To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.
How could I have used this much water?
You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem. Your water meter will not register unless water actually flows through.
What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?
Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.
Why is my water discolored?
A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.
What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?
Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.
My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?
All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.
Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?
Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.
Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?
We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.
Is my meter registering too much water?
Water meters are tested at the factory and do not "speed up" over time, in reality most water meters actually register less water over time.
Does the VBMU provide my mailing address or personal information?
No. The Van Buren Municipal Utilities does not provide a customer's information to solicitors.
I received a letter soliciting for insurance coverage for my service line.
The VBMU does not endorse or provide information to companies soliciting insurance coverage for your water/sewer service line.
My sewer service line is broken/damaged. Will VBMU repair/replace it?
The Building Sewer Service Line is your responsibility to maintain, unclog, repair, or replace, from the building to the City Sewer Main Line. Exception: If the City Sewer Main Line is in or across a Public Street, and it is determined that the Building Sewer Service Line is broken under the Public Street (curb to curb), in most cases, VBMU will repair the damaged section, only under a Public Street. VBMU does not unclog or repair the Building Sewer Service Line within (yours or neighbor's) private property, parking lot, driveway, or easement. If your Bulding Sewer Service Line crosses your neighbor's property, it is your responsiblity to maintain, repair, and replace.
My water meter is hard to turn off. Will VBMU fix it so I can turn it off and on easily.
The valve in the water meter box is for use by VBMU personnel only. The Arkansas Department of Health Plumbing Code requires the customer to have a water shutoff valve outside the meter box that will shut off the water to the entire structure in case of emergency. It is a good idea to locate your shutoff valve and be sure it is in good operating condition. If you or your plumber damage the valve in the meter box, you can be held responsible for cost of repair.
Where does Van Buren water come from?
The City of Van Buren purchases water directly from the City of Fort Smith through 8 different Master Meter Stations. The City of Fort Smith Water comes from Water Treatment Plants at Lake Fort Smith and the Lee Creek Reservoir.
How is residential sewer usage calculated?
Residential customers billed sewer usage is based on an averaged winter consumption calculated from monthly water consumption for the immediately preceding months of November, December, January, February, and March. Because most residential customers use larger volumes of water outside during the summer months, winter average sewer billing is the most common method of residential sewer usage calculation across the country.
Example: 5 month average water consumption = 5,000 gallons
You will be billed for 5,000 gallons of sewer per month for the following 12 months even if your water usage is say 10,000 gallons.
However- If on a particular month your water usage is only say 4,000 gallons, you will only be billed for 4,000 gallons of sewer.
NEW Residential customers with no Winter Sewer Average established are billed the same gallons for sewer usage as water usage until a sewer average can be established.
Can I change my due date?
No. VBMU Customers meters are read and billed in four seperate zones according to geographic location.
How does my bank's online payment work?
When you pay through your bank's ONLINE billpay option, your bank account is normally debited on the same day, however; your bank then processes an actual check and mails it to VBMU. Sometimes it can take 7 to 10 days for us to receive the check. So if for instance, your bill is due on the 19th, and you pay through the bank billpay on the 18th, we may not get the check in the mail until the 23rd and you will be charged a late fee. We strongly recommend that you check with your bank regarding their payment procedures.