Public Works FAQ
Utility Account Management
I’m moving to Westlake and I need to set up my utility account. Where do I start?
You can start by filling out this application. You will need to put down a deposit based upon your meter size & services at your new house. Your Public Works Assistant, Dianna Orender (click to send an email), can help you with how much your deposit will be. Most deposits are between $90 and $800.
I’m moving out of Westlake. Is there anything I need to do?
Yes. Please fill out this termination form. This ensures that you are not billed for services that occur after you move out. As long as your account is in good standing, your deposit will be applied to your final bill.
I need to make a change to my account
If you need to update a billing address or a name on your account, you can either write it on your payment coupon when you send in your payment, or you can email us directly. We need something in writing for documentation purposes.
Why is my water bill so high?
Your bill is made up of a base charge and a consumption charge. Your base service charge is based on your meter size. Most residences have a 1” meter, but there are some with ¾” & 1 ½” meters. When the house was under construction, the builder requested a meter size based on the house’s needs. Larger meters have the ability to place a greater demand on the water system, so that’s why their base rates are higher.
The consumption rates for water & sewer are on a graduated scale. They are similar to our neighboring cities. You can see the comparisons here. Page 15 of the presentation is the beginning of the rate comparison graphs
Can I downsize my water meter?
Larger meters are often installed to accommodate fire lines (sprinkler systems), irrigation, or homes with more water features. The size of your meter was decided by the builder or engineer who designed the home, not the Town. The meter size was determined by the necessary volume and pressure required by the property’s water fixtures.
However, downsizing may be an option. You would first need to enlist a plumber to assess the impact of downsizing your meter. You may notice a difference in volume or pressure when multiple water fixtures are in use. If a change is feasible, your plumber would then need to coordinate with Public Works regarding the meter adjustment.
How can my consumption be this high?
All Westlake water customers can monitor their water consumption by the month, day, and hour with our Eye on Water program. You can sign up using the instructions here. This is the same software that sends us your meter read, so you will be seeing the same information that is used to calculate your bills. Town Hall staff cannot manipulate your consumption totals. For more information, please visit our Eye On Water page.
The charges weren’t as high in the last city I lived in.
Westlake is a small town. We have fewer than 1000 residential accounts, but the infrastructure we need isn’t that different than a larger town’s. We still need pipes, storage facilities, and repair personnel, whether we have 100 customers or 10,000. These costs must be spread evenly between our customers, and that’s where our base charges come in. We have high expectations for service & reliability here in Westlake, and that’s why our Town Council approved our base service charges.
Why do my sewer charges keep changing?
Most residents’ sewer charges are based off their Winter Quarter Average. If you haven’t lived in Westlake long enough to calculate your Winter Quarter Average, your sewer will be billed based on the system average of 11,000 gallons per billing period. That is the maximum, so if you use 10,000 gallons of water in a month, you will be charged based on your actual consumption instead of the system average. There is no meter on your drain, so wastewater usage is calculated based on your water usage.
How is my Winter Quarter Average calculated?
Your water consumption totals for December, January, and February are averaged together. These three months have the lowest consumption totals of the year. Please visit our Winter Quarter Average page for more details & links.
Can I get a discount for filling my pool?
We can only take a pool fill into consideration if it occurs during the Winter Quarter (December through February). This is usually only considered for new residents, but if you’d like consideration, you can call (817.490.5732) or email the Public Works Department.
Maintenance & Repairs
I really think my meter is broken. Can I have it tested?
In order to have it tested, we would need to remove your current meter & have a new one set. We would then send the old meter off to a third party to have it tested. If the tested meter comes back accurate and functional, you would be responsible for the cost of the new meter & the testing. We recommend that you have a plumber inspect your property for leaks before asking to have your meter tested.
I think I have a leak. Can the Town help?
If the leak is occurring at the meter location or in the street, then we can send out a field technician for inspection and repair. If not, we ask that you have your plumber or landscape/irrigation technician have a look at your systems first.
Trash & Recycling
Will I be charged for using an additional trash or recycling cart?
Yes. The base charge of $12.54 includes one trash & one recycling cart. Extra trash carts incur a $4.33/month charge. Extra recycling carts are currently free. Additional trash & recycling information can be found here.
Can I use a personal trash or recycling cart? We don’t use them every week.
Yes, you may use a cart purchased elsewhere. However, an additional cart fee must still be charged, whether you use the cart every week or not. We are paying Republic Services not for the carts, but for the service of taking the trash & recycling away. Both Republic & the Town recommend that you use Republic’s carts. In the event of a cart being damaged or destroyed, Republic will not replace a personal cart. You can order new carts or have extra carts picked up by calling the Public Works Department at 817-490-5732 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.