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Here you can find answers to some of the most common questions we receive from customers.

Service Questions

Both our Customer Care Center (1201 Lakeside Ave.) and Call Center (216-664-3130) operate from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Payments can be made 24 hours a day by calling 216-446-6834 or at If you see a water main break or experience a sudden and unexpected disruption in service, you can call our 24-Hour Emergency Line at 216-664-3060.

If there is work being done near your home, an employee may knock on your door to notify you of the work and any disruptions to service. Otherwise, employees will only come to your home if an appointment has been scheduled (investigations, meter installations, etc.). All employees are issued Cleveland Water identification badges which must be worn and visible at all times while they are on duty. For your safety, always ask to see this identification before allowing the person into your home. Should someone posing as an employee refuse to show identification, do not let them in. Contact your local police or confirm their purpose and identity by calling 216-664-3060.

Contact Customer Service at 216-664-3130 after the title has been transferred and the deed has been recorded. Service for the previous address will be stopped and a final bill issued as of the date of transfer. A new account will be created for the purchase property and service started with a regular billing cycle.

No. A new property owner's responsibility begins on the day the title is transferred.

To have your water shut off at the cityside connection, call our Distribution and Maintenance team at 216-664-3060.

Our Homestead discount program offers a lower fixed charge and consumption rate. For an average customer, this amounts to a 50% discount. To qualify, customers must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 65 years or older, or totally and permanently disabled;
  • Own and live at the service address; and
  • Have a total household income at or below current income guidelines.

For more information, contact Customer Service at 216-664-3130 or click here.

Billing Questions

You can set up a Tenant Deposit Account by visiting our Customer Service Center at 1201 Lakeside Ave. Bring a copy of your lease agreement and a photo ID. A deposit based on the location of the property is also required. Your water and sewer bill will carry the property owner's name but will come to your address.

Customers must still pay a monthly fixed charge, even if no water is used at a property, as long as water service is available. This monthly fixed charge is based on the size of the water meter at your home or business. View the full schedule of fixed charges here. The only way to avoid the fixed charge is if the service connection is plugged. You can find a schedule of rates for plugging and other Permits & Sales charges here. For more information, call Customer Service at 216-664-3130.

Our tap water costs less than a penny per gallon but we know that every penny counts. Water bills are based directly on actual water use, so the easiest way to save is to find ways to conserve water. We also offer assistance programs to help income-eligible customers with the cost of their water bills.

Call Customer Service at 216-664-3130 to correct a misspelled name or an incorrect address on your water bill.

Call Customer Service at 216-664-3130 to request a duplicate bill. Or create a My Cleveland Water account to view all your account information and download an electronic copy of your bill.

If you’ve fallen behind on your bill, contact our Customer Service Call Center at 216-664-3130 to set up a manageable payment schedule and see if you're eligible for a discount bill program.

No, they should be paid on separate checks accompanied by respective payment stubs sent to two separate remittances as mentioned on the bill.

Home Care Questions

Call Permits and Sales at 216-664-2444 ext. 75200 to schedule a plumbing inspection after repairs have been made.

There are simple actions you can take to minimize the risk of water pipes freezing during winter:

  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.
  • Keep areas with exposed pipes warm.
  • Wrap water pipes in unheated areas with foam pipe insulation or heat tape.
  • Tightly close or seal doors and windows near exposed pipes.
  • During the worst of a cold spell, allow a small flow of water to run from a faucet.
  • Leave your cabinet doors open to allow the heat of your house to circulate around plumbing under sinks.
  • If you'll be away from home for several days, leave your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher.

The hardness of our water is 7 grains/gallon or 120 mg/L as calcium carbonate.

Water Quality Questions

Milky or cloudy is usually the result of tiny air bubbles in the water and occurs more often during cold weather. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water. When cold water enters your home from the pipe outside and warms up, the extra oxygen escapes in the form of tiny bubbles when you turn on the tap. If you fill a glass with water, and the cloudiness disappears from bottom to top in a few minutes, it is air bubbles. If it doesn't, call our Water Quality Line at 216-664-2639 during regular business hours or our 24-hour Emergency Line at 216-664-3060 after hours.

If you experience a water quality issue, such as an unpleasant taste or odor or discoloration, call our Water Quality Line at 216-664-2639 during normal business hours or 216-664-3060 during non-business hours. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible, including time and date the problem started, location, and your best description of the problem. If 

Discolored water is common whenever the water velocity or flow direction changes, like during hydrant flushing or repair work on water mains. Iron sediment from older cast iron mains is picked up by the water and shows up as orange or brown discoloration. In these situations, the water is safe to drink. However, use care as the iron sediment can stain laundry and plumbing fixtures. Once any work or flushing is complete, run your cold water faucet until the water is clear again.

No. We take great pride in consistently delivering safe, high-quality water to our customers. However, if you choose to install a filter, please keep in mind that it must be properly maintained in order to be effective. If a filter is not properly maintained, it can actually cause your water quality to become worse. It should also be independently certified by NSF International or the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Cleveland Water customers can be confident that the water delivered to your home is safe. We meet or exceed all state and federal drinking water regulations, including those for lead. We take the risks associated with lead pipes very seriously and take multiple actions to make sure your drinking water is the highest quality, including adding orthophosphate, which has been very successful at reducing lead levels for 25 years. We also regularly test tap water in homes with lead pipes or plumbing to make sure our efforts are effective.

Drinking water is lead-free when it leaves our treatment plants, but it can pick up lead from pipes and plumbing made from lead or with lead parts. There are simple actions you can take to know the potential for lead in your plumbing and, if present, minimize the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.

 For additional information, call our Lead Inquiry Line 216-664-2882, or click here for more information.

Lead does not come from our treatment plants or water mains. Rather, lead can leach into drinking water from various places between the water main and your faucet, including lead service line connections, copper plumbing with high lead solder, and brass fittings and fixtures within your home. There are simple actions you can take to know the potential for lead in your plumbing and, if present, minimize the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water. In general, if your home was built after 1953 or your connection is larger than one inch in diameter, it is unlikely that you have a lead service line. 

The health and safety of our customers is our top priority. You can rest assured knowing the water we deliver to your home is safe from lead and other contaminants. We take multiple actions to protect you and your family from the risk of lead.

  • We add a food-grade chemical called orthophosphate during the water treatment process. It forms a protective coating on the inside of pipes and plumbing, reducing the likelihood of lead dissolving into the water.
  • We keep the pH of water leaving our treatment plants above to 7 to help reduce corrosion.
  • We regularly test tap water in homes with lead pipes or plumbing to make sure our efforts are effective. The levels of lead detected in our drinking water have been below the federal requirement of 15 parts per billion (ppb) since 1997 and below 5 ppb for over a decade.
  • We’re working to eliminate the risk of lead by replacing lead service lines. We replace lead city-owned service lines during water main replacements and repair projects and have replaced lead service lines at all licensed child cares in our service area.

There are simple actions you can take to know the potential for lead in your plumbing and, if present, minimize the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water.

  • Conduct a simple scratch test to determine what type of material your customer-side service line is made from.
  • Before using water for drinking or cooking, turn on the cold tap and let it run for several minutes, particularly if the water has been off and sitting in the pipes in your home for more than six hours.
  • Avoid drinking or cooking with water from the hot water tap. Always use cold water for cooking, drinking and making baby formula.
  • Clean faucet aerators at least twice a year and after any work on your plumbing.
  • If you are still concerned, you may wish to use a water filtration device. Make sure it's certified by NSF, UL, or WQA to remove lead and maintain/replace as instructed.
  • If you would like to have your water tested, contact a laboratory certified by the Ohio EPA.

No.  You should be concerned if chlorine and fluoride are not in your water. These two chemicals have made a powerful contribution to public health. Chlorine kills bacteria and fluoride contributes to dental health. The use of chlorine has virtually eliminated the outbreak of such deadly diseases as typhoid fever in the United States, while the use of fluoride has reduced the incidence of dental cavities among children age 5-17 by 50%. Virtually every public and private health agency, including the U.S. Public Health Service and World Health Organization, endorses the use of fluoride in water.  Additionally, fluoridation by public water systems in Ohio is required by state law.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of laboratories certified to test drinking water on their website at

A boil advisory is a public notice advising customers to boil tap water or use bottled water for any consumption purpose. Cleveland Water is required by the Ohio EPA to issue a boil advisory under certain circumstances.

Meter Reading Questions

All customers within the Cleveland Water service area have their water use measured by a water meter. Meters measure water in thousand cubic feet or MCF. One MCF unit equals 1,000 cubic feet or approximately 7,480 gallons. Both water and sewer consumption charges are based on the number of MCF units used during a billing period. The average residential household uses about 0.5 MCF, or 3,740 gallons, of water per month. Your usage is displayed on the face of your meter by the numbered dials.

Your water meter is connected to a small electronic device called an endpoint located on the outside of your home that transmits meter readings on an hourly basis. You can view your meter readings online by creating a Cleveland Water Portal account.

Emergency Questions

If you see a water main break or experience a sudden and unexpected disruption in service, call our 24-Hour Emergency Line at 216-664-3060.

Miscellaneous Questions

Contact our Public Education and Outreach office at 216-664-3173.