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Water Billing

Recently the City has acquired a new Utility Billing System. The look of your Utility bill will remain the same. However, you will be assigned a new account number. Please look for more detailed information on your next utility bill and on the City’s website as it becomes available.

To access Online Water Billing Click Here 

System Downtime:  Normal scheduled maintenance of the online billing and payment system typically will be performed Friday mornings from 5:00am - 7:30am. Other maintenance and updates may be performed  with advance notification on the website. Unscheduled maintenance cannot be predicted and will occur on an as-needed basis. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Water billing for The City of Lake Forest is done on a quarterly basis. For billing purposes, the City is divided into three sections/cycles and each cycle is billed quarterly. Water meters in Lake Forest are equipped with a Radio Read Meter Transceiver Unit (MXU) which permits meter reading via radio signals. As the Public Works vehicle moves through the section of town to be billed, the MXU connected to your meter receives a wake up signal from the vehicle interrogation unit. The MXU obtains the meter's identification number and meter reading, which are transmitted back to the interrogation unit. The meter readings are then used to produce the water bills. Your water bill is based on an actual (not estimated) meter reading each quarter. Actual readings produce an accurate usage history and that helps detect leaks.

The water bill includes a water charge, water customer charge, city use tax (5% of the water charge the Water Customer Charge), sewer charge, a sewer customer charge which is based on the size of the meter in each home or business, refuse collection fee effective May 1, 2014, and a public safety pension fee effective May 1, 2017.

Tiered Water Rate Structure

In February of 2014 the City Council adopted revisions to the water rate structure with one of the goals to incentivize residential customers to reduce water consumption during demand peak periods. The table below shows the tiered rates. Residents using 60,000 gallons  and under will be charged a lower rate per 1,000 gallons and any water usage greater than 60,000 gallons will be charged a higher rate per 1,000 gallons. Note that the higher rate is applied only to usage that exceeds 60,000 gallons. 

Refuse Collection Fee

In December of 2013 the City Council adopted changes to various fees and charges which included a Refuse Collection Fee. Residents who have their garbage and recycling collected by the City will be charged a Refuse Collection Fee on the water bill. For more detailed information regarding the Refuse Collection Fee please click on this link to the Sanitation Web Page.

Sewer Charges

The amount of water used during the winter billing quarter establishes the consumption charged for sewer for the next four bills, i.e. during the winter quarter your usage is 5,000 gallons of water, but in the summer water usage jumps to 48,000 gallons. The sewer charge will be based on a consumption of 5,000 gallons, not 48,000.

You will receive a separate bill from the North Shore Water Reclamation District for sewage treatment and disposal. The City of Lake Forest water bill includes charges for the maintenance of the sewer lines from your home or business to the North Shore Water Reclamation District intercepting sewers.

Public Safety Pension Fee

The increase in funding required for police and fire pension costs is being funded by a Public Safety Pension Fee on the utility bill.  The revenue generated by the fee will be added to police and fire pension property tax levy revenues to fund the police and fire pension costs.  For a more detailed explanation, please click here.

Water Fees for Fiscal Year 2019 effective May 1, 2018
Residential – Usage to 10,000 Gallons per Quarter $4.50 per 1,000 gallons     
Residential – Usage 10,000 to 60,000 Gallons per Quarter $5.77 per 1,000 gallons
Residential -  Usage over 60,000 per Quarter $6.05 per 1,000 gallons
All Other Customers $5.95 per 1,000 gallons
Non-Resident $8.18 per 1,000 gallons
Sewer charge $1.16 per 1,000 gallons
Public Safety Pension - Residential  $20.00 per quarter
Public Safety Pension - All Other Customers $70.00 per quarter
Refuse Collection $24.00 per quarter
Water Customer Charges (based on meter size)
Small (5/8” to 1.5” meter)    $ 40.00 per quarter   
Medium (2” to 4” meter) $160.00 per quarter
Large (6 ” meter) $750.00 per quarter
Sewer Customer Charge (based on meter size)
Small (5/8” to 1.5” meter)   $5.00 per quarter     
Medium (2” to 4” meter) $20.00 per quarter
Large (6 ” meter) $100.00 per quarter
Water Shut off and Turn on fees
Turn off water fee                         $75.00                       
Turn off water fee after hours $100.00
Turn on water fee $75.00
Turn on water fee after hours $100.00

 

Payments

Water bill payments may be deposited in The City of Lake Forest postage-free white drop boxes located at the Telegraph Road train station parking lot and on Bank Lane north of Westminster. There is also a drop box located to the left of the main entrance of the Municipal Services building. You may also pay your regular water bill in person at the Municipal Services Building or City Hall during the regular business hours of 8:00am to 4:30pm. We accept check, cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.  We are not able to accept payment by phone.

Online Water Bill Payments

You can pay your water bill online by clicking here and use the "One Time Payment" option. Recently the City has acquired a new utility billing system and online services. Therefore, we recommend waiting until the new online system is available to set up a new online utility billing account.  If you currently have an online account, you will still be able to access your account at this time.  Please look for more detailed information on your next utility bill and on the City's website as it becomes available.

System maintenance is performed daily between 1:00 – 3:00 AM. During this time online payment access will not be available. On occasion, unscheduled maintenance will occur on an as-needed basis. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Automatic Recurring Payment Options

We offer automatic recurring payment options. However, due to implementation of a new utility billing system and online services, we recommend waiting to set up a new online account until the new system is available.  Your current automatic recurring payments will not be affected at this time.  Please look for more detailed information on your next utility bill and on the City's website as it becomes available. 

Email Notification – Paperless Billing

Recently the City has acquired a new utility billing system and online services.  Therefore, we recommend waiting to set up email notification of your utility bill until the new utility billing and onlne services systems are available.  If you currently have E-notification/paperless billing, this will not be affected at this time. Please look for more detailed information on your next utility bill and on the City's website as it becomes available. 

Water Bill Changes

To request a change to the mailing address of your water bill please complete the Change of address form. You may download this Change of Address form and either email, fax, or mail the form to the Finance Department. This information is on the form.  If you are requesting a name change and are not selling your property you will need to submit supporting documentation when submitting the change request form.

Selling?

If you are selling your property you will need to have a Home Sanitary Sewer Inspection, request a final water meter reading,  and pay your final water bill prior to the closing date of the property sale. We suggest that you contact our office as soon as you have the closing date scheduled. A Seller /Buyer checklist can be downloaded for your reference. The Home Sanitary Sewer Inspection application and the fee of $150 (cash or check only) will need to be submitted to the Community Development Department in order to schedule the inspection.

Buying?

If you are purchasing a home in The City of Lake Forest we ask that you contact the Water Billing Department to set up your new water account. In addition to setting up your new water account you will need to purchase a Transfer Tax Stamp prior to the closing date. A City of Lake Forest Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration will need to be completed. A Seller/Buyer Checklist can be downloaded for your reference. If you would like more information regarding the Transfer Tax Stamp click on this link to our Real Estate Transfer Tax Web Page

Rental Property?

If you rent your property and would like to have a duplicate bill sent to your renter(s) please complete the Duplicate Billing Form. This form will authorize the City to send a duplicate bill to your renter(s). This form can be emailed, faxed or mailed to the Finance Department. The completed form will need to be signed by both the Owner and the renter(s).

Is my water bill high due to a water leak?

If your water bill is higher than normal, it may be due to higher water consumption. Information on how to check for a possible leak can be viewed or downloaded here.

How much water do I use

Many customers ask the question, "How much water does the average person use each day?" The answer to this question, of course, requires a definition of the "average person." In general, per capita water use ranges from about 80 - 100 gallons per day in the eastern United States, which would be an average of 9,000 gallons per billing quarter.

THE CITY OF LAKE FOREST
220 E. Deerpath, Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-2600
Non-Emergency Police:  (847) 234-2601

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