FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Contact / 5100 W. Ina Rd. / (520) 382-2570
Here at Marana Water we would like to provide as much information as possible to empower our customers to take control of their water account and water consumption. The links below will guide customers to sections of questions and answers. Please use the button above to submit a question if it is missing from this list.
For more specific questions, please contact the office at (520) 382-2570.
Use one of the quick links below to go straight to A section.
WHAT IS AN UNREGULATED COMPOUND?
An unregulated compound means that the compound is not part of the mandatory water quality testing required by federal and state drinking water standards.
WHAT IS A HEALTH ADVISORY?
Health advisories are established by the EPA to provide a level of protection for all Americans throughout their lifetime from any adverse health effects resulting from exposure to chemicals in drinking water. The health advisory is designed to protect the most sensitive populations: fetuses during pregnancy and breastfeeding infants.
All water quality information for unregulated compounds provided by Marana Water will be compared to lifetime health advisories. A lifetime health advisory is the concentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse noncarcinogenic effects for a lifetime of exposure.
You can find more information here.
IS THE QUALITY OF MY WATER OK?
All Marana Water systems meet the current required federal and state water quality standards for drinking water established by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, as your local water professionals, we also know that not every chemical compound or microbiological risk is regulated. By staying aware of our local environment and the environment of our nation, we can conduct additional, voluntary water quality sampling to help us understand and identify potential issues before they become a drinking water regulated item. Activities like this sampling program will allow us to effectively plan for possible additional infrastructure and treatment options in a proactive, not reactive, manner.
HOW DID THESE COMPOUNDS END UP IN OUR WATER?
To date, a source(s) has not been identified. Marana Water has been sharing data and working closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and other local water and water reclamation agencies to share data and identify potential sources.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE SINCE DISCOVERING THE PRESENCE OF THE UNREGULATED COMPOUNDS 1,4-DIOXANE AND PFAS?
In December 2017, Marana Water completed a seven month study resulting in an Alternatives Evaluation and Implementation Plan to best determine how to reduce concentrations of 1,4 – dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) in specific water systems. Specifically, the report examined:
Review of existing water infrastructure (wells, boosters, storage facilities, etc.)
Alternative water sources
Completion of conceptual designs and preliminary engineering of treatment alternatives.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
Marana Water will continue to perform discretionary sampling and provide updated results on the water quality page here. Additionally, Marana Water is currently working with Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and other water and water reclamation agencies in the region to combine data in order to determine the source of the compound, why this compound is present in our region, and what steps are necessary to mitigate any occurrence of this in the future. Some of these future steps may include building additional infrastructure to use water from other sources or using advanced treatment processes at the water source. We will also continue to seek guidance from ADEQ and the EPA on drinking water standards related to unregulated compounds.
WHAT UNITS ARE WATER QUALITY COMPOUNDS MEASURED IN?
Typically, most water quality compounds are measured in milligrams/liter. As laboratory analytical methods improve, scientists are able to test to lesser amounts.
WHY DOES MY WATER TASTE AND SMELL LIKE CHLORINE?
Chlorine is added to water in small amounts for disinfection. Like other water providers, Marana Water is required to maintain a detectable disinfectant residual in the distribution system to protect the public water system. Higher temperatures can cause a more distinct chlorine taste and smell in the water.
WHY IS MY WATER WHITE WHEN IT FIRST COMES OUT OF THE TAP?
This is most often caused by very tiny air bubbles in the water which will typically clear up as the air escapes to the atmosphere. It is not harmful to health or plumbing.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WATER HARDNESS AND SALINITY?
Hard water is the measure of calcium and magnesium, while salinity is the measure of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC WATER HARDNESS?
Marana Water has provided a water hardness table here. This information is noted in grains per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (PPM). If installing a water softener, please check which measurement is used.
WHAT IS A CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REPORT (CCR)?
A CCR is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to be prepared each year for public water systems. This report puts together information on water sources, levels of detected contaminants, and showing compliance with drinking water rules. These reports are mailed to all customer's homes before the end of July, and are posted online. To view current and past versions of the CCR, click here.
DISPOSAL OF EXPIRED MEDICATIONS.
Do NOT dispose unused or expired medications down the toilet. Disposing of these medicines properly on a regular basis, at the proper location, prevents them from getting into the sanitary sewer system. Wastewater is treated and then discharged into riverbeds or recharged into the aquifer. While our water reclamation facility cleans water exceptionally well and complies with federal and state requirements, it is nearly impossible to remove all medications and other elements from the processed water. The Town holds several dispose-a-med events throughout the year, and more information about Pima County's program can be found here.
DOES MY HOME NEED A WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM?
No. Marana water strives to provide water that meets all federal regulations. Adding a water treatment system to your home is a personal preference. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a few documents providing some basic information about different types of systems. Click here to find out more.
It is important to follow manufacturer's specifications on cleaning and maintenance of these devices to avoid any potential problems caused by lack of maintenance or cleaning.
IS THERE ADDED FLUORIDE TO THE WATER?
No. Marana Water does not add any additional fluoride to the drinking water system. Some naturally occurring fluoride may be present due to the minerals in the aquifer.
FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO BACKFLOW ASSEMBLIES, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
ESTABLISHING SERVICE & BILLING
IS MY NEW HOME IN THE MARANA WATER SERVICE AREA?
There are several different water providers within the Town limits. Type the address into the bar below to determine if the home is in our service area. When searching for an address be sure to include the directional (N, S, E, W), for example 5100 W Ina Road, not 5100 Ina road. A service area map is available here.
Customers will need to call the office at (520) 382-2570, if in the Marana Water service area, to complete the account set up process. For information on new water service connections/installation, our engineering division can help, just give the office a call. Phone hours at Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm.
HOW TO SET UP WATER SERVICE.
If the home is in Marana Water service area, please call the office at (520) 382-2570 to provide all the information required to create the account, and pay the refundable security deposit.
HOW TO PAY A MARANA WATER BILL.
There are several methods to make a payment on a Marana Water bill.
1. Payments can be made in person with cash, check or money order at either Town facility
5100 West Ina Road
11555 West Civic Center Dr
2. Payments can be mailed to 5100 West Ina Road. Please make checks out to Marana Water and include the account number on the check or money order. Do NOT send cash through the mail.
3. Customer can call the office at (520) 382-2570 and make a payment with check or credit card over the phone Monday - Friday from 8am to 4pm. There is no convenience charge for this. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
4. Establish automatic debit payments from a checking account on, or near, the due date each month. Call (520) 382-2570 to set up payments.
4. Register and use the online bill payment system, Payment Service Network (PSN). Account number is required to register, but afterward an email and password can be used to log in. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover only) and e-checks are accepted. There is no charge for online payments. Click here to register for service. PSN also offers a free mobile app for Apple and Android.
5. Call PSN at 1 (877) 855-7968 to use their toll free payment system.
WHAT CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED?
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are all accepted over the phone at (520) 382-2570. Payment Service network DOES NOT accept American Express.
WHAT ARE BILL DUE DATES?
Marana Water bills in two 30-day billing periods each with a different due date. Generally, customers that live in the southern portion of Marana in neighborhoods like Continental Reserve, Saguaro Bloom, or Happy Acres are due on the 19th of each month. Customers that live in the northern portion of Marana in neighborhoods like Willow Vista, Oasis Hills, Gladden Farms, and San Lucas are due on the 8th of each month. These are not the full extent of the entire area served by Marana Water. To determine explicitly what the due date is for an address, please contact the office at (520) 382-2570.
Please note if the due date is on a holiday or weekend, the bills will be due the following business day.
HOW DO I READ MY MARANA WATER BILL?
There are three sections to every Marana Water bill. The top third is the return payment stub. This section shows the service address, account number, total charges, and any past due charges. If mailing in payment, please remove this section and return with payment.
The left portion of the bill shows the water meter information including meter number, beginning and ending meter readings, and the monthly usage. This is the amount used to calculate the charges. There is also a bar graph showing water usage over a twelve month period.
The majority of the bill shows a breakdown of the charges for the current month. The charges are broken down to general transactions, water charges, and sewer charges. The top general transactions section shows any payments made the previous month, the previous balance owed, and any fees applied to the account. If the bill received is pink, there are past due charges, this section will show a previous balance owed indicating those past due charges. The middle section will show all water charges for the current month; water flat, water consumption, and groundwater resource fee. Finally, the bottom section will show any sewer charges, if applicable, for the month; sewer flat and sewer consumption. For more information on what these fees are, please click here for the Rates & Fees page. The bottom of this section will show the total due and the due date.
A billing specialist can answer any questions relating to bills or service charges. Contact the office at (520) 382-2570.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I RECEIVE A PINK BILL?
If the monthly statement is pink, this means there is a past due amount owed. These charges will be reflected in the top portion of the bill, as well as in the break down of the charges in the middle of the statement. If a balance is not paid by the next meter reading date, a $15 late fee will be assessed. The oldest balance is due by the due date listed on the bill to avoid disconnection of service.
WHAT ARE THE FEES TO SET UP A NEW CUSTOMER ACCOUNT?
When moving into a new home in the Marana Water service area there is a $90 administrative connection fee, $10 sewer connection fee, and a deposit requirement. There is also a $20 sewer connection fee for customers in Pima County Wastewater service area. These fees cover the costs associated with setting up the service and allow us to keep rates as low as possible. For more information on the fees for establishing service click here.
WHAT IS A LANDLORD AGREEMENT?
For customers who are renting their homes and would like to keep their names associated with the property, we can set up a landlord agreement. Under this agreement, the landlord/owner information will be connected to the account even when a tenant is living in the home. The landlord/owner will not be responsible for any of the water charges while a tenant account is active. There are two main advantages to setting up this agreement. First, when a tenant calls to stop service we will automatically revert the account to the landlord's name without any stoppage in service. The landlord would only be responsible for water charges during the time they are listed as the responsible party. Secondly, with a landlord agreement, the $90 administrative fee and $10 sewer connection fee are waived each time the account transfers between landlord and tenant. To set up this agreement, please call the office at (520) 382-2570.
WHAT DO RATES AND FEES COVER?
The water and wastewater rates are set to cover the fixed costs to operate the water system at the level our customers have come to expect. Operations and maintenance of the water and wastewater systems are covered primarily by the rates and fees, which are set by the Town Council. When calculating the rates and fees, we take into consideration the number of customers and cost of service.
HOW ARE WATER AND WASTEWATER CHARGES CALCULATED EACH MONTH?
Each month water meters are read using an electronic meter reading program, which collects the readings from the transponder attached to each meter. The readings are imported into the meter reading software, reviewed for any errors, and charges are calculated per 1,000 gallons used. Water charges are billed in a tiered structure meaning the more water is used the higher the bill will be. For a breakdown of the charges, visit the rates and fees page here.
Wastewater/sewer charges a billed a little differently. While still billed in 1,000 gallon increments, the sewer consumption charges are based on either the winter quarter average or the monthly water use, whichever usage is lower. More detailed description of how charges are calculated can be found on the water reclamation page here.
LEAKS & WATER PRESSURE
HOW TO READ OUR WATER METER.
Water meters are typically located in front of the home near the sidewalk or street. The meter boxes will have WATER stamped into them. Open the lid carefully using a screwdriver or tool for leverage, and keep watch for any bugs or other critters that might be inside. There will be a black register inside with a lid. Lift the lid and there will be a display that looks similar to a car odometer. This number will reflect the most current reading. There are also two red dials on the face of the register; one long red hand, and one small red gear. The long read hand is reading the per gallon usage in real time, and the red gear is a leak indicator. If this gear is spinning there is water being used somewhere on the property.
WHAT WOULD CAUSE HIGH WATER USAGE?
High water use can be caused by several things. Filling a pool, installing grass or landscaping, doing extra yard work, or having additional people in the home are all reasons water use could increase in a month. Leaking or running toilets are capable of losing a thousand gallons a day. This is usually caused by the rubber flapper inside the tank, which should be replaced every 9-12 months. If a water bill is higher than expected, and none of these things have occurred, there is the possibility that a water leak could be on the property.
WHAT COULD INDICATE A LEAK?
The first indicator would be the monthly water meter reading. However, since this is only done once a month, there is the possibility a leak occurs in between these readings. Indicators of a leak include a reduction in water pressure inside the home, wet spots in the yard, a portion of the yard that is particularly green or overgrown.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A LEAK?
Marana Water will call customers who have unusually high water use as a courtesy in case a customer is unaware of the water use. If a leak is discovered, repair attempts should be made as quickly as possible to avoid water loss and additional charges. Marana Water also has a leak adjustment program to assist with the unexpected costs of a high water bill. Customers requesting an adjustment must have no past due balance, have repaired the leak with documentation (receipts or photos), have not had an adjustment in the past 36 months, and the leak must be more than three times the annual average water use. For more information, and to request an application, please contact the office at (520) 382-2570.
WHAT WOULD CAUSE LOW WATER PRESSURE?
The Marana Water system has several pressure zones. While each zone typically has pressure between 40 and 85 pounds per square inch (PSI), the water pressure at a property can vary depending the location within the zone. Low water pressure can be caused by several things. The location on the distribution line, the time of day and demand when trying to use water, the elevation of the property, or if a pressure reducing valve is installed.
WHAT IS A PRESSURE REDUCING VALVE?
Pressure reducing valves (PRV) are sometimes installed on homes to reduce the pressure from the distribution system coming into the home. These can sometimes become clogged due to the naturally occurring minerals in the water. These should be inspected should a drop in pressure be noticed at the home. For more detailed information on PRVs, check out this article from the newsroom.
WHAT IS THE NON-POTABLE SYSTEM IN GLADDEN FARMS AND RANCHO MARANA?
When these neighborhoods were built a second set of distribution lines was installed specifically for water used for irrigation. This water is not disinfected and should not be used for drinking water purposes. The "purple pipes" are throughout areas in Gladden Farms and Rancho Marana, and are operated by the Cortaro-Marana Irrigation District (CMID) through an agreement with the Homeowner's Association. If there is an issue with this portion of the system, please call CMID at (520) 310-7972.
HOW TO REPORT A PUBLIC WATER LEAK.
If water is running in the street, a park, or other public area during the 8am-5pm business hours, please call (520) 382-2570. We will send out an operator as soon as possible. Should the leak be identified after 5pm or on weekends or holidays, please call the after hours number at (520) 235-4381.
WHAT CAUSES SEWER ODORS INSIDE THE HOUSE?
All sewer naturally produces odors. The plumbing systems inside the home is designed to prevent these odors from entering the house by using a vapor trap. If there are odors inside, it is likely there is a problem with the vapor trap. A plumber can help with this type of repair.
WHAT IS A SEWER LATERAL OR HOUSE CONNECTION SEWER (HCS)?
A sewer lateral or house connection sewer (HCS) are terms used to describe the privately owned and maintained sewer pipe connecting the building/home to the public sewer main.
what portion of the sewer collection system is the Town responsible?
The Town is responsible for all sewer collectors, or mains, located within Town rights of way and easements. The Town will maintain the sewer system in these areas. Maintenance of a sewer lateral or HCS extending to the public sewer main is the responsibility of the customer/owner.
WHAT TO DO IF SEWAGE IS OVERFLOWING FROM A STRUCTURE IN THE GROUND.
Should any sewer be flowing onto the ground call (520) 382-2570 during normal operating hours, and (520) 235-4381 after hours and on the weekends to report the flow. Please provide contact information and as close an address as possible to allow Marana Water staff to investigate as quickly as possible.
WHAT TO DO IF SEWAGE IS BACKING UP INTO A HOME/BUILDING.
If back up occurs when using water inside the home/building, turn the water off. If overflow stops after turning off the water, then there is likely a problem with the private sewer lines, and a plumber should be called.
Should the back up occur while not using any water, there could be a problem in the public sewer system. If this is the case, please call the office at (520) 382-2570 during normal business hours and (520) 235-4381 after hours and on weekends.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT SLOW DRAINING DRAINS OR TOILETS.
If there are issues with draining in drains and toilets it is helpful to check with neighbors to see if they are experiencing similar issues. Contact Marana Water at (520) 382-2570. Our staff will inspect the public sewer lines and manholes in the vicinity, and will notify customers if there are any issues. We will repair any issue to the public sewer system. If the problem persists, a plumber should be called to clear the private sewer lines.
What to do to prevent sewer back-ups.
Never put grease down the drain! Fats, oils, and greases when washed down the drain stick to the insides of sewer pipes. Over time, these can build up, harden into a plug, and block the entire pipe. These blockages can cause sewer overflows and backups. Follow these simple tips to help keep our sewers clear
Scrape grease and food scraps into a can or trash for disposal
When finished with a greasy pan, wipe it out with paper towels or newspaper while the pan is warm (not hot)
Put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch any food scraps or other solids from going down the drain
Trash down the toilet can cause problems in the sewer also. While it might seem like items like cigarette filters, diapers, gum and other items might disappear when the toilet flushes, they can form clogs in the sewer lines. These clogs can result in backups and can be unhealthy for the environment.
WHAT TO DO IF DRAINING OR BACKWASHING A POOL/SPA.
Backwashing a pool releases filtered materials from a pool or spa that typically contain high levels of chlorine or other contaminants. Pima County Code Section 314 requires this water to be contained on site. Since the water needs to remain on site, it can be used to water on site salt-tolerant plants. We should also note that a discharge hose should be moved frequently to avoid puddling and the potential for mosquito infestation.
Draining a pool falls under Section 31 of the Pima County Code. The Town of Marana allows owners to drain pools into drainageways or onto streets if certain conditions are met. Please read the conditions here.