Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I Prevent Frozen Water Pipes?

Six tips to help prevent frozen water pipes:

  1. Wrap interior water pipes that are near outside walls
  2. Disconnect all garden hoses from outside and garage faucets
  3. Open cabinet doors below sinks
  4. Insulate unheated areas of your home
  5. Keep the thermostat set at 68 degrees or higher
  6. During long cold spells, allow faucets to run lightly to keep water moving and continue this until a thermometer held in the running water reads above 38 degrees. 

How do I reserve Merrill Gardens for an event?

The Marion Water Department expends water revenue funds to maintain the beautiful flower beds and grounds at Merrill Gardens located at 152 7th Avenue.  Many small weddings occur there every year as well as senior portrait opportunities.

We gladly accept donations for the upkeep of the gardens.  Donations can be made at the Marion Water Department Office at 1225 6th Avenue.

To reserve Merrill Gardens for an event, please complete a reservation form.  Reservations must be made in person at the Water Dept. Office in the City Hall Building, 1225 6th Ave, Ste 150.  See reservation form for more information.

What is the hardness of Marion water?

Between 18-20 grains per gallon

Where can I find information regarding irrigation meters?

A second meter may be installed for the purpose of separate metering of outside water use.  Read our Irrigation Meter Policy Statement for details.

Who is responsible for water service lines? 

Marion Water Department (MWD) provides water to its customers and maintains the water mains required to deliver water to homes and businesses. MWD also owns the water meter used to measure how much water a customer uses.The property owner is responsible for the connection (tap) to the water main and the piping (service line) that carries the water from the water main to the water meter.  The property owner is also responsible to protect and provide access to the water meter. When a problem occurs, MWD will assist the property owner in determining the cause of the problem and the appropriate course of action.

See diagram

What is a stop box?

The stop box is used to turn the water service on and off to a property. It is usually located in the public right-of-way. MWD requires that the stop box (curb stop) be operable at all times. The property owner owns the stop box and is responsible for its maintenance.

How does the stop box operate?

To operate the stop box, a key is placed inside the housing and lowered onto the operating rod that is connected to the underground stop box (curb stop) to turn the water service on or off.

Why is the stop box operated?

MWD operates the stop box to turn the water on or to turn the water off:
  • When a customer pays a final bill
  • For internal plumbing repairs
  • When a service leak becomes hazardous
  • When a customer fails to pay the bill   
  • When does the stop box need to be repaired?
  • When the stop is too high or too low. The top of the stop box should be level with the ground.
  • When the stop box is located under concrete or asphalt and is not accessible
  • When the valve does not operate
  • When the housing becomes bent and the key cannot be lowered into the valve
  • When the rod is loose and does not connect to the valve

Who will make repairs to a stop box?

MWD does not make plumbing repairs. The property owner will be notified by mail to have the repairs made. We recommend that a licensed plumber be hired to make the repairs. If the repairs are not made, MWD will either hire a plumber to do the repair or do the repair themselves and bill the cost to the customer.

How much will it cost to repair a stop box?

The cost will depend on the work required to make the repair.

What if my service line starts to leak?

Please call MDW (319) 743-6310 if you see water leaking. Our representative will assist in determining the location of the leak. Sometimes this is difficult because water follows the path of least resistance and does not always come to the surface near the leak. You will be notified to contact a licensed plumber to repair the leak. Click Here for more tips

What if my service line starts to leak and water is not coming to the surface?

During our routine survey of the water distribution system, leaks are sometimes found that do not come to the surface. Once MWD determines the location of the leak, you will be notified to contact a licensed plumber to repair the leak.

Who is responsible for the water meter?

The water meter is owned by the MWD. It is usually located in the basement. The property owner is responsible for protecting the meter from freezing temperatures and providing access to the meter and meter reading system 24 hours a day.

Why is my water bill higher than normal?

If you have a high water bill and do not know why, call MWD. A representative will come to your home to assist in determining the cause. In most cases, high water usage is caused by a leaking faucet, malfunctioning water softener, furnace humidifier, ice maker, or toilet. We recommend that you make these repairs to reduce the wasted consumption on your monthly bill. If you need assistance, please call (319) 743-6310.

How do I flush my water heater?

Draining a water heater can help make it more efficient at heating water.  It may also help extend the service life.  Before draining, turn the water heater off and let the water cool for several hours.  Then shut off the supply of water to the heater so it doesn't refill as you drain it.  Refer to the How To Instructions for more information.

What do I look for in high-efficiency products?

By making just a few small changes to your daily routine, you can save a significant amount of water, which will help you save money and preserve water supplies for future generations. Water-efficient plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems provide the same performance and quality you've come to expect, but with the added benefit of water savings. The WaterSense label will help you identify high-efficiency products and programs for certified irrigation professionals. Click Here for More Information

Does the City have a Water Conservation Plan?

In order to protect the health and safety of our community water supply, Marion and Cedar Rapids have created a comprehensive Water Conservation Plan to address potential water shortages due to drought conditions or equipment failure.  Please refer to the plan for more information.  Or, view the Water Conservation Summary Sheet for condensed information.

What is the purpose of hydrant flushing?

Employees of the Marion Water Department flush the water system annually, usually during April and May.  Flushing will occur between the hours of 8:00 am and 2:00 am the next morning.  Marion residents may notice some temporary discoloration of the water following flushing in your area, and should postpone laundry until it clears.  Use of hot water should also be minimized if redness is noticed to prevent build-up within the water heater.  The rusty color is due to accumulation of iron sediment in the water mains and is not harmful.  The purpose of the flushing is to remove the sediment from the mains, and to exercise and check operation of the City's fire hydrants.

Questions may be directed to the water department at 743-6310 or by email.


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