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Ottawa County has a permanent population of just over 40,000 residents living in an area of approximately 585 square miles (255 Land and 330 Water). The county has 26+ miles of shoreline along the Western Basin of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay attracting as many as 250,000 people to the area on a daily basis throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Visitors return to the area often throughout the year to boat, fish and enjoy the many water related recreational activities that the County has to offer. In addition, many visit local historical landmarks, frequent casual dining facilities, and enjoy the various lodging and camping opportunities that exist. The influx of both the seasonal and transient community varies tremendously throughout the year and is typically very weather dependent.
Providing a safe drinking water supply and sanitary sewer service to the eastern 1/3 of Ottawa County (which experiences the largest influx of seasonal and transient visitors) requires that local infrastructure be sized to serve peak activity periods during peak visitation days. This typically includes holiday weekends and any extended favorable weather forecast period throughout the summer months. Peak visitation activity throughout the area requires a significant investment in the amount of reserve capacity built into the water and wastewater treatment plants as well as the distribution and collection systems. The local infrastructure is all sized, at a considerable expense, to serve the peak 20-year design flow day (which occurs on a very seldom basis). The Ohio EPA mandates the sizing requirements of the facilities and the County is obligated to operate, maintain and administer the facilities each day throughout the year.
The original 6-Million Gallon per Day (MGD) Ottawa County Regional Water System was placed into operation in May 1999. The system was required by Ohio EPA to be expanded in 2002 when on one hot summer day, the 6-MGD facility exceeded its peak design flow. As a result, Ottawa County was required to install a 3-MGD treatment expansion to the facility at a cost of $3.7 million dollars. This expansion was prompted primarily due to the influx of seasonal and transient visitors on that one peak day in 2002. Since then, the facility has only exceeded 6-MGD one other time. The expense associated with the required expansion is being paid by both the permanent and seasonal community, even though the majority of the demand placed upon the system causing it to exceed the original 6-MGD threshold on that one day was seasonal in nature.
Sanitary sewer billing is based, in principal, upon EPA's suggested flow guide that utilizes standardized equivalency factors to calculate the benefit of providing sanitary sewer service to the various classifications of users. Each equivalency factor is computed on the basis of the probable demand that transient and seasonal users place on a sanitary sewer system when being used. Even though the demand that a seasonal or transient visitor varies tremendously throughout the year, the county must have available and maintain that additional reserve capacity for their use throughout the entire year. As a result, the concept of the Equivalent Dwelling Unit billing system is used based upon the availability of the infrastructure throughout the entire year.
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Ottawa County is offering a paperless option to its Utility Billing customers. Instead of receiving a paper bill, you will receive a notification via email. The bill date, due date and other information you are accustomed to seeing on your bill, will remain the same.
No, the e-billing service is included as part of your standard bill.
You have the same payment options as you would with a mailed paper bill.
No, Automatic Bill Payment is only an option and not required. For ease of service, we do recommend the automatic bill payment option as the most convenient payment method.
Once you are registered through the customer portal, you will be able to link all your utility billing accounts through one registration. You must register on the customer portal.
Yes, the e-bill is an electronic duplicate of your paper statement.
We do encourage you to join our many customers that already tender payments electronically via our automatic bill payment option; however, if you want to mail it in, you can print your e-bill and submit your payment with the remittance stub. Be sure to include the account number on your check or money order.
You may elect to stop e-bill at any time by opting out via the customer portal.
You can access your e-bill from any computer with internet service.
Yes, the county maintains a secure environment for your electronic transactions.
You should receive your e-bill on the next bill date following your registration. A paper statement will be mailed until the e-bill begins.
All changes for e-bill must be completed through the customer portal.
Check your email spam filter or junk email box. The email will come from myocse<firstname.lastname@example.org>. Be sure to add this email to your rules to prevent it from getting caught in filters. Verify the email address that you gave us is correct. If you are still having problems, contact the Utility Billing Department at 419-734-6728.
Your email address will not be shared with any outside party, it will only be used for utility billing related matters.
Other correspondences will be mailed to the billing account's mailing address through the U.S. Postal Service.
The Customer Portal is an online link that allows Ottawa County Sanitary Engineering customers to view their utility account information for water and/or sewer online. To get started, please have a bill to refer to for account number and customer identification (CID) number.
Please note that the account number must be entered exactly as it appears on the bill. Once registered and logged in, you may view your water consumption, payment history and pay your bill.
Please call the Sanitary Engineering Office at 419-734-6728 or email Utility Billing.
All charges should be pro-rated, at the time of closing. The new owner will be responsible for charges accruing after the closing date plus any delinquent charges that have been certified to the tax duplicate.
Please contact our office immediately at 419-734-6728 to schedule a final meter reading.
As tenant of record, the responsibility for paying the water bill on that property remains yours until such time as a final meter reading is obtained and service is terminated.
No, we do not require security deposits, all it takes is a telephone call to 419-734-6728 to start service in your name.
Ottawa County Sanitary Engineering offers the following payment options:
Yes, contact our office at 419-734-6728 and request that your meter be checked.
No, water usage does not affect the sewer bill. Sewer billing is based on a flat fee.
Yes, our office charges 10% penalty on any late payments.
Yes, contact our office at 419-734-6728 or email Utility Billing to request a penalty waiver. A penalty can be waived once in a 12 month revolving period
At the end of August each year, our office will certify all unpaid sewer bills plus penalties to the upcoming year's property taxes for collection.
The delinquent sewer bills will be collected on the upcoming year's property taxes only.
Yes, a $2 electrical credit is included on your bill for each equivalent dwelling unit served by the grinder pump after an easement/access is granted to the County and the County assumes ownership of the grinder pump.
All changes must be emailed, mailed, or faxed to the Sanitary Engineering Office.
Requests for a Bulk Rate Adjustment (water charge adjustment) must be submitted in writing in email, mail, or fax to the Sanitary Engineering Office. Please include information outlining the problem, the time period of the leak and when the repair was made.
Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) are units of measure that standardize all land use categories (housing, retail, office, food service, etc.) to the level of demand created by one single-family dwelling unit.
EDUs are commonly utilized by utilities to calculate monthly service charges for users connected to a wastewater treatment system. EDUs are computed in accordance with the probable demand that a user places on the wastewater treatment system by assignment of an equivalency factor. The probable flow rate demand that a user places on a wastewater treatment system is correlated to the demand expected by a single-family dwelling by the use of equivalency factors. See the Ottawa County Sewer District Rules and Regulations, Table A of Equivalency Factors and Categories for specific details.
In addition, capital improvement assessment policies will commonly utilize EDUs to calculate and determine a property owner's financial contribution to a capital improvement project; as well as to determine the up-front connection and/or equalization fee charges that a property owner must pay when applying for a permit to connect to a new system.
All delinquent sewer and/or water charges are the responsibility of the new owner of the home. Research the property before you purchase the home.
The property owner is responsible for any unpaid charges for the sewer and/or water.
Contact our billing staff at 419-734-6728 to discuss payment arrangements
Call the United Way at 211 or 800-650-4357 and their customer service representatives will be able to assist you.
Pursuant to the terms of the Intergovernmental Agreement, 2022 (the last full year that water service was provided by the Ottawa County Regional Water Treatment Plant to the City of Port Clinton, the Village of Oak Harbor and the Ottawa County Regional Water Distribution Customers), the average water supply cost charged to each governmental entity was:
The average cost per 1,000 gallons for each government entity represents the entire operation, maintenance, debt service and administrative cost of Ottawa County to pump raw water from the lake, treat it, pump it to each governmental entity, and then master meter and pressure reduce the finished water before it is delivered to each satellite distribution system.
These charges are updated yearly based upon actual annual usage amounts and the cost to supply the water.