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Frequently Asked Utilities Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions for the Department of Utilities.  If you do not see your question answered here or if you would like additional information about any of the services we provide, please e-mail us or call 703-771-2750.


 

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

How can I get water service connected or reconnected?
A:
Please visit the Water and Sewer Bills page for additional information on these services and related billing/account setup.  You may also contact the Utilities Customer Service staff by calling 703-771-2701.
Do I still have to have the backflow device tested if I'm not going to use my irrigation system?
A:

If you have an irrigation system, you must either have the backflow device installed and tested every Spring by June 1st, or permanently cut and cap the system, have the work inspected by the Town’s Environmental Compliance Inspector, and sign a Memorandum of Understanding stating the system will no longer be used.  Penalty for reconnection without notification to the Town beforehand, is a violation of the Town’s Cross Connection Control Program and punishable by misdemeanor charge, fine of up to $2,500, and one year in jail. Call 703-771-2762 for further information.

Can you help me determine if I have a leak?
A:

Yes, we can help you determine whether you might have a leak. Please review the guidelines outlined on our First Call page, and call us at 703-771-2701, or e-mail watersewer@leesburgva.gov to set up a leak check appointment. Please review your household plumbing page for additional information regarding potential leak sources.

How to I check for a toilet leak?
A:

Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank of the toilet. If, within 20-30 minutes, color appears in the bowl of the toilet without flushing, you have a "silent" toilet leak. This is the homeowners responsibility to repair the leak and no provisions for adjustments are given. Please review your household plumbing page for additional information.

What if my bill is really high, but I haven't watered outside?
A:
A bill that is higher than expected, but not due to outside watering, may indicate leaking toilets or pipes. In fact, one leaking toilet can lose as many as three to five gallons each minute, often silently! The three most common toilet leaks are: flapper, siphon tube, and overflow leaks. Luckily, it is easy to test your toilets for leaks. Just put some colored liquid such as dark food coloring into the top of your toilet tank, wait at least 30 minutes, and then check the toilet bowl. If the color has seeped into the bowl, you have a toilet leak. In that case, using the turn off valve, you should turn off the toilet until it is repaired.
What causes the periodic spikes in my water bill?
A:
Outdoor leaks are often the culprit for large, one-time spikes in your bill. Silent toilet leaks are another common reason for unexpectedly high water bills.
I live in an apartment and my water bill is included in my rent. How can I receive information concerning my tap water?
A:

Ask your apartment manager to post any fliers included with the utility bill in a prominent location for all tenants to read. Additional information regarding tap water can be found in the Town's annual water quality report, How Do I / Frequently Asked Questions pages, or by Contacting Us.

I am having low (or high) water pressure throughout my house, what should I do?
A:

If you feel your water pressure at home is less or more than normal, contact the Utilities Department at 703-737-7075, and we will dispatch staff to investigate the problem by checking the pressure at the closest fire hydrant and your outside hose bib. Low pressure can be caused by many things, such as: a partially closed waterline valve, a malfunctioning Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV), or clogged screens on individual fixtures (filters or aerators). High pressure can be caused by PRV or Thermal Expansion Tank failure especially if you observe water leaking from your hot water heater's pressure relief valve. If Town staff determines high pressure is on the customer side of the water meter, the owner should have a plumber or handyman inspect and replace the PRV or thermal expansion tank as needed, or inspect the internal plumbing for other possible problems.

Why do I have to test my backflow preventer every year?
A:

To ensure that the device is functioning properly and the water supply is protected from contamination.  Your device is a mechanical unit that has internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to wear or fatigue. The annual test ensures a properly functioning device and certifies that the device has not been removed or had a by-pass line installed around it.  If the assembly fails the initial test, it must be repaired or replaced, and retested with passing results submitted to the Town's Environmental Compliance Inspector.

Who should I contact if my sewer line is backing up into my house?
A:

Follow the First Call Policy by contacting the Utilities Department at 703-771-2750 or after normal business hours, call 703-771-4500. We will dispatch staff to determine the location of the blockage at no charge to the customer. If we find that the blockage is not in the Town maintained portion of the sanitary sewer system, the customer will be responsible for removing the blockage at his or her own expense.

How do I know when my annual backflow testing is due?
A:

The Utilities Department will send you a letter to remind you to have the backflow prevention device tested and passing test results submitted. Devices connected to residential lawn irrigation systems are due annually when the system is turned on, BUT NO LATER THAN JUNE 1ST.

Who should I contact if there is a water or sewer emergency or line break?
A:

Report the incident immediately to the Utilities Department by calling 703-737-7075 during normal business hours. If it is after hours, or on a weekend, or on a holiday, call 703-771-4500 to report the incident and they will dispatch on-call personnel. We are available 24 hours a day seven days a week including holidays.

My neighbor said I should put a brick in my toilet tank to save water. How does that save water and is it a good idea?
A:

Toilet flushing uses a lot of water and putting something in the toilet tank that takes up space, like a toilet dam or a water filled jug, is a good idea as long as the toilet flapper continues to operate freely. However, putting a brick in the tank is not a good idea as bricks can crumble and damage your toilet.

How long does it take to receive fire hydrant flow test data?
A:

We strive to respond to fire hydrant flow test requests within 2-3 business days.

Is it O.K. to take a drink from the garden hose when you are hot and sweaty from playing in the yard?
A:

No. Garden hoses are made with special chemicals that keep them flexible, and these chemicals can leach into the water. The opening on the end of the hose could also be covered with germs from laying in the grass, from using a hose-end sprayer attachment, or from just being outside.

Why does the water look cloudy sometimes when it comes out of your faucet and then clears up in your glass?
A:

The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water like the bubbles you see when you pour a soft drink into a glass. Bubbles rise to the top and then disappear just like they do in a soft drink.

Is Leesburg Water Fluoridated?
A:
Yes. Fluoride is added per the Virginia Health Department regulations and fluoride levels are documented in the Town's annual water quality report.
Is there lead in my water?
A:

Trace elements found in the water supply are reported in the Town's annual water quality report. Testing shows no lead in the water when it leaves the Leesburg Water Treatment Facility. If your tap water test reveals lead is present, it originates from your household plumbing.

Why are there white specks in my tap water?
A:

This may be the sign of a hot water heater problem. Defective internal dip tubes within your water heater may be the source of the chips. Water heaters should be drained at least once a year.

What is the process for requesting water/sewer modeling (flow data) for a new development?
A:

A request letter should be sent to the Utilities Department which includes the following: a map of the proposed site showing the location of proposed connections for both water and sewer, demands for the proposed use, required fire flows and check. The fee for modeling is $250 for a water model and $250 for a sewer model ($500 total). The models and analysis must be requested prior to the first submission of construction drawings. We strive to respond to the modeling request within 5 business days.

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