Questions & Answers
Central States Water Resources, based in St. Louis, is a company that solves the financial and facility upgrade needs for water & wastewater treatment facilities in communities that are located throughout the United States.
CSWR, as an investor owned utility, is regulated by the state Public Service Commission who provides oversight of our operations and costs of our services.
We serve local communities throughout the United States from our headquarters in St. Louis.
The EPA and various state agencies set and monitor standards for water quality.
State and Federal permits are issued for private treatment facilities. When the facility does not meet environmental standards, they need to be upgraded or they must shut down.
Wastewater is any waste stream that is discharged from a household or business into the community collection system which is in turn treated and released into local waterways. Typical sources are toilets, sinks, washers, etc. from either homes or businesses.
The wastewater is treated by enhancing and speeding up natural processes that break down most of the waste a household produces.
This is done by creating an environment, for the most part, that is favorable for the growth of microorganisms which break down the waste in a shorter period of time into less harmful forms.
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Treatment facilities remove impurities contained in wastewater. This treated water can then be safely discharged to the environment. As in nature treatment facilities enhance this natural process and speed it up to treat larger volumes of wastewater in a shorter period.
Dear Water Customer,
We are contacted from time to time by customers who experience higher than expected water usage in their home and think they may have a leak. Unfortunately, if there is a leak impacting the water usage recorded by the meter, it is necessarily on the customer-owned side of the system and will be the customer’s responsibility to find and repair.
Calling a plumber to help identify and repair a leak is always an available option. However, if you want to first attempt to confirm the leak, the following procedures may help to confirm or deny the presence of a leak.
- First, see if there is an obvious source of higher water usage. Do you have a toilet that continues to run, or that runs periodically? Such additional usage can be quite substantial, especially if it is left running when no one is home. This problem could be as easy as a bad flapper valve, which is cheap and easy to replace. Is there a faucet that drips regularly in your home? Again, usage associated with a dripping faucet can be quite substantial, if it continues for a long period of time. If these problems are noticed and repaired, water usage should decrease. If there is no obvious source of a leak, proceed to step 2.
- Identify the location of your water meter and verify that the meter is running (the number on the meter is changing). Turn off all valves on appliances, faucets, etc. where water could possibly be used in your house. This includes your hot water heater, outside hose spigots, ice makers, sinks, toilets etc. Once all potential water users in the house have been turned off, wait a few minutes then check the meter again. If you confirm that you have shut off all sources of water use in your home and the meter is still running, you most likely have a leak.
- Now you’ve determined that you have a leak, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside of your house. Locate your home’s main shut off valve and shut off the water at the valve. (Typically, you will find the shut off valve in the basement or garage directly behind an outdoor faucet, or outside below an outdoor faucet.) Then check again for movement on the meter, making sure not to use any water during this period. If the meter stops moving or there is no change in the meter readings, then you have a leak inside of the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the meter readings, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.
- If you confirm a leak in your home, or are unable to locate the leak, Indian Hills Utility Operating Company recommends contacting a professional plumber to help identify and repair the leak.
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If you have a medical emergency where discontinuance of water or sewer service will aggravate an existing medical emergency, you may submit the Physicians Statement of Medical Need (click here to download the form).
For specific information on the regulation, refer to 4 CSR 240-13 Service and Billing Practices for Residential Customers of Water and Sewer Utilities (7/31/16) pages 11 and 12:
4 CSR 240-13.050 Discontinuance of Service
(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, a utility shall postpone a discontinuance for a time not in excess of twenty-one (21) days if the discontinuance will aggravate an existing medical emergency of the customer, a member of his/her family or other permanent resident of the premises where service is rendered. Any person who alleges a medical emergency, if requested, shall provide the utility with reasonable evidence of the necessity.
Rules of the Missouri Department of Economic Development: Service and Billing Practices for Residential Customers of Electric, Gas, Sewer, and Water Utilities
This chapter applies to residential utility service provided by all electric, gas, sewer, and water public utilities, referred to in this chapter as utilities, which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission under the laws of the State of Missouri.
Click here to download a PDF of 4 CSR 240-13.
Q: Why is my Confluence Rivers bill increasing?
A: When Confluence Rivers purchased the systems that serve your home, it had not been updated in decades, was unsafe, and had no ongoing safety or maintenance programs. We invested more than $2.7 million in improvements that will safeguard the integrity and proper operations of the systems for years to come and have a team that monitors the system to ensure clean, safe and reliable drinking water continuously flows to your taps, and that wastewater systems are working properly -- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These investments also improve the value of your homes and neighborhoods, which is why communities such as Auburn Lake, Calvey Brook, Villa Ridge, and Majestic Lakes have been able to expand development once again.
Q: Why do utility companies like Confluence Rivers seek rate increases?
A: Utility companies can request rate changes to help recover expenses for building, operating, and maintaining water and wastewater systems, such as those in Confluence Rivers. We invest in water resources, an investment into the community at large that enhances the value by repairing outdated water and wastewater systems.
Q: What is the cost of water?
A: While water itself is free, delivering the water to homes and businesses isn’t, and there is a cost to ensure this water is clean, safe, and reliable. Your monthly water bill payments ensure our ability to deliver clean, safe, and reliable water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while protecting the aquifers, lakes, rivers, and streams that are essential to our world.
Q: Has CSWR disconnected customers during the pandemic?
A: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSWR was one of the first utilities in Missouri to discontinue shut-offs for non-payment in March. Not only was it the right thing to do at a time when millions of Americans were losing their jobs and income, but water is vital towards slowing the spread of coronavirus and a critical resource to human health.
Q: Does Confluence Rivers plan to shut off services for customers who cannot pay?
A: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSWR was one of the first utilities in Missouri to discontinue shut-offs for non-payment in March. We plan to continue to listen to, and work with, our customers based on their needs during these unprecedented times. If you are a customer who finds themselves in unexpected need, we will make payment arrangements and continue to do so throughout the pandemic.
Q: Does CSWR have any customer assistance programs available?
A: While we presently do not have a formalized program in place, we are actively working with customers to accommodate unique circumstances. In addition to suspending billing-related shut-offs, we evaluate each situation brought to us individually. If a customer finds themselves in unexpected need due to illness or loss of employment, we will work with them to make arrangements and will continue to do so throughout the pandemic.