Utilities

COVID-19

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness that is transmitted two ways:  respiratory and contact.  Customers should follow public health recommendations for common sense health safety tips.

Milwaukee drinking water is safe.  Milwaukee has long treated their water with ozone and chlorine disinfection and filtration.  The Centers for Disease Control confirms these conventional water treatment methods should remove or inactivate Coronaviruses including the Novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  Milwaukee monitors chlorine levels throughout the distribution system to ensure the safety of the drinking water at the tap.  This is consistent with information from the World Health Organization and local and state health officials.

The World Health Organization recommends common sense health safety tips and social distancing, including:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  At this time, no special sanitizing processes beyond routine cleaning are necessary or recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illness.

PAYMENTS - UPDATE

The Public Service Commission sets several dates in July for the end of the moratorium on utility disconnections, other requirements and penalties.

The PSC voted unanimously to lift a moratorium on disconnections and other requirements and penalties in July.  The moratorium was put in place following executive orders issued by Governor Tony Evers in March.  while the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor’s pandemic mitigation plan called Safer at Home in May, the utility disconnection moratorium has remained in place.

The June 11 press release from the PSC "strongly encourages customers behind on payments to arrange for a payment plan, or apply for assistance."

KEY DATES FOR UTILITIES

July 15:  Utilities may send disconnection notices if a customer has not paid in full or if a payment plan cannot be agreed on;

July 15:  After this date, Utilities may start charging late fees for debts incurred;

July 25:  After this date, Utilities may refuse service to anyone who fails to provide documentation to prove identity and residency; and

July 31:  Beginning on this date, utilities may require a cash deposit as a condition of new service.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized the Utility to provide budget payment plans to residential and non-residential customers during a public health emergency.   If you need to set up a budget payment plan, please call the Utility office  at 262.786.7086 during normal business hours, or you may send an email to nbutility@newberlin.org 

NOTICE TO SANITARY SEWER USERS:

While residents are purchasing and using disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, toilet paper has become scarce and in high demand.  

Residents have started using common alternatives like wet wipes, paper towels, facial tissue and cloth wipes as substitutes for bathroom toilet paper.  Many of these products are labeled as "Flushable", these alternative products do not degrade in water like toilet paper does and they can, and do plug sanitary sewer laterals, building/home drains and sewer collection system mains when flushed down toilets.

Obstructions and clogs that occur in private sanitary sewer laterals or within residents building/home drains become the responsibility of the property owner.  Some laterals are cracked, displaced or have roots in them which make the use of these products even worse.  During this COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place order, it is highly unlikely that plumbers and drain cleaners will be receptive to freeing clogged sewer pipes.  These non-degradable wipes, paper towels and personal hygiene products have been removed from the sanitary sewer collection system/lift station pumps, which can cost the City and you, the system user, thousands of dollars.

To avoid future sanitary sewer clogs and backups, all residents and users of the sanitary sewer system are reminded to throw wipes, paper towels, tissue and personal hygiene products in the trash and not flush them down the toilets.

In these extraordinary times, we all need to be respectful of how our actions impact our infrastructure, neighbors and Utility staff.

RULES OF FLUSHING 

  • Baby wipes or cleaning wipes
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Tampons and sanitary products
  • Cat litter
  • Condoms                                                                 
  • Prescription medicines
  • Over the counter medicines
  • Tissue
  • Cigarette butts
  • Dental Floss
  • Cloth 
  • Food waste grease & oils
  • Paper Towels

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Divisions

The City of New Berlin Utility Department consists of:

Call Before You Dig

The Utility Department would like to remind anyone planning excavation work to call Before You Dig.

Resources

Utility Associations

The City of New Berlin is a proud member of the Alliance of Water Efficiency.

Alliance for Water Efficiency Member