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Frequently Asked Questions

How can bills be tracked?

Even though your financial institution takes care of your payments, you will still receive a water bill statement. You will know how much will be deducted from your account and when. 

How can I check to see if I have a water leak?

Checking for leaks at your meter.
First you need to turn off all water using appliances and fixtures. Then observe the small leak detection triangle that is located on the dial of your water meter. If this triangle is rotating (even very slightly), there is water leaking.

Checking for toilet leaks
Toilet leaks can be detected by adding a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. Leave the food coloring in the tank for at least ten minutes. If colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking.

How Do Drinking Water Sources Become Polluted?

Microbiological contaminants (bacteria, viruses, protozoan, etc.) can come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural live stock operations, and wildlife.

Inorganic chemical contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater run off, industrial and/or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

Pesticides and herbicides which may occur from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gasoline stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production, or mining activities.

How do you sign up for Auto-Pay?

You can print out the Auto-Pay Program form, fill it out and mail it to us with a VOIDED CHECK.

How does Auto-Pay save you money?

Auto-Pay is a free service from the Monroeville Municipal Authority. There is no charge per transaction. You save the cost of postage, any bank charges and the cost of the check itself.

How does Auto-Pay work?

Once you sign up for the program and provide a voided check or personalized deposit slip, your bill will be paid automatically from your bank account. Auto-Pay can be cancelled at any time.

How Is My Drinking Water Treated and Purified?

The MMA receives its primary supply of finished water for resale from the Wilkinsburg – Penn Joint Water Authority (WPJWA) system. Like the majority of water utilities in the U.S., the WPJWA uses a multi-step treatment process at their water treatment plant. River water is pumped from the Allegheny River to the treatment plant and chlorinated. The water is then coagulated (which means the smaller particles in the river water join together by adding chemicals, which encourage this attraction). The water is mixed to ensure that the added chemicals are well blended and reacting with all of the smaller particles. The water is allowed to settle so that the newly joined particles sink by gravity to the bottom of the sedimentation tanks. The sediment is then removed and sent to the Allegheny County Sanitation Authority (ALCOSAN) for treatment. The settled water is then filtered to remove any remaining particles. Chlorine is then again added to prevent the growth of bacteria during transport and storage.

The finished water enters the MMA system through two separate metered connections. By agreement with WPJWA, the  MMA is permitted to withdraw 6.0 million gallons per day (mgd) of monthly average flow and 7.5 mgd of peak daily flow from the above connections. In addition to the primary source of supply, the MMA maintains two emergency interconnections with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) system. The MMA maintains four storage tanks to serve as a reserve for fire protection and to maintain adequate water pressure. These tanks have a combined capacity of 13.5 million gallons. The water is then delivered to your home or business through a network of over 165 miles of waterlines varying in size from 4 to 24 inches in diameter. If you desire more information about the quality of the water provided by the MMA, please call the MMA Manager, Joseph Storey or log on to our web site at http:// The MMA Board of Directors meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at 219 Speelman Ln., Monroeville, PA 15146, and these meetings are open to the public. The MMA water system identification number is 5020027.

How often is my meter read?

Residential and commercial meters are read every month.

Is Fluoride added to my water?

Monroeville water contains approximately one part per million of Fluoride.

Is periodic testing required for reduced pressure zone backflow preventers?

Yes, and this is to ensure that the valve is working properly and is a requirement of many states and cross connection control programs. Test cocks are provided on the valve for this purpose and manufacturers are required to furnish field-testing information.

Should a backflow preventer be installed in the water supply line to each residence?

Because of the growing number of serious residential backflow cases, many water purveyors are now requiring the installation of approved dual check valve backflow preventers at residential water meters. They are also educating the public concerning cross connections and the danger of backflow into the local water supply. Since water purveyors cannot possibly be responsible for or monitor the use of water within a residence, the requirements for these cross connection control programs are increasing throughout the country.

What are the advantages of Auto-Pay?

You will never have to write another check for your water bill. You no longer need worry whether your bill has been paid. Your bill will be paid prior to the due date. You will have a record of your prior payment on your bill statement. Auto-Pay also saves you money.

What are typical applications for Double Check Valve Assemblies?

Briefly, Double Check Valve Assemblies may be used ~ where the degree of hazard is low, meaning that the non- ~ potable source is polluted rather than contaminated. The degree of hazard is oftentimes determined by local Inspection Departments and, therefore, such departments should be questioned in order to comply with local regulations.

What are typical applications for Reduced Pressure Zone Backflow Preventers?

This type should be used whenever the non-potable source is more of a contaminant than a pollutant. Basically, they are applied as main line protection to protect the municipal water supply, but should also be used on branch line applications where non-potable fluid would constitute a health hazard, such as boiler feed lines, commercial garbage disposal systems, industrial boilers, etc.

What backflow/cross-connection case was reported involving a school?

Most people are familiar with the details of the Holy Cross Football Teams' "hepatitis" incident, which was later determined to be caused by a backflow of contaminated water. It took close to nine months for officials to determine that a severe fire in nearby Worcester lowered the pressure in the football field area to the point where a back pressure backflow condition was created allowing contaminants from a sunken hose bibb pit to backflow into the field house drinking bubbler.

What cross-connection case was reported involving a commercial building?

Much to the surprise of the customers of a bank in Atlanta, Georgia they saw yellow water flowing from drinking fountains and green ice rolling out of cafeteria dispensing machines. It was later reported that a pump, used for the air conditioning system, burned out; and a maintenance man, unaware of the danger, connected the system to another pump used for potable water. The result caused large doses of bichromate of soda to be forced into the potable water supply, causing the dramatic appearance of yellow water and colored ice cubes.

What Factors Can Cause A Backpressure-Backflow Condition?

Back pressure-backflow is created whenever the downstream pressure exceeds the supply pressure which is possible in installations such as heating systems, elevated-tanks, and pressure-producing systems. An example would be a hot water space-heating boiler operating under 15-20 Ibs. pressure coincidental with a reduction of the city water supply below such pressure (or higher in most commercial boilers). As water tends to flow in the direction of least resistance, a backpressure-backflow condition would be created and the contaminated boiler water would flow into the potable water supply.

What Factors Can Cause Back-Siphonage?

Back-siphonage can be created when there is stoppage of the water supply due to nearby fire-fighting, repairs or breaks in city main, etc. The effect is similar to the sipping of an ice cream soda by inhaling through a straw, which induces a flow in the opposite direction.

What if my tenant does not pay their water bill?

The property owner is liable to pay the tenant unpaid bill for service rendered to the tenant by the Authority. 

What is a cross connection control program?

This is a combined cooperative effort between plumbing and health officials, waterworks companies, property owners and certified testers to establish and administer guidelines for controlling cross connections and implementing means to ensure their enforcement. This will ensure that the public potable water supply will be protected both in the city main and within buildings. The elements of a program define the type of protection required and responsibility for the administration and enforcement. Other elements ensure continuing education programs.


What Is A Cross Connection?

A cross connection is a direct arrangement of a piping line which allows the potable water supply to be connected to a line which contains a contaminant. An example is the common garden hose attached to a sill cock with the end of the hose lying in a cesspool. Other examples are a garden hose attached to a service sink with the end of the hose submerged in a tub full of detergent, supply lines connected to bottom-fed tanks, supply lines to boilers.

What is Auto-Pay?

Auto-Pay is a method to pay your water bill through automatic deduction from your checking account.

What Is Back-Siphonage?

Back-siphonage is the reversal of normal flow in a system caused by a negative pressure (vacuum or partial vacuum) in   the supply piping.

What Is Backpressure Backflow?

Backpressure backflow is the reversal of normal flow in a system due to an increase in the downstream pressure above that of the supply pressure.

What is meant by "Degree of Hazard"?

The degree of hazard is a commonly used phrase utilized in cross connection programs and is simply a determination on whether the substance in the non-potable system is toxic (health hazard) or non-toxic (non-health hazard).

What Is Potentially Dangerous About An Unprotected Sill Cock?

The purpose of a sill cock is to permit easy attachment of a hose for outside watering purposes. However, a garden hose can be extremely hazardous because they are left submerged in swimming pools, lay in elevated locations (above the sill cock) watering shrubs, chemical sprayers are attached to hoses for weed-killing, etc.; and hoses are often left laying on the ground which may be contaminated with fertilizer, cesspools, and garden chemicals.

What is the difference between a toxic and a non-toxic substance?

Toxic substance is any liquid, solid or gas, which when introduced into the water supply creates, or may create a danger to health and well being of the consumer. An example is treated boiler water. A non-toxic substance is any substance that may create a non-health hazard and is a nuisance or is aesthetically objectionable. For example, foodstuff, such as sugar, soda pop, etc. Therefore, you must select the proper device according to the type of connection and degree of hazard. There are five basic products that can be used to correct cross connection.

What Is The Difference Between Pollution And Contamination?

Pollution of the water supply does not constitute an actual health hazard, although the quality of the water is impaired with respect to taste, odor or utility. Contamination of the water supply, however, does constitute an actual health hazard; the consumer being subjected to potentially lethal water borne disease or illness.

What is the hardness of my water?

The hardness for 2013 has ranged from 79 - 101 mg/l

What Is The Most Common Form Of A Cross Connection?

Ironically, the ordinary garden hose is the most common offender as it can be easily connected to the potable water supply and used for a variety of potentially dangerous applications.

What part of my water line am I responsible for?

Residential customers are responsible for section of waterline from the shut off valve located near the edge of the street (curb stop) up to the water meter. Also all plumbing after the meter is the customer's responsibility.

What part of the sewer line am I responsible for?

Residential customers are responsible for the section of sewer line starting at the tap on the main line and extending upstream to the home. This is most commonly referred to as the sewer lateral. The lateral may extend across roadways to reach the MMA owned main sewer line. In this case it is still the responsibility of the resident.

What Protection Is Required For Sill Cocks?

A hose bibb vacuum breaker should be installed on every sill cock to isolate garden hose applications thus protecting the potable water supply from contamination.

What recent case would reflect users being exposed to contamination of the water supply?

Chicken House Cross-Connection, Spring 1991. In response to a complaint from a customer on the Casa Water System (Perry County), a staff member of the Division of Engineering found that the water systems had been contaminated by backflow from chicken houses. The water system connected to the chicken houses included two single check valves in series for backflow prevention purposes. The water was being used to administer an antibiotic solution to the chickens.

What would cause a reduced pressure zone backflow preventer to leak?

 Leakage from a backflow preventer is normally attributed to foreign matter lodging on the seating area of either the first or second check valve. Most times this can be corrected by simply flushing the valve that will dislodge any loose particles. It is, therefore, most important on new installations that the piping be thoroughly flushed before installing the unit. It should be remembered, however, that spillage does provide a "warning signal" that the valve is in need of maintenance.

What's In My Water?

In order to ensure that the water coming from your tap is suitable to drink, the EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) have established regulations that limit the amount of certain chemicals in water provided for public water systems. Refer to the attached charts detailing our water quality test results for a complete listing of detected contaminants.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. To obtain more information about chemicals and potential health effects, call the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) or visit their web site:

Where can I pay my water bill?

Bills can be paid at the Authority office at 219 Speelman Lane during regular business hours located at the bottom of each page.  Also, there is a drop off box  for after hours bill payment.

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Where is a Double Check Valve Assembly used?

A double check valve assembly may be used as protection of all direct connections through which foreign material might enter the potable system in a concentration that would constitute a nuisance or be aesthetically objectionable, such as air, steam, food, or other material which does not constitute a health hazard

Who can benefit from Auto-Pay?

Everyone can benefit, but this automatic payment may work well for someone who is ill or elderly. If you know such a person, be sure that customer knows about Auto-Pay.

Who do you call with questions about Auto-Pay?

Call Customer Service at 412-372-2677 during regular business hours. Click here for business hours.

Why Is Chlorine Used To Disinfect My Drinking Water?

State and federal regulations require the disinfection of all public water supplies. The EPA and other health agencies recognize that using chlorine is one of the most effective ways to protect public health from disease causing organisms that can be found in surface waters. Because chlorine used alone can react with natural materials in the river water to chemically form disinfection by-products such as Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs), the Authority has been evaluating chlorination procedures to reduce the formation of TTHMs. However, we will continue to ensure that the water distributed to your home has a sufficient "chlorine residual" to prohibit the growth of bacteria and other organisms, to not increase TTHMs, and to not have an offensive chlorine smell and/or taste.