Frequently Asked Questions

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Below is a list of all Frequently Asked Questions lists from the categories related to the Public Works Department. You can find a specific category by using the drop-down box above the questions or by scrolling down. Click each question to show or hide the answer. If you have any additional questions, please click here to view our contact information.
  • Fire Protection Fees

    • Where does the revenue from the Private Fire Protection charge go?

    • Can you provide examples of the calculation of the Private Fire Protection charge?

    • Is there a difference in a combined service line or separate fire line, fire protection charge?

    • How do I know if I have a Private Fire Protection system?

    • I never use or have never used my fire protection system. Why do I have to pay a fee for this?

    • Do other cities have Private Fire Protection charges?

    • What is the 2009 rate for Private Fire Protection?

    • How was the Private Fire Protection charge determined?

    • Why is there a charge or fee for Private Fire Protection?

    • What is the Private Fire Protection charge on my City Services bill?

    • What is Private Fire Protection?

  • Illegal Dumping Prevention

    • What is the state law regarding illegal dumping?

    • Are there county or municipal laws or ordinances that also deal with this issue?

    • Which authorities may enforce against illegal dumping?

    • Is it better for taxpayers to prevent illegal dumping rather than to clean it up after it occurs?

    • What are some potential health issues related to dumps?

    • What can citizens or local officials do to prevent illegal dumping?

    • Who should I contact if I see dumping happening in my community?

    • Who can I contact in addition to city or county law enforcement and my local health department?

  • Local Motor Fuel Tax

    • What is the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

    • What does the Local Motor Fuel Tax apply to?

    • Are there any exemptions to the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

    • What is the difference between the Local Motor Fuel Tax and the State’s Motor Fuel Tax?

    • Who is liable for the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

    • Can I submit the Local Motor Fuel Tax on the same form as other local taxes?

    • Can I submit Local Motor Fuel Tax Forms online?

    • Can I pay Local Motor Fuel Tax Forms online?

    • When do I file the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

    • What happens if Local Motor Fuel Tax is remitted after the 25th of the month?

    • How should I file the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

    • How do I get started with the Local Motor Fuel Tax?

  • Radio Frequency Water Meters

    • So the water meter is the using the same technology but the way the water meter reading information is being collected is the upgraded technology?

    • How does the radio frequency (RF) device work?

    • What exactly will be installed at my property?

  • Recycle Cart

    • What do I do with my old recycle bins?

    • Who do I contact if I have questions about recycling?

    • Where can I take items that are recyclable but are not recyclable in the cart?

    • I recently moved and have lots of cardboard boxes and they will not all fit in my cart. What can I do with them?

    • Do I need to separate the items in my recycling bin?

    • What is considered a recyclable?

    • Can I have more than one recycling cart?

    • If my cart is stolen or broken who should I contact?

    • If I move, should I take the recycling cart with me?

    • Does the recycling cart belong to me?

    • Where do I place my container to be picked up on my recycling day?

    • Can I store my container on the outside of my garage?

    • I don’t have room for the cart in my garage. Can I use a different container to hold my recycling items?

    • How big is the cart? Do I get to choose the size I want?

    • How do I get a recycling cart?

    • Does every household in Bloomington qualify for the curbside recycling program?

  • Sanitary Sewer Billing Questions

    • How much are the sanitary sewer fees?

    • Why do I have to pay a sanitary sewer fee?

    • Where is my sanitary sewer bill?

  • Sanitary Sewer General Questions

    • What is a sewer tap?

    • What is a service line?

    • What is municipal sewage?

    • What is a sanitary sewer system?

    • What is an outfall sewer?

  • Sanitary Sewer Smoke Testing Questions

    • What is sanitary sewer smoke testing?

    • Who performs sanitary sewer smoke testing?

    • How will sanitary sewer smoke testing affect my home or business?

    • Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about sanitary sewer smoke testing?

    • What is Superior® Smoke for testing sanitary sewers?

  • Sewer Backup Questions

    • What should I do if I experience a sanitary system overflow?

    • Does my insurance cover this?

    • How do blockages occur?

    • As a property owner, what can I do to minimize the probability of a sanitary sewer overflow?

    • Can the City be held liable for sewer backups?

    • How are repair requests prioritized?

    • How are private sanitary laterals unclogged?

    • How are tree roots removed from sewer pipes?

  • Sewer Lining Questions

    • What is sewer lining?

    • Who does the lining?

    • Will I lose service during liner installation?

    • Why do some properties have an unpleasant odor inside during and after lining?

    • What should I do if the odor from sewer lining enters my building?

    • How can I prevent odors during lining?

    • Can the air pressure during lining push water out of a toilet?

  • St. Peter Aquifer Test Wells

    • What is the City trying to do by developing a groundwater source near the reservoirs?

    • Explain the groundwater exploration process.

    • What is the timeline for this entire project?

    • How will this affect private wells?

    • How will this affect the Mackinaw River?

    • What areas is the City focusing the groundwater research efforts upon?

    • Why doesn’t the City just develop its groundwater source from the Mahomet Aquifer in the western part of McLean County and forget the idea of wells near the reservoirs?

    • What is the City’s average daily pumpage?

    • What would prevent you from using the water to fill the City’s reservoirs now or during a drought?

    • Instead of looking for groundwater, why doesn’t the City just buy the equipment to remove the nitrates?

    • The City has spent millions of dollars on projects in the City and it has not addressed the nitrate problem. Why has this occurred?

    • What other programs has the Water Department put in place to address the issue of water supply?

    • Does the City have the right to search for groundwater in an area so far from the City proper?

    • Will you be exploring on private property?

    • Will the City use eminent domain to take property for the well sites?

    • Why do you want to test a resident’s well now, before test pumping?

    • What if a resident does not have their well tested during the testing or production pumping and they have a problem in the future, will the City still take care of the problem?

    • How do you test the effects of the pumping?

    • What if a resident does not want their well monitored before test pumping?

    • The City would like to test surrounding wells before any test pumping of potential City wells were to take place. How do I get my well tested?

  • Storm Water Billing Questions

    • Why do I have to pay a storm water fee?

    • Where is my storm water bill?

    • How much is the storm water fee?

    • Who do I call to ask questions?

    • When will I receive a bill?

    • When will I receive my next bill?

    • I was not informed about the Storm Water fee before I got this bill, why?

    • Are we allowed to split this fee between our tenants?

    • What happens if I do not pay this bill?

    • What if I think my Storm Water Utility Fee is in error?

    • How long will it take to resolve an appeal?

    • I own a property with other individuals. How can I divide the fees?

    • I own more than one property. Can I receive one bill for all of them?

    • I received a bill for a vacant property, what should I do?

  • Storm Water Credit Questions

    • Is there a way to reduce fees?

    • What is a credit?

    • What is the storm water credit program?

    • How can I get a storm water credit manual?

    • Where do I submit a credit application?

    • When can I submit a credit application?

    • How long do credits remain in effect?

    • How long does it take for the credit application to be reviewed?

  • Storm Water Pollution Prevention

    • What can I do to help prevent storm water pollution?

    • What are some common storm water pollutants on construction sites?

    • What are some signs of storm water pollution on construction sites?

    • What are some common storm water pollutants on residential and commercial sites?

    • What are some signs of storm water pollution on residential and commercial sites?

  • Storm Water Residential Questions

    • Do I have to pay if I bought my house on or before April 26, 2004?

    • I am on City water with a septic system. Do I have to pay this bill?

    • All of the storm water in my neighborhood drains into a retention pond/basin. Why should I have to pay the Storm Water Utility Fees?

    • How do I report a drainage problem or damaged storm inlet in my neighborhood?

    • If I am buying a property on contract, do I have to pay these fees?

    • I recently moved to a location and I have not received a bill. Why?

    • I am a tenant at this property. Should I pay if I do not own the property?

    • Who do I call to report something "illegal" being dumped into a storm water inlet?

  • Storm Water Technical Questions

    • What is an IAU?

    • What is infiltration?

    • What is a combination sewer system?

    • What is a storm sewer system?

    • What is a sanitary sewer system?

    • What is the purpose of the Storm Water Utility Fee?

    • What is the Storm Water Utility Fee and how was it created?

    • Why is the Storm Water Utility Fee necessary?

    • Who is in charge of the Storm Water Utility?

    • How were projects funded before this Storm Water Utility Fee?

    • How were projects funded before this Storm Water Utility Fee?

    • Are churches and other non-profit organizations exempt?

    • Why is the user fee related to impervious or hard surface area?

    • What is impervious area?

    • Are Storm Water Utility Fees assessed to public roadways and highways?

  • Street Resurfacing

    • What is the overall condition of the city's streets?

    • How does the City choose which streets to resurface?

    • Why doesn't the City fix more residential/local streets?

    • Why doesn't the city use concrete pavement?

    • Why weren't the curbs replaced when the street was resurfaced?

    • Why did workers return to the same street they resurfaced the previous year?

  • Streetlights

    • How do I report a streetlight that is out?

    • Who do I contact if I want a streetlight installed in my neighborhood?

    • Does the City have staff that maintains streetlights in the city?

    • Why do some streetlight bulbs look white and some look orange?

    • Why do I see some streetlights going on and off?

    • Why are some streetlights painted while others are not?

    • What can be done when a streetlight is a nuisance because of its location and brightness?

  • Traffic Engineering

    • How are crosswalk locations determined?

    • How come I have to wait so long at traffic signals?

    • What factors are considered before installing traffic signals?

    • When is a traffic signal beneficial?

    • How do I report a problem with a traffic signal?

    • Can we get more stop signs on our street?

    • Can we lower the speed limit on our street?

    • Can we get a Children At Play sign on our street?

    • How can I get a sight distance obstruction removed?

  • Train Horn Quiet Zone

    • What is a quiet zone?

    • Will we still hear train horns in the quiet zone?

    • What is the process for establishing a quiet zone?

    • Why has train noise increased in recent years?

    • How were the safety improvements in Bloomington funded?

    • How do I file a complaint for excessive train noise?

  • Water Quality Taste and Odor

    • Is my water safe to drink?

    • What is making my water taste bad?

    • Is there anything I can do to make the water taste better?

    • Will a home charcoal filter help?

    • Why hasn't this happened before?

    • Will you take some money off my water bill because I had to buy bottled water?

    • Why can't you just switch to another supply of water?

    • When will the water taste better?

    • What has the Water Department done to correct this problem?

  • Water Supply Planning

    • At the August 27, 2008 meeting, it was discussed that the City wanted to test surrounding wells before any test pumping of potential City wells were to take place. How do I get my well tested?

    • Explain the groundwater exploration process.

    • Will the City use eminent domain to take property for the well sites?

    • Why doesn’t the City just develop its groundwater source from the Mahomet Aquifer in the western part of McLean County and forget the idea of wells near the reservoirs?

    • What is the City trying to do by developing a groundwater source near the reservoirs?

    • Does the City have the right to search for groundwater in an area so far from the City proper?

    • Will you be exploring on private property?

    • What areas is the City focusing the groundwater research efforts upon?

    • What other programs has the Water Department put in place to address the issue of water supply?

    • The City has spent millions of dollars on projects in the City and it has not addressed the nitrate problem. Why has this occurred?

    • Instead of looking for groundwater, why doesn’t the City just buy the equipment to remove the nitrates?

    • What is the timeline for this entire project?

    • How will this affect the Mackinaw River?

    • How will this impact the Village of Kappa?

    • What would prevent you from using the water to fill the City’s reservoirs now or during a drought?

    • What is the City’s average daily pumpage?

    • What if a resident does not have their well tested during the testing or production pumping and they have a problem in the future, will the City still take care of the problem?

    • If there was interference with a resident’s well, how rapidly are repairs going to be made?

    • Will the City put any “guarantee” in writing, to fix a residents well that may have been seriously influenced by the City’s pumping?

    • What happens if there is interference with a resident’s well?

    • How do you test the effects of the pumping?

    • What if a resident does not want their well monitored before test pumping?

    • Why do you want to test a resident’s well now, before test pumping?