FAQ - Your American Bottoms Account
I'm getting an American Bottoms bill.
What's this bill for?
How can I pay my bill?
If I have questions about my account, who
do I call?
I'd like the bill sent to another address,
who do I call?
I'd like to change the name on my bill,
who do I call?
Who's responsible for paying this bill, I
I'm a landlord with several
properties. How do I know if my tenants are paying? I
don't want to be responsible for the bills if they leave a balance
landlord. I notice there is, or is about to be, a lien on one
of my properties. Your bill is not
in my name, it's in my tenant's name. How can you make me
responsible for any unpaid balance
left by my tenant?
I'm paying several companies for
water. How is this possible?
I established service with the water, the
gas, the phone, the electric companies, etc. but I never called you
to establish service. Why am I getting a bill from
How is my bill calculated? It seems
to vary month to month.
What's the current rate?
I'm getting more than one bill from
American Bottoms, why?
I have a very large collection bill.
Is there some payment plan I might qualify for?
I pay my water bill, but I received a
notice for disconnect from you, why?
What do I do when I get a notice that my
water might be shut off?
My water just got shutoff. What do I
need to do to get it turned back on?
What are the fees I'm responsible for if I
got a water shutoff notification?
I hardly use any water yet my consumption
is high. How come?
How can I tell if I have a
I found a leak, and now it's fixed.
What should I do?
What can I do to decrease my
Do I have to pay for filling my backyard
I'm moving, what do I need to
I'm a new, or
previous owner, should I let American Bottoms know if I've sold
property in this service area?
I have a lien on my property. How
can I get this released?
I just bought this property and I find out
it has a lien on it. Am I responsible for
I got a summons to appear in court.
How can I avoid this?
The person on the bill I get has (died or
no longer lives here). Why should I be responsible for the
charges when it was under his/her name?
My spouse filed bankruptcy and the
American Bottoms' bill is in my name. Can I include these
charges in my spouse's bankruptcy?
How can I find out more concerning my
I'm getting an American Bottoms
bill. What's this bill for? top
American Bottoms Regional Wastewater
Treatment Facility treats the "dirty" water that leaves your home
or your business along with water that goes into some of the storm
water drains along the roadways.
You pay for wastewater services
based on water usage reported to us from your water company.
When you bathe, do laundry, flush, do dishes, brush your teeth,
etc. the water that goes out of your home comes to us through a
network of sewer systems feeding into our facility. We treat
it, sample it, analyze the results, dispose of the solids, and
finally release the cleaned water into the Mississippi
River. You can learn more about this process
via our virtual tour
The Clean Water Act was enacted in
1972 under the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA). American Bottoms started serving the community in
1986 as a result of the Clean Water Act and has been in operation
24/7 ever since. We are highly regulated through state and
federal agencies including the IEPA, the USEPA, and OSHA.
How can I pay my
There are several ways you can pay
your American Bottoms Bill:
Note: We do not recommend you pay by
mail if you received a water disconnect notice.
- Pay Stations - listed on your bill
- 24/7 Automated pay system - call (866) 933-6251
- AB Customer Accounts - call (618) 337-9000
- Direct Pay - Print form
If I have questions about my
account, who do I call? top
Customer Accounts at (618)
I'd like the bill sent to another address, who do I
Customer Accounts at (618)
I'd like to change the name on my bill, who do I
First call your water company.
After the water company changes your name, call American Bottoms'
Customer Accounts, (618) 337-9000. We cannot change the name
until your water company makes the
Who's responsible for paying this
bill, I rent? top
The service user on our records must
match the water company records. If you rent, the landlord
may have specified this payment on your lease agreement; however,
that is between you and your landlord. If bills go unpaid,
water discontinuance, law suits, and/or liens may result.
Ultimately, anyone living in the household is responsible for this
I'm a landlord with several properties. How do I
know if my tenants are paying? I don't want to be responsible
for the bills if they leave a balance behind. top
American Bottoms can sue the
customer for unpaid balances or file a lien against the
property. Landlords can help themselves by doing one or more
of the following:
Request a consolidated monthly
report which shows the activity on each of your
Put the bill in your name and
collect additional rent
Call AB Customer Accounts (618)
337-9000 for payment statuses
Request water shutoff - provided
the account meets the necessary criteria
Take action when you receive
an owner notification - these are mailed to the owner when a
tenant's bill becomes delinquent
Call AB Customer Accounts (618)
337-9000 with forwarding addresses and social security numbers of
prior tenants who've left unpaid balances
I'm a landlord. I notice there is, or is about to
be, a lien on one of my properties. Your bill is not
in my name, it's in my tenant's name. How can you make
me responsible for any unpaid balance left by my tenant? top
American Bottoms can place a lien on the property where service
was provided pursuant to State of
Illinois Statute 65 ILCS 5/11-141-7. To avoid liens,
landlords should consider the suggestions noted
I'm paying several companies for water. How is
this possible? top
Residents may be paying multiple
bills related to water, possibly 3 different bills.
- Water Bill (for your clean tap water)
- Sewer Bill (for the pipes that bring your wastewater to
- Wastewater Treatment Bill (for American Bottoms to clean your
In some cities, some of these
services may be combined on one bill because they are all done by
the same company. Here, American Bottoms is a separate
company providing specialized services, thus a separate bill you
I established service with the water, the gas, the
phone, the electric companies, etc. but I never called you to
establish service. Why am I getting a bill from you? top
Once you establish water service,
you're automatically added as an account with us. The
wastewater treatment services are tied to your having water
services, that's also why your water can be disconnected if you
don't pay either bill.
How is my bill calculated? It seems to vary month
to month. top
American Bottoms receives water
usage records from your water company every month. Your bill
is based on the amount of water used times the rate we've set for
that fiscal year. American Bottoms' rate is reviewed
annually. The rates American Bottoms charges are not the same
as the rates charged by your Water Company, so these two bills may
not be the same.
Your bill will vary when your water
usage varies. If the water company estimates your
reading, your bill may be different than usual. Your bill can
also be different depending on the number of days between your
meter readings. If your bill jumps unexpectedly, it may be
due to a leak or more days between meter readings. Get leaks
repaired quickly before they become expensive problems.
What's the current
$3.79 per 1,000 gallons, or
$2.84 per 100 cubic feet (if your
water records are cubic feet versus gallons)
Between July 1 and September 30, we
lower our rates by 10% as a summertime courtesy
Additional charges apply for
I'm getting more than one bill from American Bottoms,
There are actually several reasons
you may be receiving more than one bill:
- Monthly treatment charges are mailed on a brown and white
postcard bill - this is your "current bill" and represents the
charges you are currently incurring from your monthly usage, any
amount that is delinquent, plus fees.
- Customers who have let their current bill get too delinquent
might be turned over to collections which results in a separate
bill on a blue and white postcard bill
- Owners may receive a courtesy bill when their tenants are
- If customers move and leave a balance, bills will continue to
go to those customers at their last known address
I have a very large collection bill. Is there some
payment plan I might qualify for? top
For a limited time, American Bottoms
is offering Settlement Agreements to those customers who have
outstanding collection balances. If you have been receiving a
monthly blue and white bill, you have an outstanding collection
balance and may be eligible to participate in American Bottoms'
final Settlement Program. Should you elect to participate in
this program, you will be allowed to pay off your current
collection balance at no interest by choosing from a sliding scale
of pre-negotiated settlement balances and payment periods.
Your Agreement will remain in force
provided you make timely payments on both your Settlement Agreement
and your monthly treatment bill. Once your reduced balance is
paid, American Bottoms will release its liens and forgive the
amount by which the collection balance was reduced, provided your
current bill remains paid.
Even though American Bottoms files
liens on properties with ourstanding balances, some customers push
the burden of repayment to their heirs. In this program an
agreement that goes into default because of death, diminished
capacity, etc. can be transferred to the customer's heirs,
administrator, or other party wishing to assume the
liability. We hope this will give our customers an incentive
to put something in place now to help others obtain a lien-free
If you are interested in learning
more about this settlement program, call 618-337-9000 and talk to
one of our customer service representatives. They'll be glad
to let you know what needs to be done to qualify for a settlement.
After your account qualifies for a settlement, we'll
mail you an Offer Letter with your options. It's that easy to
start the process.
I pay my water bill, but I received a notice for
disconnect from you, why? top
Illinois Complied Statues:
Chapter 65 ILCS 11/141-7 allows American Bottoms to require water
companies to discontinue water service for unpaid wastewater
bills. American Bottoms pays each water company for this
shutoff service and lost revenue charges. These fees are
passed on to the customer.
The very best way to avoid water
shutoff is to pay your bill each month and not carry a balance
What do I do when I get a notice that my water might be
shut off? top
Follow the instructions on your
letter. Call Customer Accounts at (618) 337-9000 to find out
the amount you need to pay to avoid shutoff. After you pay
call Customer Accounts to verify your payment.
My water just got shutoff. What do I need to do to
get it turned back on? top
If your water was turned off for a
delinquent American Bottoms bill, call (618) 337-9000. Any of
the Customer Account Reps can tell you the amount you'll need to
pay for restoration. You'll also be required to pay for all
the fees the water company charges American Bottoms for their
What are the fees I'm
responsible for if I got a water shutoff notification? top
Your water company does water
shutoffs for us if you do not pay your American Bottoms bill.
Your water company charges us for this service, and we pass these
fees back to our customers. Depending on the water company
you use, the fees will vary. The notices you get will detail
these fees. If you tamper with your meter, you will be
charged additional fees.
I hardly use any water yet my consumption is high. How
You may have a leak in your plumbing
or a running toilet. Certain activities like doing many loads of
laundry, or taking long showers can have a big impact on the amount
of water you use.
How can I tell if I have a leak? top
The easiest way to determine if
there is a leak is to make sure all the taps are turned off in the
house and that there is no water being used (including humidifiers,
air conditioners and ice machines).
Go to the water meter and if the meter is moving, then there is a
leak somewhere in the plumbing.
I found a leak, and now it's fixed. What should I
First tell your water company about
this. You'll probably be asked to send proof of repair so
don't throw your receipts away! Next, call us at (618)
337-9000 and report your repair. We'll watch for the water
company's adjustment and we'll adjust accordingly. We may
also request copies of these same receipts.
What can I do to decrease my consumption? top
Use a low flow shower nozzle and low
flow toilets. A low flow showerhead can decrease one's
bath consumption by 50% or more.
Keep a daily log of how you're using water (i.e., lawn watering,
car washing, how many times the toilet is used, how many showers
are taken in a day and for how long, and how much laundry is being
done) and reduce the frequency if possible.
Use a bucket with a sponge plus a trigger nozzle on the hose to
wash your vehicle. Compared to a running hose, you will save over
79 gallons of water.
Make sure you are doing a full load of laundry and the dishwasher
is full when you use it.
Some people put a plastic jug of
water in the tank of older toilets so the tank doesn't fill up
Do I have to pay for filling my backyard pool? top
Maybe. American Bottoms will
give pool credits to customers who have requested a credit, but
only if each of the following is true:
- Pool capacity is 4,500 or more gallons
- Customer has no collection balance
- Customer's monthly bill is paid in full every month for the
past 8 billing cycles
- Customer called after pool was filled but before September
- Customer's pool has been verified by a Customer Account rep
- No previous pool credit has been given for the year
- Customer has not been in water shutoff review for the past
I'm moving, what do I need to do? top
First, call your Water
Company. Then call American Bottoms at 618-337-9000 to let us
know you're moving, and give us your forwarding address. Your
account with American Bottoms will close after the water company
sends us your final water usage data, and we'll mail this final
bill to your new address.
I'm a new, or previous owner, should I let American
Bottoms know if I've sold or purchased property in this service
It's important to let American
Bottoms know if you've sold or purchased property in our service
area. By doing this, American Bottoms can send delinquent
notifications to the proper owner and your risk of liens can be
I have a lien on my property. How can I get this
Call Customer Accounts at (618)
337-9000 for your balance. Once the balance is paid, American
Bottoms will send you a lien release letter. Take this letter
to the St. Clair County Courthouse Recorder of Deeds Office to have
the lien formally released. This entire process can take
several weeks unless the payment is made by cash or money
I just bought this property and I find out it has a lien
on it. Am I responsible for it? top
Yes. The lien is against the
property, not the person. The lien will continue to follow
the property regardless of the owner.
This is often the case when property
changes ownership through "Quit Claim Deeds." Our best advice
to you is to always do a title search regardless of how you are
purchasing property. Not doing this can be a costly
I got a summons to appear in court. How can I
avoid this? top
You may be able to set up an
"agreement to pay" before your court date; however, once an account
has been placed with the American Bottoms' attorney, all
questions should be referred to that office:
Daniel Hayes Law Office at
The person on the bill I get has (died or no longer
lives here). Why should I be responsible for the charges when
it was under his/her name? top
Tenants of the home are equally
responsible for our bills. The debt is not discharged simply
because another household member is now the service user.
My spouse filed bankruptcy and the American Bottoms'
bill is in my name. Can I include these charges in my
spouse's bankruptcy? top
No. The delinquent charges
will be included in a spouse's bankruptcy only if he/she is the
service user; however, if that's the case, the other spouse will be
liable for the charges. Either way, one of the spouses will
always be responsible for the delinquent balance.
How can I find out more concerning my
Complete the Account
Questions form. After completing the request, it
will be automatically emailed to our Customer Accounts department.
One of our representatives will get back with you.