FAQ  |  Billing Questions/Utility Services

Is assistance available for low-income customers?

Unfortunately, the City of Manchester does not offer a reduced rate program. However, Operation New View and Delaware County Community Services may offer assistance with payment toward your utility bill.

Will the rates be increased?

Utility rates will be increased as needed to meet the cost of operating. The current rates are calculated to meet the operating and maintenance costs of supplying water, sewer and solid waste services. Rate increases are occasionally necessary to meet the costs of operating and updating City facilities and to meet Iowa Department of Natural Resources and EPA guidelines.

Do businesses and industries also have their rates increased?
Yes. The water rate increase applies to all customer classes – residential, commercial and industrial.

What are the charges on my utility bill?

Charges may differ for each customer receiving a utility bill depending upon their circumstances and/or type of classification (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). For most residents, the following charges will apply:

Water UsageWA$5.81 monthly service charge, plus $3.09 per thousand gallons of water
Sewer UsageSW$10.86 monthly service charge, plus $6.01 per thousand gallons of water
CompostCM$2.00
Garbage & RecyclingGA$11.60
LandfillLFVaries depending on type of account
Outside Water (opt)OW$0.75 monthly service charge, plus $3.60 per thousand gallons of water
Water TaxTAXTax is calculated at 7% based on water charges only

What day is my bill due?

Bills are sent through the Post Office on or before the last business day of the month and are expected to be received by you within the next couple of days. Bills are due upon receipt and are considered delinquent if payment is not received by the close of business (4:00pm) on the 10th day of the month.

What happens if the City does not receive my payment by the due date?

A delinquent notice will be sent to all customers if payment has not been received by the close of business on the 10th day of the month and a 5% penalty will be assessed. The Manchester Code of Ordinance states that the City shall notify each delinquent customer by mail that service will be discontinued if payment is not received by the date specified in the delinquent notice. The City of Manchester mails an average of 400 delinquent notices every month. Contacting each delinquent account by telephone is simply not efficient.

How can I pay my utility bill?

Your utility bill can be paid by cash, check, money order, automatic withdrawal, debit card or credit card.

Payment may be made:
  • In person at City Hall or by mail to 208 East Main Street, Manchester, IA 52057
  • Through Automatic Withdrawal
  • Online
Automatic Bank Withdrawal Form – Return to City Office

Understanding your utility bill

Residents are billed monthly for water, sewer, garbage & compost.
  • Bills are sent out on or before the last business day of each month.
  • Bills are due by the 10th day of the month.thin 10 days.
  • A penalty is assessed to each account if not paid by the 10th, and a notice of delinquency is sent. The account holder is then given an additional 12 days to make payment on the account before disconnection of services occurs.
  • If you have not received your bill or feel you have received a notice of delinquency in error, please contact the City Office immediately at 563.927.3636.
  • The City of Manchester offers automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings, and online bill payment.
  • Charges may differ for each customer receiving a utility bill depending upon their circumstances and/or type of classification (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.). For most residents, the following charges will apply:

    Water UsageWA$5.81 monthly service charge, plus $3.09 per thousand gallons of water
    Sewer UsageSW$10.86 monthly service charge, plus $6.01 per thousand gallons of water
    CompostCM$2.00
    Garbage & RecyclingGA$11.60
    LandfillLFVaries depending on type of account
    Outside Water (opt)OW$0.75 monthly service charge, plus $3.60 per thousand gallons of water
    Water TaxTAXTax is calculated at 7% based on water charges only

    I didn't get my bill

    The City of Manchester mails approximately 2,000 individual water bills monthly. To help keep expenses to a minimum, Utility Bills are mailed out on postcards to save on both paper and postage expenses.

    Bills are sent through the Post Office by the last working day of the month and are expected to be received by you within the next couple of days. Occasionally, bills do not reach customers for various reasons; perhaps it was put into someone else’s mailbox or perhaps it got stuck in a newspaper or magazine and went undetected. Whatever the reason, it is simply impossible for us to track a bill once it leaves our office.

    If you have not received your bill within the first week of the month, we would encourage you to call the City Office to request a copy. We would also encourage you to check with the Post Office regarding delivery of your bill and to verify your address.

    Bills are considered “delinquent” if not paid by the 10th day of the month. Although this notice may seem offensive to our customers in good standing, the City of Manchester Code of Ordinance states that the City shall notify each delinquent customer that service will be discontinued if payment is not received by the date specified in the notice of delinquency. The code also instructs this notice shall be sent by ordinary mail.

    Additionally, the City of Manchester mails an average of 250-300 disconnect notices every month. Contacting each individual account is not efficient.

    The City Office does offer the opportunity to have your payment automatically withdrawn from your checking account. We also offer online account access & bill pay for your convenience.

    I don't think my water meter is working correctly

    There are some concerns from time to time about the accuracy of the water meters. The City of Manchester uses positive displacement meters. That means water has to enter the chamber to make the disk move and record any usage. It is impossible for this type of meter to register more usage than what has been used within the home.

    Most cases of high water usage involve leaks within the home. Leaks waste a tremendous amount of water. A toilet flapper leak, overflow leaking or a dripping faucet can easily waste thousands of gallons of water each month. This excessive usage can add up quickly. Finding the leaks and repairing them saves not only water, but also money.

    I think I have a water leak!

    Check the Water Meter
    1. Turn off all of your water inside and outside of your home, but leave your shutoff valve open.
    2. Locate your water meter (usually located in the basement or a crawl space).
    3. The meter will have a red dial or triangle on its face.
    4. If this is moving at all, and you are certain no water is running, you have a water leak.
    Read the Water Meter
    1. Just before going to bed, or when no one will use any water for several hours, write down the numbers on the face of the water meter.
    2. Take another meter reading in the morning before any water is used, or after a few hours of non-usage.
    3. In theory, these two readings should be the same. If they are not, and you cannot account for use by a humidifier, ice cube maker, toilet flush, or water softener, you have a leak and further investigation is recommended.
    Leak Sources

    From our experience, ninety percent of the leaks in residential plumbing systems are found at the toilet tank. Generally, toilets leak at the bottom of the tank around the flapper plug or at the top of the tank at the overflow tube. Leaks typically result from worn parts or from misalignment of some part of the flushing mechanism.

    Check the Toilet Flapper
    • Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank.
    • Watch the bowl for about 15 minutes.
    • If colored water appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
    Check the Overflow Valve
    • Sparingly sprinkle powder on top of the water in the tank.
    • If the powder moves toward the overflow tube, you probably have an overflow leak.

    Toilets are notorious for their silent leaks. A toilet that overflows just one gallon every five minutes will waste 288 gallons of water per day or 8,640 gallons per month. We recommend that each homeowner familiarize themselves with their home water system.

    Other Leak Sources

    It is possible to have water leaking in other places: sink faucets, water softeners, plumbing, water heaters, dishwashers…..anywhere water runs could be a potential source. If you are unable to locate a leak on your own, we always recommend contacting a licensed plumber.

    I think I have a sewer backup

    Sewer back-ups occur despite the best of maintenance programs.

    The vast majority of sewer back-ups occur from circumstances beyond the control of the City or the property owner. Here’s what you can do:

    • Investigate as soon as you can if you notice floor drains backing up or slow drains. Fast attention to these problems may prevent or lessen the severity of a back-up.
    • Contact the City Office at 563.927.3636 (Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm)
    • AFTER HOURS & WEEKENDS: Manchester Police Department at 563.927.3355
    • City personnel will respond to your request as soon as possible to check if City lines are plugged.
    • If the problem is not in the City line, it may be in your private line.
    • Contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible.
    • Contact your home owner’s insurance representative.

    My water pressure seems low. Who should I call?

    If the problem is limited to a single faucet, try unscrewing the faucet aerator. Rinsing or replacing clogged or corroded screens and parts could solve your problem.

    If the problem is that the supply lines feeding a branch are too small, you may need to increase the pipe size.

    If the problem is inadequate flow to the entire house, you may need to increase the size of the main supply pipe from the water meter to the house.

    For other concerns, please contact the City Office at 563.927.3636, Monday-Friday (8:00am – 4:00pm).

    Who do I contact if I think there is a water main break in my neighborhood?

    Water mains are most prone to breaking as winter approaches and the ground begins to freeze and in the spring as the frost goes out of the ground. This is generally due to ground movement.

    Any time you see water running out of the ground, through cracks in the pavement, or from behind curbing please call the City of Manchester at 563.927.3636.

    After hours or weekends please contact the Manchester Police Department at 563.927.3355.

    Who do I contact if I have concerns about a fire hydrant?

    Please contact the City of Manchester at 563.927.3636 if you should notice any of the following:

    • Leaking hydrant
    • Noticeable damage, hydrant laying on its side
    • If you see someone tampering with a hydrant

    The City of Manchester would also ask for your help in clearing snow from around fire hydrants during the winter months. It is helpful if hydrants are cleared 3 feet in all directions to ensure both visibility and access in the event of a fire. If you are unable to clear snow from around a hydrant, please contact the City Office.

    What can I do to prevent my water lines from freezing?

    Ruptured water lines can cause extensive damage to a home. During the winter, home owners should take precautions to prevent water lines from freezing. Here are some simple tips to protect your home.

    • Seal cracks in doors, windows and foundations. Small openings concentrate cold air creating a cold blow torch that can quickly freeze pipes.
    • Open cabinets and closets that contain water lines to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing.
    • Allow cold water to drip through faucets. Running or dripping water can help prevent water lines from freezing, however, even running water can freeze in sub-zero temperatures.
    • Consider installing water pipe insulation. Local building supply stores carry a number of products designed specifically for this purpose. If you decide to use a heat tape, be sure it has the UL seal of approval.
    • Check pipe insulation periodically to make sure that it is dry. Wet insulation can be worse than no insulation.

    My water is cloudy. Is it safe to drink?

    Commonly in the winter, you will notice that your drinking water appears cloudy. Milky water, also commonly described as cloudy, hazy, soapy, or foamy, is almost always caused by air in the water. To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it on the counter. Observe the glass of water for two or three minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will begin to clear at the bottom of the glass first and then gradually will clear all the way to the top. This is a natural phenomenon and is completely normal; the water is safe to use.

    How do I get water service in my name?

    Please contact the City Office at your earliest convenience to put water service into your name. Accounts will be created on the first business day following notification.

    Residential or commercial

    All renters, regardless of credit or customer history, are required to place a minimum $75 deposit with the City of Manchester to obtain City services.

    An account will not be created for a renter until a deposit has been paid.

    Utility Application Form

    How do I get an outside water meter?

    OUTSIDE WATER METER

    Installing a second water meter specifically for outdoor watering may be beneficial as outside water meters are not subject to sewer charges. Meters can be purchased from the City Office. However, you must hire a plumber to install and connect the meter to your outside faucets. The Water Superintendent will install the outside meter box. Please contact the City Office at 563.927.3636 to make arrangements for this installation.

    METER INSTALLATION
    • The City Office MUST be notified for inspection and connection of the meter box.
    • Meter is to be set horizontally.
    • Must be double-valved 6-inces from meter.
    • Outside meters can be connected ONLY to outside wall faucets.
    • Must be copper or galvanized pipe plus brass valves. After 2nd valve plastic pipe can be used.

    Please contact the City Office with any questions you may have:
    City of Manchester
    Chad Wulfekuhle, Water Superintendent
    563-927-3636