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Ever thought about what’s under your city street or sidewalk? It’s a hidden network of underground utilities. The drinking water system delivers clean drinking water from the water treatment plant to water fixtures through a network of watermains and service lines. Once water is used, it travels through wastewater service lines and mains to the wastewater treatment plant where it is cleaned to regulated standards and returned to the environment. The storm sewer system conveys runoff into catch basins and through pipes to stormwater management ponds. City streets are mostly asphalt with a curb and gutter to assist with runoff. Streets, curb and gutter, boulevards, trails and sidewalks all fall within the public right-of-way so they can be accessed and repaired. As public underground utility systems age, network components function less efficiently and ultimately fail. The City evaluates both the street surface and underground utilities regularly to determine when infrastructure should be replaced to avoid costly emergency repairs and prolonged service outages. The resulting document, known as the Infrastructure Capital Improvements Plan, is the City Council’s guide for budgeting investments to maintain a safe and sustainable Belle Plaine for future generations.
Utility companies have the right to work in the street right-of-way and the drainage and utility easement, to install or maintain their lines. Before work begins, the respective company is required to call 'Gopher State One Call'. They then notify other utilities of the work to be performed. The other utility companies will then mark their existing lines in the area with paint.
If you would like to find out what work is being performed, you can contact the respective utility companies. You can also call the Public Works Department at 952-873-6742.
If you notice any color other than what is listed above painted on your property, please call the Public Works Department.
Meters are read monthly, typically near the 26th of the month.
The homeowner is responsible for any service line blockage or repairs between the home and the City wastewater main, including the connection at the wastewater main.
Problems with the sanitary wastewater system (the system conveying wastewater from homes, businesses, and industries) should be reported to the City Public Works Department.
Property owners experiencing sewer issues should call the Public Works Department if the public system is operating. If the problem is only with one fixture (sink or toilet), it is likely that the problem is in the private system and you should contact a plumber.
Please call Public Works for waste water questions 952-873-6742 and call Utility Billing 985-873-4644 for water and sewer bill questions.
Iron and manganese, which occur naturally in well water, can cause a rusty color. It is not harmful. Water can also become discolored from a malfunctioning water softener.
Public Works flushes the hydrants in spring and fall to remove iron and manganese from the system. The operation of each hydrant is also checked at this time.
The City maintains the water line within the public road right-of-way, the rest of the system is the responsibility of the homeowner. The City does not provide a repair service. The City of Belle Plaine Public Works Department will shut off the water at the curb stop, if needed, for a repair. In an emergency situation, call the Public Works after-hours number at 952.658.9051. If your repair is not an emergency, please call Public works at 952.873.6742. Please allow up to 24 hours before the repair is to be made to schedule the water shut off. The curb stop will be located ahead of time and checked for operability. A maintenance worker will meet with you or your representative at the scheduled time to shut off the water.
Trees cannot be planted in the boulevard and must be planted entirely on their private property at least 3 feet from the property line. It is the responsibility of the property owner to find their own property lines - the City does not locate property lines.
Typically, there is a ten-foot-wide easement adjacent to the right-of-way. It gives the City and the private utility companies the right to install and maintain underground or above-ground utilities (water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, telephone lines, gas lines, power lines, CATV lines).
A drainage problem involving public streets, stormwater inlets, storm sewers, or drainage ditches should be reported to the Public Works Department at 952.873.6742. If the drainage problem is on private property, the homeowner will need to determine how to correct the problem. The responsibility to do the correction is that of the property owner.
Wherever possible, the Public Works Department maintains a buffer of undisturbed vegetation along the shoreline of ponds. These buffers provide a variety of benefits, including the filtration and absorption of runoff water before it reaches the pond, shoreline stabilization, preventing grass clippings and fertilizer from being blown or spread into the water, and providing wildlife habitat.
These trees belong to the property owner and the property owners are responsible for the care of the trees. The City will send out notices to residents if trimming of the trees poses hazardous conditions for pedestrians and vehicles, or if they interfere with utilities. If you are unable to take care of trimming, the City will trim the trees and may charge for that service. Please call Public Works at 952.873.6742 if you are not sure if the tree is within the right-of-way.
Belle Plaine has two companies that service our town depending on where you live: Xcel – 800.960.6235 and MVEC – 952.492.8255 or 800.232.2328. You may call the company directly to report the outage, or, as a courtesy to our residents, we can take those calls. Contact City Hall at 952.873.5553.
Call Public Works at 952-873-6742
Streets are swept every Friday from Spring through Fall until the snow hits. Please call Public Works at 952.873.6742 if your street is in need of sweeping.
Yes! Billing, new service & change service requests can be requested by calling 952-873-4644 or by emailing [email protected]. Please find the Residential Utility Billing Automatic Payment Program form on our website by going to Residents, Utility, click on Service Providers, and then click on ‘Residential Service – Auto Pay Form’.
The City of Belle Plaine electronically reads the water meters each month. We collect the first four numbers off of your water meter register, which tells us how many thousands of gallons are used. We only bill for the thousand gallons that are used (see example). It is common to see fluctuations from one to two thousand gallons because we read by the thousands and don’t bill for the gallons used until it rolls to the next thousand.
For example: a new meter starts with a reading of zero (0000,000.00). A household uses 900 gallons in the first month (rdg = 0000,900.00). The reading that we receive from the meter is the first four numbers – which is still zero (0000). The next month the reading is 0002,300.00. The reading we receive is now 0002 (the first four numbers). Our billing system calculates the current reading less the previous reading for a total of 2,000 gallons billed. Therefore, you have been billed for zero gallons for the previous month and 2,000 gallons in the current month, even though in reality you used 900 in the first month and 1400 in the second month. This can also explain why some residents who may average 2,333 gallons per month will see a jump to 3,000 gallons every third month.
You have access to your meter in your basement so we strongly recommend monitoring it for usage. The national average for usage per person per month is 1,500 gallons each. Multiply that by the number of people in your household to get an average of what you should be using. Monitoring your usage on a daily basis might help identify some areas where usage can be reduced. Also check the water level in the tanks of the toilets – make sure it is at least an inch below the overflow tube. And please fix any toilet that is running. If you can hear a toilet running it is similar to leaving a faucet run. The most common cause of elevated usage is a running toilet.
Billing is done generally the day after the meters are read. Payments are due on the 21st of every month regardless of what day of the week this falls on. A ten percent penalty is added on the 22nd of each month on all past due accounts. You can mail your payment to: City of Belle Plaine, 218 Meridian St N, PO Box 129, Belle Plaine, MN 56011, use the drop box outside of the front door at City Hall, or pay by auto pay.
The best way to keep your utility costs down is to conserve water.
If you own the property and your property has a water service line that runs underground and connects to the City water main and then to your water meter, you are responsible for making sure the line and the curb stop/shut-off valve/s are working. You are also responsible for hiring and paying someone to repair your water line if it leaks or freezes. Most service lines are buried deep enough to ensure that freezing does not happen. If the lines have not frozen in the past, more than likely, they will not freeze.
You can avoid frozen lines by keeping temperatures above freezing in basement spaces where the service line enters the home. If your meter is in a separate room, open the door enough to allow airflow. Keep a faucet in the lowest level of your home running at a trickle until the ground thaws. Make sure your drain is free of debris to prevent overflowing or flooding. Place a visible note on the faucet reminding other people in your home to not turn the water off. Turning the water off, for even a few minutes, can cause a recently frozen line to freeze again. If you have a service line that often freezes, keep the basement temperature above freezing in the winter. You can also consider hiring a qualified contractor to lower your service line to a depth that can't be reached by the frost.