Frequently Asked Questions

Where is it legal to discharge my Sump Pump? 
Anywhere outside your home, as long as the first place the storm water hits the ground is at least 20 feet from the road or back of curb and gutter in order to avoid icing conditions from occurring during colder ties of inclement weather. Underground connections into the County storm drain (below the curb) requires a permit from the County Road Commission. This process is initiated with the Development Services Department. Contact Development Services at (248) 451-4876.  Their offices are located in Township Hall.

Is the Township responsible for repairing water and sewer lines between the road and my house? 
No. Our responsibility does not extend past the utility easement onto private property but we will attempt to assist you to the best of our abilities in determining if you should actually have a leak in the private portion of your service line.  The Water Department is responsible for its service lead from the main to the curb stop, which end at the private property line. With regards to sanitary sewer service leads, the Property Owner is responsible from the home all the way to the Township's main, including the point of connection at the main. 

Can I use plastic pipe for my water service line? 
he Township typically installs K-type soft classified copper line material from the water main to the water service shut-off valve (curb stop & box), which is located at or near the private property line. Copper material is recommended to be installed on private property; however, an approved equal material may be installed as reviewed and approved by the Township Plumbing Inspector and/or Water Department.  The Water Department is responsible for all pipe and materials within the influence of the road right-of-way or utility easement that end at or near the private property line.  The Plumbing Inspector holds authority for all private property, with the exception of the actual water meter, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Water Department.  

Who do I call if I have a blocked Storm Drain or need my road requires plowing during the winter time? 
Oakland County Citizen's Service Bureau for Roads and Drains.  Call the RCOC @ (248) 858-4804.

What is the difference between a Sanitary Sewer and a Storm Drain? 
Sanitary sewers remove domestic waste products from your home or business and sends the waste underground through a series of networked pipes, which ultimately ends up at the GLWA Wastewater Treatment Plant Facility. Storm Drains collect rain and storm water run-off and directs those flows of clear water to wetlands, streams, lakes and other types of similar bodies of water courses. Open swale type ditches and curb line open-grated steel inserts are designated storm drains that serve to receive and collect clear water storm flows. Township Sanitary Sewer Manhole Structures have solid round covers. The two systems are not connected.  Therefore, West Bloomfield has a separated sewer system and is NOT combined.

The Township maintains sanitary sewers and Oakland County maintains storm drains, typically located within the road right-of-ways. Any other types of storm drains located elsewhere are usually the responsibility of property owners.

What causes my water to be cloudy or milky looking? 
Air is entrained in the lines. This condition can occur when valves throughout the system or fire hydrants are turned on and off to either perform work on water mains, flush fire hydrants or a fire hydrant is actually in use by the Township's Fire Service due to a structure fire. Extreme amounts of air can cause vibration or banging noises to occur in your plumbing. Most times the air can be eliminated by running a cold faucet tap on the top floor of your home. If the situation does not clear up, please call the Water Department during regular business hours or make contact through our Public Safety Dispatch Center of Operations at (248) 975-9200.

Why is my water brown, reddish or dirty looking in color? 
When water is turned off to make a water main repair or annual fire hydrants are flushed, this action can stir up mineral content that has settled to the bottom of water mains. You do not need to boil your water unless instructed to do so by the Water Department. Again, run cold water only until the situation clears up. *Note: Using hot water before you have cleared the cold water from your plumbing will draw dirty looking water into your hot water heater. We will announce via radio, television and newspaper media outlets in the unfortunate event that you should ever need to boil your water.  Water is sampled and tested for the presence of any bacterial growth on a routine and regular basis.  This is diligently performed and in strict accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and MDEQ drinking water standards.

Can I pay my water and sewer bill online, by credit card, or enroll in an automatic payment deduction program? 
Yes. Payments can be made on-line through the township's banking software provider.  The system is encrypted and ensures security of all your private banking and other personal information.
Please visit our Make a Payment page to obtain further detailed information in regards to enrolling in an Automatic Water & Sewer Bill Payment Program.

Do I need insurance on potential repairs to my water & sewer lines?
Water service lines that run from private homes to the public water main are only partially on private property, whereby the termination of the township's responsibility ends at the private property line (between the main and the property line.  Private property water lines are the property owners responsibility. and any repairs or replacement of failing lines situated on private property shall be the responsibility of the property owner to make any necessary repairs to that service line should it ever encounter a problem with leaking that comes to the surface of the ground.  All sewer service lead lines are the property owners responsibility from the home all the way to the townships sanitary sewer main. The Charter Township of West Bloomfield does not endorse or represent any private insurance company and encourages all homeowners to get the facts and understand your rights before deciding to purchase any type of service line protection policy. In most cases, water and sewer lines can last a substantial amount of time before they need to be replaced. Many factors should be considered before purchasing a policy, including the age of the home, invasion from tree roots into sewer lead lines, and whether or not your current home insurance policy may already cover these types of repairs.

Who is responsible when I experience a Sanitary Sewer Back-Up into my home or business?
Liabilities for sanitary sewer back-ups are regulated by the State of Michigan through Public Act 222. The Act requires those seeking compensation for property damage to show and demonstrate the following: 1) the township's sewer system had a defect; 2) the township knew about the defect and held prior knowledge of the specific defect; 3) the defect was not remedied by the township within a reasonable amount of time of knowing about the defect; and, 4) damage(S) resulted because of the defect. The Act requires that a claimant report the damage to the Township Clerk's office within no longer than 45 days from the alleged occurrence of the sewer back-up. The sanitary sewer system consists of the township mainline and not the sewer lead or internal plumbing components situated on private property.