LWS Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a water service pipe? Who owns it and maintains it?

The water service is the pipe that begins with the connection to the water main in the city right-of-way and comes into your property. This service line has two valves on it to allow your water to be turned on or off. The first valve, called a curb stop, is generally located near the property line and is normally housed by a cylinder with a cap on it called a curb box or stop box. The other valve is located in your home next to the water meter. Other valves may be near plumbing fixtures in your home such as sinks and toilets. Repairs to anything on the service other than the meter is the responsibility of the property owner.

Keeping the valve at the meter in good working condition will assure that you will be able to turn your water off in an emergency, such as a water pipe break. If this valve at the meter does not work in an emergency, call 402-441-7571 so that Lincoln Water System can shut your water off at the stop box, which requires a stop box key. Lincoln Water System and most licensed plumbers have these keys.

What should I do if my water bill seems too high?

Contact the Water Billing office at 402-441-7551 to determine if there has been an error in your billing. If this is not the case, the billing office will refer you to the Water Service Center at 402-441-7571. The Water Service Center can schedule an appointment with you to have a service worker verify the accuracy of the meter. Most high water bills are caused by service line leaks, faucet or toilet leaks, or outside use greater than previous years due to hotter or dryer weather.

Related: Water Conservation Locating Leaks

Why is my water off?

  • A water main may be shut down because personnel are working in the area. Prior notification is given before water is turned off for scheduled work.
  • Service may be terminated because of failure to pay your water bill. Contact Customer Service at 402-441-7533 for past-due accounts. Other reasons for shutoff include failure to gain entrance to check, repair, install or replace the water meter; failure to install a backflow preventor; or due to a leak in the water service line. Please call the telephone number listed on your door hanger or correspondence.

    Related: Disconnection Policy

  • If you live in an apartment, trailer court, condominium or multiple dwelling residence, contact the property manager to make sure they do not have the water shut off for maintenance purposes.

Contact Lincoln Water System at 402-441-7571 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, if you have further questions.

Why is my water “rusty” or “muddy?”

Many of the water mains in Lincoln are constructed of cast iron. Generally, short periods of rusty water may appear after a main has been shut down for repair or if a nearby hydrant has been used. A call to the Lincoln Water System 402-441-5922 will result in a request for you to run your cold water for several (10) minutes to clear the rusty water out of your service. If you are still experiencing rusty water, Lincoln Water System will send personnel to your area to flush the city mains to eliminate the rust from service lines.

Other sources of rust could also be from your own service. If you have any galvanized internal lines or fittings, you can expect to have periodic episodes of discolored water, especially after a period of non-use. The water heater can also be a source of rusty-water problems. If only the hot water is rusty, that indicates that the problem lies in the water heater.

Other Questions

Call Lincoln Water System at 402-441-7571 with questions in regard to:

  • Backflow Preventers
  • Bad tasting water or ill-effects from drinking water
  • Obtaining hydrant meters
  • Low water pressure
  • Water pressure information
  • Puddles or wet spots in the right-of-way (service leaks or main breaks)
  • Request for speakers on water related subjects
  • Request to have water turned off temporarily ($25 charge to turn off and $25 charge to turn back on)

To locate water mains and services prior to digging, call the Diggers Hotline at 1-800-331-5666 or 811.

For questions on water bills or request for changes in billing, call Customer Service at 402-441-7551.

To have your water tested if there is not a problem with discolored water or health impacts, call the State of Nebraska Department of Health Lab at 402-471-2122. (Fees may apply.)

For water quality related questions, please see the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.