Utility FAQs

Establishing or Terminating Service

You may establish water and sewer service for property located within the Village of Warren in person at the Village Hall or calling the Village Clerk at 815-745-3315. 

Village of Warren
113 Cole Street
Warren, IL 61087

Water and Sewer Rates

The following rates are billed on a monthly basis.

Water: For the first 2,000 gallons @ $12.16 (minimum or base rate)*
All over first 2,000 gallons @ $2.00 per 1,000 gallons
Sewer: For the first 3,000 gallons @ $13.65 (minimum or base rate)*
All over first 3,000 gallons @ $5.50 per 1,000 gallons
*The basic user rate shall be subject to an annual increase on May 1 of each successive year according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), said increase not to be greater than 5% nor less than 2%.
Garbage: $17.79 per month

Debt Service Charge: a debt service charge of $18,25 per user per month shall be applied to the monthly billing for any upgrades that are needed.

Sur-Charge: A sur-charge of $6.00 per user shall be applied to monthly billing for any upgrades

How Is My Meter Read?

Your meter is read once a month by the Water Operator using a handheld wireless electronic reader. A transmitter is connected to your indoor water meter has been installed on the outside of your house.

When Is My Meter Read?

The Village reads meters on or close to the last business day every month. We appreciate your help in keeping a clear path to your touchpad and keeping the touchpad clearly visible.

Billing and Payment

Water/ Sewer/ Garbage customers are billed by mail each month. Bills are mailed on or close to the first business day of each month are payable in full by the 20th. Payments not received by 3:30p.m. on the 20th are subject to penalties.

The following payment options are available.
• You can pay in person with cash or check
• Drop it in the drop at the Village Hall
• Mail your payment to the Warren Village Hall
• Residents can also pay Water/Sewer/Garbage bills at the Community Bank
• Pay online at GovPayNet.com

Mailed payments should be addressed to:

Village of Warren
P.O. Box 581
Warren, IL 61087

Applications or questions may be addressed to the Village Clerk at 815-745-3315.

Troubleshooting High Water Usage

If you feel your water consumption or bill seems high given your historical use, please notify the Village Clerk at 815-745-3315. The Water Department will inspect and perform another meter read.

If water is going through your meter somewhere on the property. It is the responsibility of the property owner or tenant to determine where the water is being used. Some of the more common problems are:

  • A leaking toilet. (Simple test: Place food coloring in the tank and let sit for 10 minutes. If color comes into the bowl your toilet is leaking.)
  • A leaking hot water heater.
  • A faulty water softener.
  • A hose that has been left on.
  • An outside hose bib that is leaking.
  • An undetected broken pipe in a crawl space.

Avoiding A High Bill When Away From Home

Broken water pipes inside your property can be catastrophic. When leaving your home or business for an extended period of time, please consider shutting off your water supply inside the building. This is especially important in the winter when pipes can freeze and break easily without regular water use. Even a small break in a water pipe can result in the loss of thousands of gallons of water, interior flooding, and costly utility charges and repairs.

If you have never shut off the interior main water valve before, test it before you leave. Turn on a faucet somewhere inside the building and shut off the main water valve. All water flow should stop. An old gate valve can break, so be gentle when handling the valve. If the valve is stuck, leave it alone. If it leaks or does not shut off all the way, have a licensed plumber replace the valve.

In addition to the interior shutoff valve, most properties have a functioning shutoff valve outside the building between the foundation and the public water main. The Village of Warren Water Department will turn off your water service outside the building upon request. Requests for outside shut off may be made directly to the Village Clerk at the Village Hall at 815-745-3315. Utility base fees for water/sewer/garbage will be suspended if water is shut off for more than 30 days.

If you choose to keep your service water on when you are away during the cold months, consider a temperature sensor with an alarm and an automatic dialer to alert you when the temperature drops inside your home or business. Such alarms are easy to install and use and can help you prevent broken water pipes.

For more information about how to protect your property from accidental water loss, please consult with a licensed plumber.

Water Conservation

Water conservation can help you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. The bathroom is where you can make the most substantial reduction in your personal water use. About 50% of the water used in an average home is used in the bathroom, mostly for flushing toilets and for showers and baths. A lot of that water may be going to the sewer needlessly, adding to the volume of sewage and putting extra burden on treatment plants as well.

General Tips
A single dripping faucet can waste far more water in a single day than one person needs for drinking in an entire week. Check every faucet in the house for leaks.

Toilets are notorious for their hidden leaks. Leaks occur when the toilet is out of adjustment or when parts are worn, so it is important to check periodically. Most leaks are at the overflow pipe or plunger ball. Learn more about hidden leaks.

Turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving.

Always be sure to have a full load when running your dishwasher or washing machine. Both of these household appliances use the same amount of water, whether full or not. You will not only be conserving water, but energy and electricity as well.

Showers versus Baths
Which uses more water: a shower or a tub bath? It all depends: a partially filled tub uses much less than a long shower, while a short shower is much more water efficient than a brimful tub.

If you shower in a bathtub, check by plugging the tub to see how high the water is when you're finished. Do you use more or less than that amount when you take a bath?

Protecting Our Water Sources

What Not To Put Down the Drain
Non-Biodegradable Products. If it is not biodegradable it should not go down the drain. Wastes like acetone, which are highly flammable, are dangerous to pour down the drain. Less obvious are wastes like paints that may contain solvents or metals like mercury, chromium, and lead.

Organic solvents are found in enamel and primer paints, stains, and varnishes. When painting try to use latex or water based paints. Pesticides are a household waste that is highly toxic. Used motor oil and antifreeze contain heavy metals such as lead. A variety of chemicals can cause problems for the treatment plant.

Items That Cannot Go Down the Drain
• Cleaning product - such as products with words like toxic, corrosive, flammable, or ignitable mentioned on the label
• Automotive products - such as motor oil, antifreeze, brake fluids
• Garden supplies - such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
• Paints and solvents - such as latex and oil-based paints, thinners, strippers
• Art and hobby supplies – such as paints, photographic chemicals, glues
• Medical waste, expired or unwanted medications

Boil Order

A boil water notice is issued by the Village of Warren Water Department or health agencies as a precaution to protect consumers from drinking water that may have been contaminated with disease causing organisms (also called pathogens). Boil water notices are typically issued when an unexpected condition has caused a potential for biological contamination of water in the public water system. Common reasons for a boil water notice include loss of pressure in the distribution system, loss of disinfection, and other unexpected water quality problems. These often result from other events such as water line breaks, treatment disruptions, power outages and floods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Operating Under a Boil Order:

What does a boil order mean?
It means the water that comes out of the tap should not be used for drinking, brushing your teeth, cooking or washing fruits and vegetables. You should use bottled water for these activities.

How long should I boil my water for?
The affected tap water should be brought to a rolling boil for 3‐5 minutes before being used.

Why has the boil order been called?
A boil order has been issued to your water system because either recent testing has shown the presence of organisms that could cause illness (e.g., fecal or E. coli bacteria), or technical/physical problems in the water system have significantly increased the possibility of bacterial contamination.

Can I drink the water?
During a boil order, only bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3‐5 minutes should be consumed or used to wash dishes, wash fruits/vegetables, make ice cubes or brush teeth.

Can I wash my hands with this water?
It is recommended that bottled water or water boiled for 3‐5 minutes should be used for hand washing. When this is not practical, it is recommended that if tap water must be used to wash and rinse, it should be followed up with the use of a hand sanitizer. Consuming unsafe water is the most likely way to become ill. Using extra precautions with hand washing ensures that hands are clean for eating.

Can I shower or take a bath in this water?
Yes, it is safe to shower or bathe in the water. The primary concern is that the water not be consumed. Instruct children not to put the water in their mouth when they are bathing. When bathing infants, extra precaution should be taken including the use of bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3‐5 minutes and cooled for use.

How do I wash my dishes?
Use bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3‐5 minutes to wash and rinse dishes. Home dishwashers cannot be assured to completely kill organisms that may be in the water.

Can I wash my clothes in the water?
Yes, you may continue to use the water to wash clothes. The major concern is consuming the water.

Is it safe to eat in restaurants under a boil order?
The Jo Daviess County Health Department is responsible for checking area restaurants to confirm that safe practices are being followed. Special procedures are required for them to ensure that food preparation and handling is done in a safe manner. Additional procedures are also required to provide safe dishwashing.

What do we need to do when the boil order is lifted?
When the order is lifted you should flush the buildings water lines and clean the faucet screens. Also, purge water‐using fixtures and appliances of standing water and/or ice. This includes changing the water filter on refrigerators.

Are swimming pools safe?
They are safe as long as proper levels of treatment are maintained. Water from swimming pools should never be consumed.

Can my pets drink the water?
Animals generally are not affected in the same way as people by contaminants in the water. An individual may give their pet bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3‐5 minutes and cooled if they choose. Fish tanks should not be affected.

Is it safe to breast feed during the boil order after bathing in the water?
Cleaning the breast area with soap and bottled water or water boiled for 3‐5 minutes and cooled prior to feeding will provide assurance that the child not ingest contaminants that may be on the skin.

I am on a well, am I affected?
Anyone who receives a bill for water services from the local municipality that is under a boil order should observe the boil order.

Are vending machines that mix drinks safe? (Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate machines)
These machines that use tap water should not be used until the boil order has been lifted.

Who can be affected?
Anyone who ingests contaminated water may become ill. Infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems are more at risk of illness.

What are the symptoms of water‐borne illness?
Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possible jaundice and associated headaches and fatigue. Symptoms may appear as early as a few hours to several days after infection and may last more than two weeks. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with disease‐causing organisms in drinking water; they may also be caused by a number of other factors. If you are ill with these symptoms, contact your health care provider.

What if I drank water already?
There is nothing you can do about the exposure you have already received. If you become ill, contact your health care provider. Follow the above recommendations about using your water until you are told the water is safe again.

How long will the boil order remain in effect?
Each boil order situation is different, making it impossible to predict how long the boil order will remain in effect. It will not be lifted until testing shows that the water meets public health standards. The Village of Stockton will notify you when the boil order is lifted.

Lead In Water FAQs

What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed. Lead can be found in air, soil, dust, food, and water.

How can I be exposed to lead?
The most common source of lead exposure is from paint in homes and buildings built before 1978. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in U.S. children. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978.

Although the main sources of exposure to lead are ingesting paint chips and inhaling dust, lead also can be found in some household plumbing materials and some water service lines. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 to 20 percent of human exposure to lead may come from lead in drinking water. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40 to 60 percent of their exposure to lead from drinking water.

What are the risks of lead exposure?
Lead can cause a variety of adverse health effects when people are exposed to it. These effects may include increases in the blood pressure of some adults; delays in normal physical and mental development in babies and young children; and, deficits in the attention span, hearing, and learning abilities of children.

How does lead get into my drinking water?
Lead is rarely found naturally in our source water or in the treated water flowing through the distribution system. More commonly, lead leaches into water over time through corrosion—a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and your plumbing. Lead can leach into water from pipes, solder, fixtures, faucets (brass) and fittings. The amount of lead in your water depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the water’s corrosivity, and water temperature.

How will I know if my drinking water has lead in it?
The Village of Warren is required to sample for lead once every three years. The most recent samples showed that all sampled households were in compliance with federal regulations for content. Samples were voluntarily taken from each of the three Village of Warren wells that supply all of the water to the community. The samples were tested by an EPA licensed independent laboratory. Lead was not detected in any of the samples. This confirmed that the Warren water source does not contain lead.

You can also have your water tested for lead. Since you cannot see, taste, or smell lead dissolved in water, testing is the only sure way of telling if there are harmful quantities of lead in your drinking water. A list of certified laboratories is available from the Illinois EPA.
at: http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/drinking-water/private-well-users/accredited-labs/index

Is my home at risk for lead plumbing?
The EPA defines high-risk homes as follows:

  • Homes with a lead service line that connects the water main to your home’s internal plumbing.
  • Homes with copper pipe and lead solder built after 1982 and before 1988.
  • Homes with lead pipes. In 1986, Congress enacted the “lead ban,” which stated that not only public water systems, but also anyone else who intends to install or repair drinking water plumbing connected to a public water system, must use “lead free materials.” As a result, homes built in or after 1988 are far less likely to have lead solder.

I am concerned my home may have lead plumbing. How can I find out?
If you are concerned your home plumbing may contain lead pipes (lead is a dull gray metal that is soft enough to be easily scratched with a house key) or if you see signs of corrosion (frequent leaks, rust-colored water), you may want to have your water tested by a state certified laboratory. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent.

Will the Village of Warren replace my lead service line?
The Village of Warren is responsible for the public water mains. The “service line” from the main to the house or business is the responsibility of the property owner. Lead services lines from the main to the home are not part of the public water system and are the responsibility of the property owner. The Village of Stockton strongly advises that you contact a licensed plumber for work on your service line.

How can I reduce my exposure to lead in my drinking water?
There are many steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water, but if you have lead service lines, the best step you can take is to have them replaced.

In addition:

  • Run your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the cold water tap until the water becomes as cold as it will get. (To conserve water, remember to catch the flushed tap water for plants or some other household use such as cleaning.)
  • Always use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula. Never cook with or drink water from the hot water tap. Never use water from the hot water tap to make formula.
  • Do not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
  • You may consider investing in a home water treatment device. When purchasing a water treatment device, make sure it is certified under NSF/ANSI 53 to remove lead. Search for certified products by contacting NSF International (800-NSF-8010) or the Water Quality Association (630-505-0160).
  • Identify and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings and valves may leach lead into drinking water. Products sold after January 4, 2014, must by law contain very low levels of lead.
  • Have a licensed electrician check your wiring. Your home electrical system may be attached to your service line or elsewhere in your plumbing. If this connection is electrified, it can accelerate corrosion. Check with a licensed electrician to correct ground faults and evaluate your local electric code to determine if your wiring can be grounded elsewhere. DO NOT attempt to change the wiring yourself because improper bonding or grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.

Additional resources for information on lead in drinking water: