Water & Wastewater Collection | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Water & Wastewater Collection

Mission Statement

To provide potable water to all residents of the City of Lakewood in supplies adequate to meet the fire protection, domestic and commercial needs of our community. To maintain the free flow of storm and sanitary sewage through the City’s wastewater collection system. To accurately meter water used by our customers upon which water and sewer bills are based. To issue accurate billings for this usage in a timely fashion. To collect and properly account for all revenues generated. To minimize the risk to health and property by providing prompt maintenance and repair service. To respond to all customer inquiries and concerns promptly, courteously and professionally.

Water Administration, Metering, Distribution Units:

The City of Lakewood owns and operates its water distribution system, consisting of approximately; 110 miles of water mains, 3,000 main line valves, 1,600 fire hydrants, and 14,400 water meters. The City is responsible for the repair and maintenance of all system components within the public right-of-way. It is the property owner’s responsibility for the repair and maintenance of all distribution system components located on private property.

Wastewater Collection Unit:

The City of Lakewood owns and operates its wastewater collection system, consisting of approximately 166 miles of storm and sanitary sewer mains. The City is responsible for the repair and maintenance of all system components located within the public right-of-way. It is the property owner’s responsibility for the repair and maintenance of all collection system components located on private property.

  • Are you having water- and/or sewer-service related problems? Give us a call Monday through Friday (from 7:30 AM to 4 PM) at 216-529-1867; for after-business hours, weekends, or holidays call Lakewood Police Dispatch at 216-521-6773.

  • Water Quality Report+-

    Click here to view the 2022 Water Quality Report.

  • Water and Wastewater Collection FAQs+-

    Q:        Where does our drinking water come from? 

    A:        Lakewood contracts with the city of Cleveland for clean drinking water. 

    Q:        Is there information about the city of Lakewood water quality?

    A:        Yes.  The most recent City of Lakewood Water Quality Report may be found on the city’s website by clicking here.

    Annual water reports are typically issued to the city within six (6) months of the year end. Next water quality report expected to be issued by June one (1). 

    Q:        How does the city make sure the drinking water is safe? 


    • Cleveland has a state-of-the-art water treatment process which includes multiple barriers to protect public health.
    • Water Quality in Lakewood is checked on a regular basis as required by the EPA.
    • Lakewood checks for: disinfection, disinfection byproducts, pH levels and orthophosphates. The last of which keeps contaminants from leaching from the existing pipe lines into the water.
    • Cleveland uses filtration, alum, powdered activated carbon (PAC), Potassium Permanganate and chlorine to remove and treat for natural and man-made contaminants.
    • Corrosion control processes to ensure no lead gets into the water as it flows through distribution pipes under the street 

    Q:        If I am concerned about my water can I have it tested? 

    A:        If a homeowner is concerned about the water in their home, they can contact Lakewood’s Division of Water (216) 529-6820 to obtain a list of Ohio EPA approved laboratories certified at testing water for lead. 

    Q:        What does a sewer odor in my basement mean? 

    A:        Usually this means a dry floor drain. If the trap seal is even partially evaporated, sewer odors can enter the building. Especially in the winter, add a small bucket of water to each floor drain about once a week. Other possible causes are abandoned or not used plumbing fixtures and deteriorated vent pipes on the plumbing system. These pipes may be exposed or hidden in the building structure. You may need to consult a professional plumber. If you smell natural gas or feel that there is a danger, call the Lakewood Fire Department. 

    Q:        What if my water appears cloudy?  

    A:        Cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to gas bubbles in carbonated drinks. After a while the bubbles rise to the top and disappear. This happens more often in the winter time. 

    Q:        What if I have a concern about water quality?  

    A:        The official numbers for water quality information are: City of Cleveland Public Relations at (216) 664 2444 and the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (1-800) 426-4791.

  • Water and Sewer Billing FAQs+-

    Q:        Why are my bills so high?  

    A:        Though there could be many reasons for a higher-than-expected water bill, here are some of the most common:

    Leaks, toilets, faucets, humidifiers, pipes & joints and water cooled equipment.

    • Toilets are the most common problem and should be checked regularly to make sure they are operating properly. A moderate leak can go through about 12,000 gallons in a month. Many people think that a toilet always makes noise when it leaks; this is not true. The best way to check a toilet for leaks is visually (a flashlight and food coloring are very helpful.) If the handle sticks and you have to shake it to make it stop running, there is a leak.
    • Check overflow tube to make sure it is not running over all the time.
    • Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank (part against the wall) and let it set for 30 to 45 minutes. If colored water seeps into the toilet bowl, the flapper is not sealing properly. This makes the toilet refill itself.
    • Faucet leaks are usually obvious, but in addition to checking bathroom and kitchen sinks, be sure to check bathtubs, shower, and stationary tubs and hose connections.
    • Humidifiers operate in much the same way as do toilets, but usually there is a tube which runs to a drain; check there for running water.
    • Pipe & Joint leaks are obvious when they are in an open area, but can go unnoticed for a long time when they occur in a hidden area, like a crawl space, under a porch or underground.
    • Water-cooled equipment, usually used in commercial operations, can be huge consumers of water even when operating properly, and then can develop leaks which amplify the usage. Consideration should be given to replacing this equipment with air-cooled devices.

    Seasonal use: lawn sprinkling, car washing, swimming pools.

    • Lawn Sprinkling and other irrigation can add up tremendously, anywhere from five to twenty gallons per minute. Was it hot and dry during the reading period?
    • Car Washing doesn’t need to use up a lot of water; run the hose only when you’re rinsing.
    • Swimming Pools: Pool size and how often the water is renewed are key factors.

    Number of Occupants – Rule of Thumb – water use per person in one month:

    • Each person in a household uses between three and four units of water (a unit is 100 cubic feet, which is 748 gallons). There is no hard and fast rule in this regard: people vary greatly in their habits, but this rule of thumb gives you an idea of average. Water use usually increases significantly in warmer weather because of seasonal use, but also because of increased showering and clothes washing. Other considerations: company staying over during the reading period, or when children are home from school.
    • Days of service are usually 30 days, but there are times where it could be fewer or more days of service in the reading period.

     Q:       When is my bill being estimated? 

     A:       If there is a problem reading your meter, a door hanger is left at your property for you to call our office to set up an appointment to correct the problem. When there is no response, our metering department starts to estimate your water bills.

    Q:        How can I pay my water bill?  

    A:        There are several ways to pay your water bill:

    • In person at our office located at 12805 Detroit Avenue; You can pay by cash, check or credit card in our office, or deposit a check (no cash) into our drop box which is located under the second window from our door.
    • By phone with a Visa card, Master card or Discover card (Credit or Debit) by calling (216) 529-6820, Option 2.
    • Bank Draft payments can be set up with our office. Call (216) 529-6820, Option 2 for more information.
    • By mail; you may mail payments to our office or the PO Box listed on our bills. Your bank may also offer a bill paying program.

    Q:        Why are there two charges each for water & sewer on my bill?  

    A:        When there is a Water/ Sewer rate increase, the system breaks it down and prorates the charges. It will show the old rate and new rate charges for water and sewer. You will only see this on the first month of the rates changes. 

    Q:        Why didn’t I receive my bill this month?

    A:        There are three water zones in Lakewood. The bills for each zone are mailed the same day by our printer.

    • First, contact our office so we can verify that we have the correct mailing address for your bills.
    • Second, if the problem persists, contact your local post office to see if there is a problem on their end. 

    Q:        Where can I get help with paying my water bill?  

    A:        There are assistance programs to help you:

    • Step Forward Today: https://www.stepforwardtoday.org/energy-assistance-programs 
    • Cleveland Housing Network:  https://chnhousingpartners.org/utilityassistance/
    • Outreach (216) 226-9339
    • Youth / Lakewood Dept. of Human Services (216) 529-6870
    • Lakewood Community Service Center (216) 226-6466
    • First Call for Help (216) 436-2000
    • Cuyahoga Co. Health & Human Service Dept. of Children & Family Services (216) 431-4500
    • Veterans Service Commission-Cuyahoga County (216) 698-2621
    • Consumer Protection Association (216) 881-3434
    • Website for Help Site: www.211cleveland.org

    Q:        Who is responsible for paying the water / sewer bill in a lease situation?   

    A:        If you are a renter, usually the landlord provides water /hot water to the tenants. But you’ll need to check your lease or rental agreement to see if you are responsible.  If you have questions about your lease agreement, contact the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland at (216) 861-5955 or go to their website at: https://lasclev.org/get-help/housing/

    Q:        How do I qualify for Homestead Exemption?  

    A:        You may qualify for reduced water and sewer rates under the Homestead Exemption.

    • If you are the home owner, at least 65 years of age, live in the home and have income not more than $35,000.00 annually.
    • If you are the home owner, and totally disabled, live in the home and have income not more than $35,000.00 annually.

    You may contact our office for an application by calling (216) 529-6820,  You must renew annually.  Or an application is also available at:  http://www.tax.ohio.gov/portals/0/forms/real_property/dte_105a.pdf

    Q:        What is the summer sprinkling program and how do I qualify? 

    A:        The City of Lakewood Division of Water/WWC has adopted a Summer Residential Sprinkling Program for homeowners from July through September of each year. Residential owner-occupied homes of one, two, three and four – family units in good standing, living on the property for the past year, qualify for the program. If you participate in the program, the Division of Water/WWC will calculate your average sewer cost based on your usage from January –April. During the months of July, August and September, sewer usage above the average, will be attributed to your lawn watering and will result in an adjustment to your bill. The program will not replace the City’s current sewer exempt or sprinkler meter programs. If you signed up for our Summer Sprinkling Program in the past few years, there is no need to sign up again. You will automatically be in the program.

    Click here to apply to participate in this program.

    You may also contact our office for an application by calling (216) 529-6820, Option two (2).  All applications must be received by May 31st.

    Q:        What should I do about my water service and bill if I sell my property or purchase new property?  

    A:        Contact the Customer Service Department at (216) 529-6820, Option 2 so we can assist you. We will need your title transfer date, the name of the Title or Escrow Company and the name of the new owner.

  • Water Bill+-

    Click here for information about paying your water bill.

  • 2024 rates for water, sewer, and the Impervious Surface Fee+-

    Beginning January 1, 2024, the following rates for water, sewer, and a new Impervious Surface Fee will be in effect. More information on the Impervious Surface Fee is provided below.

    Water: $8.93 per ccf (100 cubic feet)
    Sewer: $10.21 per ccf (100 cubic feet)
    Impervious Surface Fee: $3 per Equivalent Residential Unit (2,800 square feet of impervious surface)

    The Homestead Exemption water rate will be $4.92 per ccf (100 cubic feet). Homestead exemption sewer rate will be $7.66 per ccf (100 cubic feet). Information on qualifications for the Homestead Exemption is provided below.

  • Summer Sprinkling Program+-

    The City of Lakewood offers a Summer Sprinkling Program to qualifying resident Lakewood homeowners for the months of June, July, August, and September of each year.  During these months, a qualified participating homeowner will see their sewer cost calculated based on their average sewer usage during the previous months of January through April.  Any usage shown to be above this average from June through September will be considered a result of summer activities that do not use the sewer system (such as filling a pool or watering a lawn), and thus will not be factored into the bill.

    This program is available to resident Lakewood homeowners who own a home with one, two, three, or four family units; currently live on the property, and have since January 1st; and have an account in good standing with the Division of Utility Billing.

    Applications for the Summer Sprinkling Program are due by April 30th.

    You may fill out the application online here or you can download the form by clicking here.  If you have signed up for this program in previous years, you will not need to reapply; instead, you will be automatically re-enrolled in the program.

    For more information, or to request a paper copy of the Summer Sprinkling Program Application, please contact our office at 216.529.6820 and choose Option 2.

    ***PLEASE NOTE: This program DOES NOT affect or replace Lakewood’s current sewer-exempt or sprinkler meters program.***

  • Clean Water Lakewood+-

    Purpose: Clean Water Lakewood is a program aiming to better manage our combined sewer overflows and protect our natural resources meeting the requirements of the Clear Water Act.

    Brief description of challenge:

    Lakewood is working on a plan to reduce our combined sewer overflows into Lake Erie.

    Our 100 year old sewer system combines sanitary sewage and storm water. When it rains, when snow melts, and when water is flowing off of impermeable surfaces such as roofs and streets, excess flow of combined stormwater and wastewater discharge into Lake Erie or Rocky River. Under dry conditions all wastewater is treated.

    As with the original investments in the City, Lakewood must invest in infrastructure so that it meets the demands of Lakewood’s second century, under the law and for the benefit of human and environmental health.

    The Clean Water Lakewood task force is a group of Lakewood residents and business owners assembled to help identify the best paths forward for water infrastructure in Lakewood. This group is focusing on facilitating best solutions for controlling sewage overflows.