SNEW Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:Can I make a payment online?

Q2: Can I access/view my transaction history?

Q3: Can I view the meter reading history for my account?

Q4: Can I receive an electronic bill instead of a paper bill?

Q5: What if I have multiple Accounts, water and electric. Can I view them online?

Q6: Does SNEW accept credit cards at the Customer Service Window?

Q7: How do I report a Streetlight outage/problem?

Q8: Who do we call if we have questions about our bill?

Q9: What are your office hours?

Q10: Where can we go to pay our bill?

Q11: Where do we go to set up a new account on an existing service?

Q12: Where do we go to set up a brand new service?

Q13: What are the charges on my bill?

Q14: How often do I get billed for my services?

Q15: Who is responsible for the bill?

Q16: When is payment due for the bill?

Q17: What if my bill is not paid on time?

Q18: What forms of payment do you accept?

Q19: What is the rate schedules and how are the charges set?

Q20: Who should I contact to receive a copy of the “Rules and Regulations” regarding service?

Q21: I am moving or selling, what is the procedure for handling the Electrical service account?

Q22: I am selling the property, what is the procedure for handling the water service account?

Q23: What are my responsibilities for these services?

Q24: What is the service address?

Q25: What part of the water service is SNEW responsible for and what part is the customer responsible for?

Q26: What is the purpose of flushing hydrants?  Isn’t that wasting water?

Q27: How do I determine if I have a leak?

Q28: I just bought a new dishwasher.  What is my water’s hardness?

Q29: What is this pink (or yellow) stain on my bathroom fixtures?

Q30: What is causing the “bad”/rotten egg/sewage smell in my water?

Q31: Why does my water smell like dirt/grass?

Q32: Why does my water smell like chlorine?

Q33: Is SNEW water regularly tested?

Q34: How Much fluoride is in my water?

Q35: Why is my water discolored?

Q36: What are these white particles in my strainers?

 

A1: Can I make a payment online?

Yes, SNEW now accepts credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and Discover) and e-checks through our online portal SNEW Link, in person at our Customer Service Window or over the phone. To make a phone payment, please dial 203-866-3366 and select option 6.

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A2: Can I access/view my transaction history?

Yes, with SNEW Link, a customer can view their transaction history on their account. You can also click on a bill and see the breakdown of the bill.

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A3: Can I view the meter reading history for my account?

Yes, SNEW Link will allow you to view all of the meter reading information used to generate your bill. For more detailed meter reading information, use "Customer Connect" to view daily meter readings and hourly interval usage information.

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A4: Can I receive an electronic bill instead of a paper bill?

No, not at this time. SNEW will be implementing the e-bill functionality in the future.

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A5: What if I have multiple accounts, water and/or electric. Can I view them online?

Yes. If your customer number is the same for all of your accounts, you will be able to switch between the accounts. If your customer number for each account is different, you have two options. Register for each account separately (which will require different usernames and passwords), or contact Customer Service and we will investigate the possibility of updating the multiple customer numbers to a single customer number.

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A6: Does SNEW accept credit cards at the Customer Service Window?

Yes, SNEW now accepts credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.

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A7: How do I report a Streetlight outage/problem?

You have 3 options to report problem with a street light.

  1. Simply by clicking on the button titled “Report a Street Light Outage” at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

  2. Call the Customer Service Department at 203-866-3366

  3. Visit the Customer Service Department located inside the South Norwalk Train Station, at 1 State Street.

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A8: Who do we call if we have questions about our bill?

Call SNEW's Customer Service Department at 203-866-3366 and select option #1.

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A9: What are your office hours?

Our Customer Service & Administrative Office hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

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A10: Where can we go to pay our bill?

Payments may be made at our Customer Service Department located at 1 State Street, Norwalk, CT in the South Norwalk Train Station. You can also pay your bills online at my.snew.org or by telephone, call 203-866-3366 and select option 6.

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A11: Where do we go to set up a new account on an existing service?

Electric accounts for existing services can be set up at our Customer Service Department located at 1 State Street, Norwalk, CT office located in the South Norwalk Train Station.

To transfer an existing Water account, call our Customer Service Department at 203-866-3366.

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A12: Where do we go to set up a brand new service?

A new electric service may be set up in person at our 1 State Street, Norwalk, CT office located in the South Norwalk Train Station. Please call 203-866-3366 for information on the documentation and deposit amount prior to coming in.

For a brand new water service, please call 203-866-3366 so we can discuss what is involved.

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A13: What are the charges on my bill?

For electric accounts you are billed the following:

Service Charge (based on the classification of your account)

Distribution Energy Charge

Distribution Demand Charge (commercial only)

Generation Service Charge

Generation Serv-Purchased Power Adj.

Transmission Charge

GRT (gross revenue tax/gross receipts tax)

Connecticut Sales tax (commercial only)

For water accounts you are billed the following:

Service Charge (based on the size of the meter)

Water Consumption Charge

Fire Service Charge (only accounts with a fire service)

Specifics on the current charges, please visit the RATES tab on our website.

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A14: How often do I get billed for my services?

Electric accounts are billed monthly. Water accounts are billed monthly or quarterly depending on the size and type of account.

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A15: Who is responsible for the bill?

For electric it is the customer of record. For water it is the property owner of record, as listed with the Town Clerk.

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A16: When are bills due?

Electric bills are due on the last day of the month. SNEW offers electric customers a 10% discount if your payment is received by the 10th of each month. The discount amount due is printed on the electric bill. Please note, the conservation charge is not included in the discount. Call Customer Service if you don’t have your bill to find out the exact discounted amount.

Water bills are due on or before the last day of the month in which you receive your bill.
The bill due date is printed on the bill.

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A17: What if my bill is not paid on time?

Failure to pay an electric bill by the 10th of the month will result in the loss of the 10% discount.

Failure to pay a water bill by the due date will result in interest charges accruing on the account.

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A18: What forms of payment do you accept?

In the Customer Service office, SNEW accepts cash, checks, and credit and debit cards.. Customers can also make credit card or e-check payments either online at my.snew.org or by telephone by dialing 203-866-3366 and selecting option 6. SNEW accepts VISA, Mastercard and Discover credit and debit cards.

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A19: What is the rate schedules and how are the charges set?

All service charges and consumption rates and special charges are set by the Commissioners of the Second Taxing District. A rate schedule for electric and water can be found on our website under the RATES tab.

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A20: Who should I contact to receive a copy of the “Rules and Regulations” regarding service?

You can visit our Customer Service Dept. at 1 State Street or you can find it on our web site.

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A21: I am moving or selling, what is the procedure for handling the Electrical service account?

For Electric service you must submit in writing to SNEW the following information: customer number; account number; service address; date of disconnection; forwarding address and phone.  SNEW will disconnect the electric service on the date requested (Monday through Friday) and will generate a final bill.

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A22: I am selling the property, what is the procedure for handling the water service account?

For Water service you or your attorney should contact SNEW as soon as a closing date has been selected.  The following information will be needed: service address; seller’s name and new owner’s name; date of closing; both attorneys’ names, phone and fax numbers.  SNEW will schedule a final reading and notify both attorneys of the charges due.

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A23: What are my responsibilities for these services?

For Electric, the customer is responsible for maintaining facilities, wiring and appliances and insure they are in good working order.

For Water, the customer is responsible for keeping service pipes, meter pits and vaults, curb box, house pipes, and fixtures in good working order.

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A24: What is the service address?

The service address is the address of the property where electricity and or water is being consumed.

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A25: What part of the water service is SNEW responsible for and what part is the customer responsible for?

Below is a diagram that shows the customers responsibility in the greyed area.

  

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A26: What is the purpose of flushing hydrants?  Isn’t that wasting water?

It’s necessary to flush fire hydrants to maintain water quality.  High velocity water helps to clean and scour the interior of the pipes.  It flushes accumulated sediments out of the system, removes stale water and restores chlorine residual.  It also ensures the operability of the fire protection system.

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A27: How do I determine if I have a leak?

Make sure no water is being used in your home (no washing machine or dishwashers running). Go to your water meter and see if the dial is moving. If the dial moves at all, and you are sure no water on your property is on, then there is a leak somewhere after your meter.

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A28: I just bought a new dishwasher.  What is my water’s hardness?

Our finished water is termed “moderately hard” and is primarily in the range of 40-60mg/L as CaCO3.  This is equal to about 2-4 grains/gallon, which is how appliance manuals ask for it.

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A29: What is this pink (or yellow) stain on my bathroom fixtures?

That type of “staining” is generally a biofilm of airborne bacteria that prefer to grow under damp, humid conditions.  Just a simple cleaning will remove it and removing excess moisture from bathrooms (via a fan or window) will lessen the problem.

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A30: What is causing the “bad”/rotten egg/sewage smell in my water?

Over time organic matter (such as hair, soap, and food waste) can accumulate on the walls of the drain.  Bacteria can grow on these organic deposits. As the bacteria grow and multiply, they produce gases which can smell musty or moldy.  These gases accumulate in the drain until you turn the water on. As the water runs down the drain, the gases are expelled into the air around the sink. It is natural to assume the bad odor is coming from the water because you only smell it when you turn the water on.  Take a glass of water and step away from the sink.  Smell the water now.  If the smell follows the water, it means the water smells that way coming out of the faucet. If it smells OK, then the smell isn’t in the water at all.

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A31: Why does my water smell like dirt/grass?

Earthy and grassy odors are caused by naturally-occurring algae in our reservoirs, typically in the late summer.  We monitor the algae levels on a regular basis, but sometimes they proliferate in a short time, causing these odors.  There is no associated health risk and our Operations staff addresses the problem at the source as soon as we detect it.  It may then take a day or so for the affected water to make its way through the system.  Part of our recent treatment plant renovation was the installation of carbon filters to help mitigate the taste and odor issues.

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A32: Why does my water smell like chlorine?

We are required to maintain a minimum level of chlorine throughout our system for disinfection purposes.  Unfortunately, some people are more sensitive to this smell than others.  Putting a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking use will dissipate the chlorine over time, alleviating the smell.

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A33: Is SNEW water regularly tested?

Yes.  SNEW is required by law to regularly test the water.  SNEW Operations staff and laboratory personnel monitor the water as it is being treated every day, including weekends and holidays.  Samples are collected for analysis at our Water Quality laboratory at approximately 20 locations within our service area on a regular basis.

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A34: How much fluoride is in my water?

Drinking water regulations require SNEW to maintain a level of between 0.55 and 0.85 mg/L of fluoride on a monthly average basis.

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A35: Why is my water discolored?

There are several common discolorations in drinking water:

White/cloudy/milky-- This is almost always caused by air in the water. One of the many properties of water is its ability to dissolve gases- including air. Sometimes the air comes back out of the water in the form of many tiny bubbles; this gives the water a milky white appearance. 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 2 or 3 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.

Red/brown/yellow-- Unusual water flows such as a broken water main, SNEW working on a water main or a fire hydrant being operated nearby can caused a temporary “rusty” color.  This type of disturbance usually lasts for approximately two to four hours after which time the water will clear.  This discolored water is not a health threat.  If you, your child, or your pet happen to drink some of the discolored water, it will not make you sick; however, it is often very unpleasant, so it is best to wait several hours for the water to clear before using it.  It may help to flush your water in a bathtub.  Do not use a sink as this will tend to clog the aerator.  There are two specific things to avoid doing while the water is discolored.  Do not wash any laundry, as the rust can stain clothing; and do not use any hot water, or you will draw this rusty water into your hot water tank and may have to flush it out later.

Blue/green-- This is generally due to extreme copper plumbing corrosion. If this is happening, the water will usually have a bluish-green tint and/or will leave a bluish-green stain on porcelain if the water drips from a faucet. This copper corrosion can be caused by your electrical system being grounded to your water pipes; especially if you have a mixture of pipe material (e.g. some copper and some galvanized steel.) If the blue color is only in the hot water, it may be due to the temperature on the water heater being set too high. If you have a hot water circulating system, the return line may be too small or the water may be pumped too fast for your pipe size, or it may be installed incorrectly.

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A36: What are these white particles in my strainers?

This is caused by a defective dip tube in your water heater. This plastic tube, if defective, sheds its plastic which then makes its way through your plumbing and gets trapped in the strainers.  To remedy this, consult a plumber or the water heater manufacturer.

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