ERMU FAQ: Summer Water Usage

July 6, 2021
Person holding a glass of water searching their phone.

Did you know that a gallon of water from ERMU costs less than half a cent!? But an abnormally dry start to summer has many customers seeing water bill increases and contacting our office with questions. To help fulfill ERMU’s ongoing mission to educate those we serve, here are answers to our most frequently asked water questions.

💧 What causes my water usage to go up in the summer?

There are several possible causes for increased water usage, such as installing a pool or discovering leaks around the house. But our staff finds that higher usage in the summer is most often caused by increased or inefficient lawn irrigation. Luckily, ERMU water customers can learn simple methods to improve watering on their own or apply for a rebate to have their irrigation system professionally tuned up.

📈 Did ERMU’s water rates go up?

ERMU residential water customers had a 0% increase in water rates from 2020 to 2021. If you notice increased water charges compared to last summer, this could be because of changes in usage due to different precipitation and heat levels, or a longer billing cycle.

📅How does the billing cycle affect my bill?

Using cycles allows us to distribute bills efficiently and helps keep costs low. This system also creates variability in the number of days your bill represents. Generally, the more days in a cycle, the higher the bill. For context, it can be helpful to divide your total monthly usage by the number of days in that month’s cycle to determine your units per day before comparing with previous billings. Also keep in mind that the total on your bill incorporates several services and fees beyond water usage.

💦 What is my water bill paying for?

Bill payments are necessary for the long-term stability of the system to cover the cost of pumping, treating, storing, and distributing water to the community. As a publicly owned utility, it is also important that the money collected does not exceed appropriate margins. ERMU regularly studies its rates to ensure that responsible budget levels are met.

The tiered rate system for water is required by the DNR to help encourage mindful usage of a finite resource and ensure customers pay their fair share based on that usage. You can learn more about ERMU’s water rates here.

What else should I know?

There are two standing water restrictions for residents utilizing the city’s water system. These restrictions state that customers should apply an even-odd day watering schedule based on the last number of their address and that no lawn watering is to occur between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

ERMU offers rebates to water customers for water-efficient appliances, which can help you save water and money.

If you still have questions or would like specific details about your account, we are always glad to take your call at 763.441.2020.