- The West Milford Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) was created by the Township of West Milford to provide water and sewer service to the residents of the municipality. It was organized on February 4, 1964 under the Municipal Utilities Authority Law (N.J.S.A. 40: 14B-1 et seq.) While the MUA has broad statutory powers to provide these essential utility services, it has certain obligations as well. Its responsibilities include compliance with the adopted bond resolutions, Federal and State laws governing water pollution control, potable water quality guidelines, public purchasing guidelines and other applicable State and Municipal laws and ordinances.
- The West Milford Municipal Utilities Authority provides water and or sewer services to approximately 1700 homes and businesses. Water service is provided in Awosting, Bald Eagle Village, Birch Hill (partial), Crescent Park, Greenbrook Estates, High View, Olde Milford, Parkway, and seasonally to Greenwood Lake Beach. Sewer service is provided to Awosting, Bald Eagle Village, Birch Hill (partial), Crescent Park, High View, Olde Milford Estates, and to Milford Manor Nursing Home.
- The West Milford MUA is unique due to the fact that it is responsible to maintain and operate 9 separate water systems and 6 sewer treatment plants. Currently the West Milford MUA is the only MUA in the state of New Jersey with this number of facilities.
- The MUA has four employees. A full time Administrator, part time Director of Field Operations, a part time Customer Service Representative and a full time maintenance Laborer.
- The MUA contracts its professionals such as an Attorney, Engineer, Laboratory, and Operations & Maintenance company to run the facilities and to give guidance to the MUA.
- The MUA is solely supported and funded by its rate payers alone. The rates charged are to provide sufficient revenues to meet the operating and debt service obligations of the Authority. The MUA does not receive tax dollars to operate and maintain its facilities.
All Customers MUST call before you dig.
The West Milford MUA, along with other area utilities, participates in the “CALL BEFORE YOU DIG” program to avoid digging in the wrong spot and damaging utility lines. Call 1-800-272-1000 at least 4 full days before you plan to dig. IT’S THE LAW!
Customer Accounts Information:
It is important to keep your account information up to date. Contact us if any of the following change:
- Telephone Number
- Billing Address
- Landlords: Must inform the MUA of new tenant names, phones numbers, and billing addresses if different from service location.
- Outside recorders must be kept visible and accessible for accurate readings to be taken (i.e. shrubs, patio furniture, firewood).If you have any work done to your home (i.e. new siding, decks, additions, etc.) that disconnects the recorder, please call the office and we will reconnect the device at no charge.
- All homes must have working shut off valves before and after the meter. You will need a licensed plumber for this installation.
- All homes must have a curb box to shut off water service in case of emergency. The curb box is provided by the MUA and must be located near the curb or property line with a visible cap. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep the top of the curb box exposed and in working order.
- No permanent structures (such as decks, sheds, walls, or driveways) can be constructed over water lines for repair / replacement purposes. Large trees or plants with extensive root systems should also be avoided over water lines. The MUA has the right to remove and back charge the homeowner for any structures or trees / shrubbery that are in the way of a curb box that is in need of repairs.
If you experience lower pressure than normal, please check any house filters that may be installed and need to be changed. Also some water lines have pressure reducing valves installed and these should be periodically checked for debris by a licensed plumber.
If you should experience discolored or foul smelling water, please call the office, to be sure it is not an individual issue.
- Brown water is usually caused by iron or manganese buildup in your pipes or hot water heater.
- Water that has an odor similar to rotten eggs has a sulfur buildup in the hot water heater. This is caused by water sitting in the heater and not being used. All hot water heaters should be flushed periodically (see owners manual) to remove the sulfur buildup.
- No permanent structures (such as decks, sheds, walls, driveways, etc.) can be constructed over sewer laterals for repair/replacement purposes.
- All homes must have a sewer cleanout pipe located near the curb or property line with a visible cap. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep this cap exposed and in working order.
- All homes are required to have a back flow preventer (check valve) installed on their sewer lateral.
- The customer shall be responsible for any leaks in the sewer lateral. Repairs must be made immediately by the owner of the premises. The customer shall be responsible for notifying the MUA of the party contracted to do any maintenance work in the customer’s sewer lateral prior to the work commencing. The contractor shall not backfill any trench until the work has been inspected and approved by the MUA’s representative. Sewer lateral replacement requires a permit and inspection by the local building department.
- Only normal household wastewater is to be discharged from the home. Connecting garbage disposal units, sump pumps, leaders, gutters, or storm water drains to the service is illegal and subject to a fine of $1,000.00 per connection per month. You will be responsible for this fine at the time of the discovery, even if the connection was made prior to your purchase of the home.
- In order to prevent clogs, DO NOT put grease, meat drippings or food scraps, in your sinks and/or feminine hygiene products, diapers, disposable wipes, Swiffer sheets or rags down the toilet. Please do not use the sewer as a garbage can.
Swift Reach is an Emergency Notification System that will notify MUA users in the event of emergency, water restrictions, hydrant flushing schedules, and billing reminders. Please log onto the link on our home page to enter or update your information in case of an emergency.
Customers are billed quarterly. You will receive a paper invoice the 1st week of the month that your payment is due. The water flow is metered and you are billed for your usage for the prior 3 months. The MUA will send a meter reader to your home to read the recording device that is connected to your actual meter. Bills are due when presented. There is a grace period given until the last business day of the month in which your bill was received. Please keep your account number handy as it is the only way we can locate your account.
- Water: There is a minimum charge for all properties regardless of the gallons used. If you use more than the minimum in any one billing quarter, you will be charged an additional amount per 1,000 gallons.
- Sewer: Sewer is charged a flat rate regardless of usage, except for commercial properties that have metered service.
Payments are accepted the following ways:
- Personal Checks: Please make checks payable to “West Milford MUA” and include your six digit account number on the payment. They can be mailed or dropped off in the lock box 7 days a week from 7am to 9pm Monday thru Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sundays.
- Electronic Payments: The MUA does receive electronic payments from most banks through bill pay. Please be sure to indicate West Milford MUA and include your six digit account number. Electronic payments must be received by the last business day of the month and mus have the correct address of the MUA.
- Online Bill Pay: We now offer payments online using credit cards and checks. Log onto www.westmilfordmua.org and click on the payment link button. Follow instructions using only your account number. There is a third party fee to use these services. The charge is $12.95 for credit cards and $0.95 for an e-check. These funds do not come to the MUA, it is the fee to use this service through a third party biller.
- The MUA does not accept Cash at its office location
There is no prepayment penalty. If you choose to send partial payments monthly, your account will be credited as soon as the payment is received. Your bill will reflect the payments as “Prev Balance, Principle”.
Please be aware all payments must be received in our office by the last business day of the billing month. Any unpaid balance will be assessed interest at the rate of 18% per year, or 1.5% per month. If your payment is even a few days late, you will incur interest and this balance will also be charged interest if not paid.
Returned Check Fees:
Any checks or electronic payments that are returned for “any reason” shall be subject to a charge of $40.00 and this amount is subject to change.
Shut – off Procedures:
If a bill remains unpaid for 30 days after it is rendered, a notice will be sent out indicating discontinuation of service may be initiated. If a bill remains unpaid 10 days after the first past due notice a shut off notice with discontinuation date will be delivered. Service will not be restored until the account and fees are paid in full immediately. A restore service fee of $50.00 will be charged to the account. Restorals are not done on weekends.
Any outstanding balance on any account as of December 31st of any given year is subject to a municipal lien. Liens are forwarded to and sold by the Tax Collector. Once an account has been forwarded to the Tax Collector, addition fees may be added to the account. All accounts forwarded must be redeemed through the Tax Collector’s Office.
1. What is the mailing address for payments?
- Mail payments to: West Milford MUA
179 Cahill Cross Road
West Milford, NJ 07480
2. What are your business hours?
- Customer Service is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. You can reach us at 973-506-7330. Fax line 973-506-7348.
3. Can I contact someone in the MUA by e-mail?
- Yes. You can e-mail all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. When is my meter read?
- Your meter is read approximately every 90 days.
5. How often will I get a bill?
- Customers will receive a bill quarterly unless seasonal rates apply. Your bill will be mailed the first week of the month after your meter is read.
6. How is my bill calculated?
- Your water is billed for the amount of gallons you use each quarter. Sewer is a flat rate per quarter, except for commercial accounts with a meter.
7. Why did I receive an estimated bill and what does it mean?
- You may receive an estimated bill if some obstruction prevented us from reading your meter or there was a problem with the meter communications. In some instances, locked gates, inclement weather, or the piling of snow banks may result in estimated billing. Estimated bills are based on your average usage. Your next actual meter reading will adjust for any inaccuracy.
8. Why do we receive a bill when we do not use any water?
- As long as there is water service available at your property, a minimum charge will be billed to your account whether water is used or not.
9. If my payment is not received by the due date, will I be charged a late fee?
- Yes. A late penalty is charged on outstanding principle balances at a rate of 1.5% per month on all accounts.|
10. I’m moving, what arrangements must I make?
- Please call the office at 973-506-7330 at least 7 days prior to closing to schedule a final meter reading. If a final reading is not obtained prior to settlement, monies may be held in escrow.
- For tenants, a letter from the landlord must be received for the billing to be removed from your name. Landlords must send written notification of new tenants for billing.
11. What do I do if my water has a foul smell?
- Foul Smelling Water: The MUA only supplies cold water through your meter. Water that has an odor similar to rotten eggs is the result of sulfur buildup in the hot water heater. This is caused by water sitting in the hot water heater and not being used. All hot water heaters should be flushed periodically according to each individual owner’s manual to remove the sulfur buildup.
12. Why is the water from my “HOT” faucet discolored with a “BROWN” tint?
- It is likely that your hot water heater has not been flushed in a very long time. When the hot water sits at the bottom of your hot water tank for long periods it will eventually pick up rust, minerals, and sediment from the tank. Tanks should be flushed periodically. Please refer to your owner’s manual. THIS IS ONLY A RECOMMENDATION TO OUR CUSTOMERS. THE MUA TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY AND CANNOT ASSIST CUSTOMERS WITH THIS TASK.
13. Why does my water have a cloudy, milky appearance?
- Cloudy, milky water is usually caused by air in the water. Customers can take a glass of cold water from the tap and set it on a flat surface. If the water begins to clear (from the bottom up) within a few minutes, it can be concluded that dissolved air is the cause of the cloudy appearance. If the water in the glass does not clear, please contact our office.
14. Why has my water pressure changed?
- The MUA is required by state regulation to provides 20psi at the main. If you suddenly see a reduction in water pressure, check and change all in line filters you may have in your home or on your faucets. The filters should be changed regularly to avoid build up which reduces your water pressure. If after changing the filters, the pressure is not better, contact the office.
15. Who is responsible for the maintenance of my booster pump?
- Some homes on the municipal water systems have booster pumps installed to provide additional pressure within their home. Any booster pumps that are in your home are the responsibility of the homeowner.
16. How do I spot a leaking toilet?
- To check for a leaking toilet, put a little food coloring in the tank. If the color begins to appear in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
17. What items should not be flushed down toilets?
- Anything that will not totally dissolve and could plug the sewer mains — disposable diapers, wipes, feminine products, bandages, rags, and plastics bags, condoms, and left over food — should not be flushed.
- Realistically, only household waste water should be flushed or drained into the system in your home, this will ensure that the systems can function properly.
- ALL wipes such as baby wipes and Swiffer cloths should NEVER be flushed. These items clog up the pumps at the facility stations and cost the systems thousands of dollars in repairs. Please notify any cleaning companies that items should never be flushed.
18. Does the MUA add Fluoride to the water?
- NO. The MUA does not add fluoride to the water. We recognize that fluoride received in appropriate dosages is of significant assistance in reducing the incidence of tooth decay in children. An appropriate fluoride dosage for a child can be received in several ways and include brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, fluoride tablets administered under the supervision of a parent or guardian and by receiving fluoride treatments from a dentist. The addition of fluoride into the water supplied by the MUA would not only affect all children but all other customers without regard to age, personal sensitivity to fluoride, or personal choice of those customers.
- The decision of whether to add fluoride to the water is a fundamental question that affects the public health of all MUA customers. In the absence of a fluoridation mandate by a public health agency, the MUA believes that the use of fluoride and the appropriate fluoride dosage should be a personal decision between you and your dentist and doctor.
19. How do I dispose of unwanted medications?
- Over the counter and prescription medications should not be disposed down the drain. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceutical compounds. These compounds may end up in your local waterways, and may eventually be found in your drinking water.
- Users should check with their local pharmacy to see if they will discard of any unused drugs or you can use the following 4 steps to dispose of your medications:
- Mark out personal information on the container.
- Mix with water, coffee grounds, cat litter, or dirt.
- Place inside another container if possible.
- Place in trash.
20. Can I hook my sump pump into my sewer line?
- No! Only normal household wastewater is to be discharged from the home. Connecting garbage disposal units, sump pumps, leaders, gutters, or storm water drains to the service is illegal and subject to a fine of $1000.00 per connection per month.
21. Is there a difference between the storm drain and the sewer drain?
YES, There are important differences.
- The storm drain is a system that consists of the natural and man made channels and underground pipes (storm drains) that transport rainwater from streets, yards, and other low lying areas. This water goes directly to our creeks, rivers, and lakes carrying pollutants with it. The water entering the storm drainage system is not treated. The storm drains are not connected in any way to the sewer drains. These drains are cleaned and maintained by the West Milford Department of Public Works (DPW).
- The sewer drain is a sealed system composed of a branching network of underground pipes and manholes. It is used to collect and transport the water from sinks, washing machines, toilets, and kitchens to the wastewater treatment plant. Waste water is treated and disinfected.
22. Do I need to contact anyone before I have landscaping or excavation work done?
- The West Milford MUA participates in the “CALL BEFORE YOU DIG” program to avoid digging in the wrong spot and damaging utility lines. Call 1-800-272-1000 at least 4 full days before you plan to dig. IT’S THE LAW!
23. Why are there different colored flags and paint on or near my property?
- Different colored flags and painted lines are used to mark out underground utilities that could be damaged during proposed excavation your area.
- The flags will be removed after the excavation is completed.
- The colors of the flags and paint represent different underground utilities.
- BLUE: Water lines.
- GREEN: Sewer lines.
- RED: Electric Lines.
- ORANGE: Communication lines, CATV.
- YELLOW: Gas, oil, steam lines.
- WHITE: Proposed excavation site.
Please note: Removal of these flags is not only illegal but also punishable by fines. Each utility will remove their flag when the work is completed.
24. Does the MUA have a set of rules and regulations?
- Yes, the MUA has rules and regulations to follow and these are located on our website for review.
25. Who is the governing agency for the MUA?
- The State of New Jersey governs the MUA. The State Department Agency that governs the MUA’s finances is the Local Government Finance Services.
*Monday-Friday 9am – 3pm Call 973-506-7330
*After hours Emergency: Call West Milford Police 973-728-2802
Please do not hesitate to call us about suspected water main leaks or sewer blockages. For repair of customer-owned equipment, please contact your plumber.
Water Leaking in the Street:
- Signs of a water main or service connection leak include water running down the street or the curb line and water coming out of a crack in the street or at the curb line.
Water Leaking in the Home or Business:
- If you discover a leaking pipe in your home, look to see if there is a valve near the problem area to shut off and stop the leak. If this is possible, it will allow the remainder of the building to continue service while the problem is corrected.
Turning Off Your Master Valve:
- If a valve cannot be located near the source of the trouble, find and turn off the Master Valve. Closing this valve will shut off all water to the building. In the event the master valve does not operate, please call the MUA office immediately for assistance. A serviceman will be dispatched to turn off the water at the Curb Valve. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN THIS VALVE YOURSELF, AS SPECIAL EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED AND IT’S AGAINST UTILITY REGULATIONS.
Sewer Backup or Problem:
- If you are experiencing a problem with the sewer in your home or building, determine whether the entire home or building is affected. If so, the problem may be outside. If the clog is before the curbside cleanout, the cleanout will be clear and the homeowner should contact a plumber. If there is water or debris coming out of the cleanout, call us and our serviceman will respond and determine whether the problem is in the MUA owned portion of the pipe or the homeowner portion. If the problem is in the street, MUA personnel will correct the problem. If the problem exists between the property line and the home or building line, the owner is responsible to correct the problem.
Do not assume your neighbor will call. We would rather receive multiple reports about a problem than no reports at all.*
The MUA owns and is responsible for maintenance and repair of the water and sewer facilities located within public roadways and right of ways. Examples of these facilities are service connections, curb valves, curb boxes, water meters, and recorders. If these items are damaged because of tampering or neglect, the cost of parts and labor for repair or replacement will be charged back to the customer. The MUA will occasionally test a homeowner’s curb box to be sure it is in working order.
The MUA plans,weather permitting to flush hydrants several times a year, however regular attempts are in the spring and the fall. Customers may see Water and Sewer Utility Services personnel or the local fire departments releasing water from the fire hydrants within your community. This process called “flushing”, allows the MUA to test the fire hydrants to ensure that they are working properly as well as measure the PSI of each line. The sudden movement of water through the water mains also removes accumulated sediment (mineral deposits) from the interior of the pipes to enhance the performance of the water distribution system and maintain the clarity of the water. Though the sediment is not harmful, it may discolor your water. The water is safe to drink. Should this happen to you, simply allow your cold tap water to run for a short time until it is clear. If it does not clear up after a few minutes, wait 30 to 60 minutes and try running water again. It is strongly recommended that you wait until the water is clear again before washing any clothes. If your water does not clear up, please contact us as we do have products available to remedy the issue. The MUA posts hydrant flushing signs at the entrances to the developments being flushed. You may also find the information on the MUA website with the time frame the hydrants in your area will be flushed. The MUA’s hydrants are only intended for the maintenance of the water lines and not for fire fighting capabilities.
Our employees wear uniform shirts identifying whom they work for. Under normal circumstances teh MUA will not send a serviceman to your home without your knowledge. You can always call the office to confirm that the MUA sent an employee or contractor to your home or business. Your safety is important to us.
The MUA strives to deliver water that meets or surpasses the water quality standards set by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Detailed information is sent out to our water customers in an annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), which explains how the quality of your drinking water measures up to safe drinking water standards set by the federal and state governments. Should there ever be any deficiency in your area; a notice will be sent to the entire development explaining the deficiency and any further instructions to correct the situation. Please remember not all notices sent out require any changes and may not affect your home.
The service connection is the portion of the pipe that runs from the water main in the street to the Curb Valve.
Curb Valve & Curb Box:
The curb valve is located underground at your property line and is accessed through the curb box. The curb valve connects to your service line and operates as a shut-off valve.
The water meter is a precision measuring instrument that measures your water usage. The meter should be located inside the home or building.
Remote ARB Receptacle (Recorder):
The recorder is a device that allows the MUA personnel to read the meter inside your building without having to enter your home or business.
The sewer lateral is the portion of sewer pipe that runs from the sewer main in the street to the clean-out and then to the home or building.
The clean-out is a pipe from the underground sewer lateral to the surface (usually at the property line). This provides access to the sewer lateral to assess problems.
- The MUA is governed by a Board of Commissioners that are appointed to four year terms by the West Milford Township Council.
- The Board consists of five Commissioners and two Alternates.
- The MUA annually sets the meeting schedule for the Fiscal Year, which is available at the MUA office and posted on the West Milford Mua website.
- The Board annually holds a Re-organization Meeting on the last week of the Fiscal Year, a Budget meeting during the Last quarter of the Fiscal Year and two monthly meetings, a workshop and a business meeting, with the exception of summertime and any holidays falling on meeting dates..
- MUA Board Meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted at 7pm at the Hillcrest Community Center located at 1810 Macopin Road West Milford. Meetings are usually held in room #14 also known as the Leisure Room. The public is always welcome to attend a meeting or may speak in the public portion of the meeting. Please note that anyone wishing to address the Board during the public session will be given 5 minutes to express their concerns. However, this portion is not a question and answer session, all concerns presented to the Board will be further discussed at a later time and concerns will be addressed accordingly.
- All Business to be brought before the Authority for formal action requiring review by the Authority’s consulting professional or anyone wishing to address the Board in person must be submitted to the Authority’s Administrator not less than (7) seven days prior to the public meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for consideration.
- Meeting agendas and minutes are posted on the MUA website for review with the exception of executive session minutes, which will be available thirty days after the executive session matter is resolved with personnel being the exception, as may be permitted.
- Our website is www.westmilfordmua.org. It has valuable information on it for all of our customers. Audits, Budgets, Rates, Minutes, Emergency Notices and General Information, Consumer Confidence Reports, Howmeowners Guides and Contact Information is all posted in accordance with regulations. Our payment link and our emergency notification system link are also available on our website. Most documents are in PDF form making it easy for printing should you need to print any documents.
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