THE REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT - City of Chicago Water Bills
CITY OF CHICAGO WATER BILLS
An ordinance was passed by City Council which took effect on January 1, 2012 requiring not‐forprofit
organizations to pay water and sewer bills at a discounted rate and removing the water
exemption previously available to not‐for‐profit organizations. Not‐for‐profit organizations are
eligible for discounted water rates and a small sewer rate waiver annually. In order to take
advantage of the discounts, accounts must be metered and designated as charitable by the City
of Chicago Department of Water Management (Dept. of Water Mgmt.).
City of Chicago Alderman Contact Information
The Dept. of Water Mgmt. is requiring that all water accounts be metered. Metering an
account will enable the Dept. of Water Mgmt. to take readings from the street (rather than
having to access the building) and to bill us based on actual usage rather than estimated usage.
Currently, the Dept. of Water Mgmt. is installing meters at our locations at no cost to the
parish. If the Dept. of Water Mgmt. contacts you to install a meter on your property please
make arrangements to have the meter installed as soon as possible. If at any time while the
Dept. of Water Mgmt. is installing the meter they inform you that there is a cost to the parish,
please STOP the work and contact Jennifer Shankie at 312.534.8791. The meter installation
itself is free but there may be additional work required such as asbestos abatement or the
necessity of a meter vault which is not the financial responsibility of the Dept. of Water Mgmt.
The parish may be financially responsible for this type of work but we are addressing these
situations on a case‐by‐case basis. It is important that you keep the Real Estate Department
informed about water meter‐related work.
The Real Estate Department is working with the Dept. of Water Mgmt. to ensure that all
Archdiocesan water accounts are designated charitable. At this time, no action is required of
parish staff regarding the charitable designation of accounts.
The Dept. of Water Mgmt. is now sending water invoices bi‐monthly. We are currently advising
parishes NOT to pay water bills. We want to make sure that your accounts are receiving the
discount we are entitled to. IT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY TO FORWARD YOUR WATER BILLS
TO THE REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT. Please hold onto the bills and use them to help budget for
water when we have to begin paying the bills. The Dept. of Water Mgmt. has assured us that
they will not take any action against us while we are working through the issues that have
arisen under the new ordinance.
If you receive any correspondence from the Dept. of Water Mgmt. relating to water bills (other
than the bills themselves), please forward it to Jennifer Shankie, 835 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL
60611, or fax a copy to Jennifer at 312.534.8392.
Please feel free to call Jennifer with any questions at 312.534.8791. We will update parishes as
we have more information.
Letter to Parishes
Interfaith Coalition to
Restore the Water Fee Exemption for Religious Institutions