This is a two step process consisting of laboratory tests and twelve months of field testing. Assemblies successfully completing the entire testing procedure are recognized by the City of Flagstaff as approved backflow prevention assemblies.

32.Who is required to have a backflow prevention assembly?  

Federal and State law require that water suppliers protect their water systems from contamination. State regulations exempt single family residences used solely for residential purposes from assembly requirements if there are no hazards present. However, residences used for other purposes or with non-potable water used on site, such as reclaimed water, as well as commercial and industrial customers, are required by City Ordinance #7-03-001-0015 and State Administrative Code rule R18-4-115 to install and maintain backflow prevention assemblies. (Copies of Ordinance #7-03-001-0015 are available in the Flagstaff City Clerk’s office or from the City of Flagstaff’s Industrial Waste Monitoring Section at (928) 213-2117). When a determination is made by the Industrial Waste Monitoring Section that the potable water system may be subject to contamination through backflow or backsiphonage, a backflow prevention assembly will be required. Flagstaff Industrial Waste Monitoring Section makes these decisions on a case by case basis. New facilities are required to install the backflow prevention assemblies in a hot box outside the building (unless it is for the fire riser and then it can go in the fire riser room with adequate drainage to the sanitary sewer) as close to the water meter as possible.

33.How do I know if I need a backflow prevention assembly?  

A letter will be sent to any facility notifying them of the need for a backflow prevention assembly. A Flagstaff Industrial Waste Monitoring Section Inspector will visit your property to do an evaluation for backflow requirements. You will be told upon completion of the inspection or review of your plans.

34.Is there a general compliance schedule and process?  

Yes. Unless you make other arrangements with Flagstaff Industrial Waste Monitoring Section, the backflow prevention assembly must be in compliance within 30 days from the date of the initial compliance notification. You will receive a follow up notice after 30 days. After 45 days, you will receive a notice informing you that your water service may be discontinued unless you achieve compliance. If at any time during this process you have a problem meeting this compliance schedule, it is extremely important that you contact the Flagstaff Industrial Waste Monitoring Section immediately, at (928) 213-2117, and make special arrangements for an extension.

35.Who can install a backflow prevention assembly?  

The installation of the backflow prevention assembly is the responsibility of the customer. The assembly may be installed by a property owner, plumbing contractor, or a general contractor, subject to the Rules and Statutes of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Permits are required to install or replace these assemblies. Permits are issued by Flagstaff’s Building Safety Department. Please call (928) 213-2618 for additional information on permits.

36.Where should a backflow prevention assembly be located?  

The backflow prevention assembly must be located as close as possible to the water service connection but must remain on private property. Contact Flagstaff’s Industrial Waste Monitoring Section at (928) 213-2117 for information on variances. 

37.Who is responsible for the testing and maintenance of the backflow assembly?  

It is the sole responsibility of the customer to ensure that the assembly is in satisfactory operating condition at all times. Notices will be sent to the customer advising them when an annual test is required on their backflow assembly. The customer must contact a recognized Back-flow Assembly Tester to perform the test. If any repair work or maintenance is performed on the assembly, a recognized Tester must retest the assembly immediately and submit the test results. Please contact James Boyer at (928) 213-2117 for instruction on how to submit the backflow prevention assembly test result as the process has changed recently.

38.Who provides Backflow Assembly Testing  

A list of certified testers can be found by calling BSI Online at (800) 414-4990. If you have your customer confirmation number (CCN), you can look up testing companies on-line at https://bsionline.com 

39.How do I get a permit to use a reclaimed water loadout station? 

Complete an application in the Utilities Division or go to our website at http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/index.aspx?nid=21 to download an application. These applications need to be done annually so the city is in compliance with ADEQ as these permits are only valid from January 1 to December 31 of each year. You can call the Utilities Division administration staff at (928) 213-2400 with any questions.

40.How do I apply for a turf rebate? 

You can contact the City of Flagstaff’s Water Conservation personnel at (928) 213-2116 for more information on a turf rebate. This type of rebate requires an inspection of the site before the work begins. There must be a minimum of 750 square feet of turf that will be replaced with low water use plants to qualify for the rebate.

46.How do I get a high efficiency toilet (HET) rebate?  

You can call the Water Conservation office at (928) 213-2116 to inquire on the status of these rebates at this time. Information is also available at flagstaff.az.gov/rebates.

47.Are rebates available for washing machines or hot water re-circulators?  

The rebate program for washing machines and hot water re-circulators is no longer available.