The City of Sartell's goal is to provide high quality, safe, reliable drinking water that surpasses every state and federal requirement.
Water and sanitary sewer services are provided to most Sartell residents by the city’s Utility Department. This department operates, monitors, and maintains water treatment plants, wells, water storage towers, sanitary sewer lines and lift stations; analyzes chemical parameters; locates water and sewer lines; monitors chemical feed systems; operate and maintain city wading pool; flushes city hydrants; and repairs fire hydrants.
OUR WATER SUPPLY
A city-owned and city-operated water system make up a major portion of the Sartell Water City of Sartell Water Treatment Facility and Sewer Department. The water supply comes from 9 wells and 3 water treatment plants with a total pumping capacity of about 12 million gallons per day. There are approximately 65 miles of water main. To handle peak water loads Sartell also has 3 water towers and 2 clearwells for ground storage. The water is chlorinated and fluoridated to meet Department of Health standards. The Water and Sewer Department staff bills bi-monthly based on usage. Some Sartell properties obtain their water through private wells and are not served by the municipal water systems.
The Water and Sewer Department also maintains sanitary sewer lines in Sartell which discharge into the regional waste treatment system managed by the City of St. Cloud and surrounding communities. There are 10 lift stations, about 55 miles of sanitary sewer, and 26 miles of storm sewer in Sartell.
There are occasions when utility personnel needs to gain access to your home. The two most common occurrences are for the initial set-up of the water meter and for repair work to water meters. Utility personnel wear city uniforms and carry a picture I.D. card. Residents having any questions regarding utility personnel should call the Public Works Department at (320) 258-7339.
WATER CONSERVATION PLAN
The City of Sartell has adopted an odd/even water conservation plan. This means that if your house is odd-numbered, you can water your lawn on odd numbered calendar days. If your house is even numbered, you can water on even calendar days. If you have your own well, please call Sartell City Hall and register it so that you aren’t fined for watering your lawn on the wrong days.
AFTER HOUR EMERGENCIES
Sartell City Hall is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have an after hour emergency that needs immediate attention, please contact the Sartell Police Department.
Rates and Account Information
The City of Sartell bills bi-monthly. Water rates for 2020 are a base fee of $5.00, with usage rate of $2.80 per 100 c.f. 2020 sewer rates are a base fee of $5.00 with usage rate of $5.13 per 100 c.f. The City of Sartell sets the sewer rates during the months of January and February.
The amount of sewer used during these months is also the amount of sewer that you will be charged on the remainder of your water/sewer bills of that year with the exception of the November/December and January/February billing cycle. There is a spot on your utility statement to submit your water meter reading, it is very important that we get actual readings from our residents, otherwise, your bill is estimated which can result in an inaccurate bill. You will be billed for the usage from the current meter reading on the next billing cycle.
Our Water Source
Sartell is fortunate to have a clean drinking water source: a buried glacial drift aquifer. The aquifer is an underground supply of groundwater, with water filling the pore spaces between grains of sand and gravel. The glaciers that passed through the Sartell area thousands of years ago deposited these layers of sand and gravel, which have since become covered by other geologic deposits. Groundwater flows through the pore spaces and is pumped into Sartell’s wells, which range between 92-154 feet in depth. It takes several years for water at the land surface to infiltrate down to the aquifer. During that period, organisms that might have caused diseases have died and have been filtered out by the layers of soil and sediment.
When water infiltrates from the land surface down to the buried glacial drift aquifer, it may dissolve minerals in the soils and geologic deposits. These dissolved minerals are the major contributor to the hardness in Sartell’s water. Hardness is the measure of dissolved minerals that are in the water. We have about 18-21 grains of hardness, which can be lowered by consumers, if desired, using a private water-softening system.
Though we have very good source water, we do take additional steps to comply with the Minnesota Department of Health rules. The state requires cities to have 0.7 milligrams of Fluoride per liter of water and have a detectable Chlorine residual at the farthest points in the system. We add this Fluoride to the water to allow bodies to build stronger bones and teeth and Chlorine to disinfectant and assure that no harmful bacteria or organisms can grow in the system. It also protects the water if any contaminants were to find their way into our water.
We have very precise equipment to add these items and we also test the water daily to assure we have the right amounts of Chlorine and Fluoride throughout the water system. This filtration process does not soften the water. The water hardness averages around 18 – 21 grains, which users can lower by using a private water-softening system.
Sartell Wellhead Protection Plan
Sartell has completed the development of the Wellhead Protection Plan. The plan is designed to protect the groundwater aquifers that supply the Sartell municipal drinking water wells. The plan identifies potential sources of contamination that could pollute local groundwater wells and enter the community’s water supply. The goal of the plan is to ensure Sartell continues to provide residents with a safe and abundant supply of clean drinking water for generations to come.
The Wellhead Protection Plan can only be successful if residents play a role in helping to protect the aquifer. To help us implement our plan, you can do the following:
- Help identify land uses and potential sources of contamination on your property (wells, tanks, septic systems, hazardous wastes, etc.).
- Make sure any potential sources of contamination under your control meet local, state, and federal regulations
- Seal any unused wells on your property, according to Minnesota Well Code.
- See the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information. Owners of active wells should refer to the Well Owner’s Handbook for proper construction, maintenance, and sampling information.
- To learn more about sealing unused wells, see the information posted on the State of Minnesota’s Health website.
- The Minnesota Department of Health has also put together a Drinking Water Fact Sheet.
- Use hazardous products only as directed and dispose of them properly when no longer needed.
- Visit the Stearns County website for information on handling and disposal of wastes, including information on the Tri-County Solid Waste Management household hazardous collection facility, located in Waite Park.
- Report spills (or illegal dumping) of hazardous wastes, fuels, or chemicals to law enforcement.
- Water Quality 101-h2you has great ideas on keeping your water sources clean. Sign up for the pledge while you are there.
If you wish to view a copy of the Wellhead Protection Plan, contact the Public Works Department at (320) 258-7339.
Sartell Utility Maintenance crews flush fire hydrants twice each year, in the spring and fall. Though flushing may occasionally discolor the water for a few minutes, it is safe to drink.
Residents should check for signs of discoloration before using the water to wash clothes. If the water is discolored when you turn on your tap, just run the water until it is clear. If stains from the water appear on laundered clothes, do not put the clothes in the dryer, as this will set the stains. Washing the clothes again usually will remove any stains.
For more information, contact the Public Works Department at (320) 258-7339 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city encourages residents to keep snow cleared from hydrants in case of an emergency. This will ensure hydrants are visible and accessible in case of an emergency.
Frequently Asked Water Meter & Billing Questions
Water Meter Related Questions
Your meter is located by the water heater on your property. It is not outside, as it would freeze in Minnesota. The water usually comes in from the street side of the house. The meter sits on the water pipe that comes in through the floor. The City of Sartell uses a few different types of meters. Most homes are equipped with a meter where the head of the meter is about three inches in diameter and has a large hand and a small red diamond or triangle. Read the six or eight numbers on the meter display, where it says cubic feet, from left to right. If your home was built after 2009, you may have one of the new meters which has a digital top. You will need to use a flashlight to shine on the top of the meter to get the numbers to activate when you read your meter.
Note: You may see what looks like water on the face of the dial. It is oil that prevents corrosion and increases the life of the dial mechanism. It does not enter the water supply and does not affect the quality of the water delivered to the customer.
Water usage is measured by cubic feet. One cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons.
Consumption may be high for many reasons. If a bill is estimated too low for a length of time, an actual meter reading may result in a large increase. More people may be living in the household. During the summer, water consumption may be higher because you are watering the lawn or garden, or an outside hose may be left on. A leak in the residence may also lead to high consumption.
Customers often think the meter is not working right causing high readings. To test the accuracy of your meter, use the following procedure:
Run water until the test dial (the red sweep hand located on the face of the meter) points to zero. The test hand will be straight up in the 12 o’clock position when it is on zero. Fill a one-gallon container with water. Check the position of the red test dial. It should measure .1333 cubic feet.
Newer types of water meters have a leak indicator on the face of the dial; see the photo. It is a triangular or diamond-shaped indicator that revolves 354 times for every gallon of water that passes through the meter.
To check for leaks, look at the indicator when no one is drawing water. It should not be moving. If it is moving, check every plumbing fixture at the property, i.e., toilet, sink, outside sprinkler, washer, etc. Shut off the valves that supply each fixture, one by one, and check the indicator after each shutoff. When closing the water supply, a valve stops the indicator from moving, or slows its movement, you have found the location of a leak. There may be more than one leak! Once the leak is repaired, check the leak indicator again and make sure all leaks are repaired.
Toilet leaks are leaks in which water from the tank seeps into the toilet bowl. From there, the water goes into the sewer system. If you can hear the toilet running or need to jiggle the handle to get it to stop running after you flush, you have a toilet leak.
Sometimes you cannot hear the leak, however. To determine if you have a leak, place a dye tablet or food coloring into the tank and do not flush the toilet for about an half an hour. If the dye coloring has seeped into the stool from the tank, the flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. Local hardware stores carry new flappers for about $5.00, complete with installation instructions. If you have more than one toilet, either do the dye test for all of them, or turn the toilets off one at a time, and do the overnight reading again. This may take a few nights to work out.
You will need to check every plumbing fixture on your property, i.e., sink and tub faucets, outside sprinkler system, washer, water softener, etc. You will need to shut off the water supply to each fixture, one at a time and check the water meter for movement. If movement on the meter stops when the valve is shut, you will know that is the the fixture that has the leak. There may be more than one leak at your property.
The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and disappear. This type of cloudiness occurs in the winter, when the drinking water is very cold.
If a recent loss of water pressure has occurred at all the faucets in your building, make sure that the meter valves next to the water meter are fully open. The most common cause we seen in loss of water pressure is when the water softener is malfunctioning. To check your water softener, shut off the bi-pass valve to the water softener and see if your pressure resumes. If your pressure comes back, you know that you will need to have your water softener serviced.
A few other common causes of water pressure is:
- Meter valves and/or other valves are not fully opened.
- Old or corroded piping or corroded connections in the home.
- Clogged screens on faucets.
The City of Sartell has on average 23 grains of hardness per gallon. A water softener is recommended for use in the City of Sartell. The water’s iron levels are very low at just .03 mg/per liter.
Water Billing Questions
Utilities are billed bi-monthly. They are sent out the even calendar months of the year around the 15th of the month. Water is billed based on meter readings or estimated according to historical usage if no reading is obtained.
Check your bill, pay your bill online or sign up for autopay.
PAY YOUR BILL
If your account is active, the credit is applied to the current balance.
Please contact Sartell City Hall at 320-253-2171 to request another copy of your bill. If you didn’t receive it by your e-mail account, please check your junk e-mail folder or your deleted items to make sure that it didn’t copy into those locations. You can contact city hall to request another copy either sent to you by mail or to your e-mail account.
Yes. Just call Sartell City Hall and we’d be happy to send that out to you.
Due dates are established by City Ordinance and fall 21 days after the billing date. The City of Sartell bills the entire city at one time, therefore the dates cannot be altered. Bills are sent out the 15th of the even numbered months (February, April, June, August, October and December) and due on the 6th of the odd numbered months (January, March, May, July, September, November)
You may question the basis for one or more of the charges shown on your bill. If you’d wish to discuss your bill, please call Sartell City Hall at 320-253-2171.
The bill will be estimated if you do not submit your water meter reading when requested. Estimated bills are based on the previous history at the service address. At this time all residents read their own meters.
If your bill was over or underestimated, you can call Sartell City Hall with your current water meter reading and an adjustment can be made to that reading.
Please contact the Water Department at (320) 253-2171 prior to your leave of absence from the home. We can set your account to a vacant status while you are away so you don’t need to worry about receiving water meter readings or bills while you are gone.
If you have a leak in your home, the leak is using water that the City has processed through it’s water plants and has treated, that water is then sent through our sewer system. Therefore, normally, that usage will need to be paid by the resident.
If you cannot pay your bill, or can only pay part of it, please contact Sartell City Hall to determine whether you are eligible for a payment agreement. Eligibility for an agreement depends on your payment history, history of the account or any other relevant circumstances. The bill statement indicates that all charges are due and payable 21 days after billing. You must pay current charges in addition to the installment agreement. We will work with you to avoid turning off your water service.
Yes, the City of Sartell offers Auto Pay through our web portal. Just click on the link at the top of this page that is listed as Online Bill Pay and log in with your account number and name to sign up for an account. You can enroll anytime for this feature and there is no charge for this service.