Village of Olympia Fields

Where People Make the Village

What if my main shut-off valve does not work in an emergency?

Calls should be directed to the Public Works Department, so that someone can shut off your water at the buffalo box.

Public Works: (708) 503-8200
Monday - Friday 7:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.

If you need assistance after the above hours, call the 9-1-1.

What is a water service?

A water service is a pipe that begins with a connection to the water main at the shutoff valve in the village right of way and extends into one's house or commercial building. The pipe was designed solely for the purpose of delivering fresh potable water to your home plumbing fixtures (i.e. sinks, toilets, showers, etc.)

Where are my shutoff valves?

There are actually two major shutoff valves in line with your service. The first valve called a curb stop, is generally located in the parkway and is normally housed by a cylinder with a cap on it called the buffalo box or "B-Box" for short. The other major valve is located in the home next to the water meter. Other valves may be near plumbing appliances such as sinks and toilets. The homeowner maintains all valves with the exception of the curb stop.

What part of my service are my property and my responsibility?

The resident's responsibility for maintenance begins after the buffalo box and extends up through the entire home. The water meter, however, is the property of the village. Any valves adjacent to the water meter are the property owner's responsibility to maintain.

What should I do if my pipes freeze?

The Red Cross website suggests, if you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the suspected frozen area of the water pipe. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.

Keep the faucet open, as you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe.

Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.

If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

Should I maintain my main shutoff valve?

Keeping your main valve in good working condition will assure that you will be able to turn your water off in the event of an emergency, ie. in case one of your water pipes break, or repairs are needed. Older style gate valves should be turned periodically due to possible corrosion build-up. Newer Teflon coated ball valves should stay in working order without any regular turning.

Why do I have those utility flags in my parkway?

All excavators are required to contact JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) prior to an excavation, so underground cables and pipes aren't damaged.

Why is my water bill high?

Leaking toilets cause most high water bills. Leaking faucets, malfunctioning water softeners, and water powered sump pumps are also seen as the cause of high bills. Plumbing fixtures should be checked regularly. Adding food coloring to the flush tank can check toilet flush valves, if the color is visible in the bowl without flushing, the flapper valve likely leaks.

Who should I contact for water billing questions?

Call the Village's Water Billing Department at (708) 503-8000.

Who should I contact about my water quality?

Contact the Public Works Department at (708) 503-8200 if this does not answer your questions.



Village of Olympia Fields, 20040 Governors Highway, Olympia Fields, IL 60461 Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Telephone (708) 503-8000  Fax:  (708) 503-8002