Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an emergency contact phone number for the Island Water Association after hours?

Our phone number is answered seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. After office hours, we have an answering service who will contact the on-call technician. The on-call technician will then call you back.

Where is my water meter located?

It is usually located in the utility easement of your property on the front left or right side of your property. In some cases the meter may be set in the utility easement on the side or back of the property. It is flush with the ground in a cement, composite or plastic box with a lid on it.

I just purchased a property on Sanibel/Captiva. How do I start water service in my name?

You may call our office Monday – Friday 8:00 am-4:30pm and we will schedule a reading of the meter on closing day. We do not turn the water off and we do not charge a transfer fee. We will send the previous owners a final bill and the reading taken will begin your water service. You may also fill out a change of ownership form on our website and email it or fax it to us. Change of ownership form

How can I pay my bill?

You can mail a check to our PO Box 509, Sanibel, FL 33957 or drop off your payment in person at our office at 3651 Sanibel Captiva Road, Monday – Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. You may sign up for bank drafting and your payment will be deducted from your bank account on the due date. You will still receive a water bill. You may also view and pay your water bill online on our website with Visa or Master Card.

I go away for the summer months. Can I prepay my water bill? Can I have my bill mailed to my northern address?

You may prepay your water bill. A minus sign after the dollar amount on the bottom of the bill indicates a credit. You may change the mailing address of your water bill by filling out the back bottom portion of the stub and returning it to us, or you may call our office, or email us, or fax us a change of address form that is found on our website. Change of address form

Should I turn off my house valve when I leave for long periods of time and where is it located?

We do advise turning off your house valve when you will be away for long periods of time. Turning off your house valve does not usually turn off your irrigation system, but it does usually turn off all the outside spigots on your house. Your house valve is usually located just below a hose bib on your house on the same side of the house where the water meter is located. For example, if your water meter is on the left side of your property, your house valve is usually below the first outside spigot on the left side of your house. If you would like us to turn your water off at the meter while you are away, we offer one free turn off and one free turn on per year. Turning off the water meter turns off all of the water at your property.

Where is your office and what hours are you open?

Our office is located at 3651 Sanibel Captiva Road and we are open from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday – Friday. Our Holiday Schedule does fluctuation from year to year, but is posted under Holiday Schedule. Holiday Schedule is located on the About Us page

When and how are late fees and penalties accessed on bills? When are shut off notices issued?

Your water bill is due three weeks from the bill date. A 10% penalty is accessed on a bill or any portion of a bill that has not been paid within 60 days of the bill date. Shut off notices can be issued when a bill or any portion of a bill remains unpaid 60 days from the bill date and are mailed at least 2 weeks prior to the shut off date. Once a shut off notice is issued the total balance owed must be paid. If your water is turned off for non-payment, payment in full is required as well as a reconnection fee. Monday-Friday 8:00am -3:30pm, the reconnection fee is $25.00. The after- hours reconnection fee is $40.00.

What are the charges for water?

Your water bill is made up of 3 components. There is a $1.50 meter reading charge and a $11.50 demand charge per unit (if there is 10 units associated with the meter, the demand charge would be 10 x $11.50) and a charge for actual usage. We charge in thousands of gallons. We do not read the lower numbers on your meter. We do have a tiered structure to encourage conservation. The more you use, the more you will pay per thousand gallons. See our rate chart and bill calculator located at the bottom of our Customer Service page.

Can I read my water meter?

Yes, reading the numbers on the meter is very similar to reading the odometer on your car. It is also possible to check for leaks by looking at your water meter. See Reading your water meter and Checking for a leak.

I notice that I have a device that is above ground just behind my water meter. What is it and why do some residences have this device and others do not? Who owns this device?

The device behind your water meter is called a backflow prevention device. It is there for the protection of everyone’s water. If there is a loss of water pressure in our water main, the backflow prevention device prevents any water on the customer’s side of the meter from flowing into our water main. In 1982 we were required by the state of Florida to implement a backflow program. Our program states that new construction/remodeling, multi-family dwellings, businesses, and any properties with a hazard must have a backflow prevention device. Properties classified as having a hazard either have a sewer lift station, an active well, irrigation water from a pond or lake, or have reclaimed water for irrigation. Any properties that have an irrigation system should have an air gap on the irrigation system. The backflow prevention device is owned by the customer, but we do inspect the backflow prevention device bi-annually at no charge to the customer. Download the PDF for more information about our backflow program and specifications.

Where does IWA’s water come from? How safe is it? Is fluoride added to the water? What is the hardness of the water?

Our water comes from the Suwannee Aquifer approximately 700 to 900 feet below the surface. Our water meets or exceeds all federal and state requirements. There is a small amount of fluoride that is naturally in our water, but we do not add any fluoride to the water. Our finished water is mildly soft and not scale forming. The hardness is 56 parts per million or 3.28 grains per gallon. The pH of the water is 7.6 to 7.7. For more information see Our Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports located on the Reports page

Why is there regular flushing on my street?

As a requirement of the Health Department any streets where our water main dead ends, we must flush the water lines every 30-90 days to insure water quality and proper chlorine residual, and the water lines must be flushed for at least 15 minutes. We try to have our water main run in a continuous loop throughout Sanibel and Captiva, but our water main does dead end in certain areas.

I received a boil water notice at my property? What does it mean and why does it last for 2 days?

Any time that we shut down our water main, it is a requirement of The Health Department to issue boil water notices. Any water for drinking or cooking must be brought to a rolling boil for one minute. It is strictly a precaution. The Health Department requires water samples from the area that the water main was shut down on two consecutive days and they must have each sample for 24 hours to insure that there has been no bacteriological intrusion into our water main. After the boil water notice has been lifted you may again consume water without boiling it.