Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where does my water come from?
A. Lake Michigan is the source of our drinking water. It is treated and pumped by Manitowoc Public Utilities (MPU) in Manitowoc, Wisconsin through a 65 mile long pipeline to each member community.

Q. What does CBCWA purchased water from Manitowoc, sourced from Lake Michigan, mean to residents?

A. Because of the abundance of water available from Lake Michigan, CBCWA member water utility users will not have to worry about shortages or potential water bans or curtailment of use that can put groundwater based utility systems at risk. In addition, water quality meets all state and federal water quality standards.

Q. Do I need to use a water softening system? 
A. Determining if you need a water softener is a personal preference. The hardness or softness level of water is determined by the amount and type of minerals found in it. The water provided to the communities by Manitowoc Public Utilities (MPU) has a typical hardness level of 130 ppm, or 7.6 grains. For many consumers, the water provided meets their softness requirements.  Some consumers like to have softer water and choose to install a water softening unit. Again, it's personal preference and completely up to the individual consumer. Important reminder: If you have a water softener and plan on not using it, remember to put the unit into bypass mode.

Q. What are the grains of hardness for setting my water softener?
A. Lake Michigan water has 7.5 grains of hardness. Prior to switching to Lake Michigan water, area ground water wells supplied residents with water that had a range of 13-16 grains of hardness.

Q. What is the fluoride level of the drinking water?
A. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has established the “optimal level” for fluoride content in drinking water to be in the range of 0.7 mg/L to 1.2 mg/L. The fluoride level in the Authority’s drinking water is maintained at the minimum recommended level of 0.7 mg/L.

Q. Why is fluoride added to drinking water?
A. Research studies have proven the safety and benefits of fluoride in our drinking water. For 70 years, people in the United States have benefited from it, leading to better dental health. Drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (also called tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families and for the US health care system.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound and, depending upon the geologic composition of the soils and bedrock, the amount found naturally in water can vary significantly. Lake Michigan’s natural fluoride level ranges from 0.1 mg/L to 0.3 mg/L. Manitowoc Public Utilities adds a small amount of fluoride to the drinking water to achieve the minimum recommended standard of 0.7 mg/L.

Fluoridation is recommended by nearly all public health, medical, and dental organizations. It is recommended by the American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Public Health Service, and World Health Organization. Because of its contribution to the large decline in cavities in the United States since the 1960s, CDC named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Q. Who do I contact with a question regarding my water/sewer bill?
A. You should call the water department for the community you live in. Click here for a list of communities that are members of the Authority. Click on the community live in and then click the Water Bill Question link on the left hand side.

Q. I’ve heard that you can get a separate meter for you home for outside watering and that you don’t get charged a sewer fee. How do I get one on my home and is there a cost?
A. Some communities do provide the opportunity to install a water meter for outside watering. Contact your community’s water department to learn if this is available in your community and if what it costs to have it installed and if there are regular fees associated with it. If they are not already, water lines in the home must be separated so that the outside water usage is measured independently from household usage. Separating the water lines can be done by a plumber or by the homeowner.  

3100 Eaton Road
Bellevue, WI 54311
(920) 884-1077 ext. 5