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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I pay my bill?
Members can pay their bill by mailing them to PO Box 247, Georgetown, IN 47122, at our office during business hours, or for your convenience we also have a night drop box. If mailing your bill, please mail it to P.O. Box 247 Georgetown, IN 47122. [Payment via automatic bank draft is also available.] (http://www.edwardsvillewater.com/bm/ewc-member-news/automatic-draft-payment.shtml)

What are your office hours?
Our office hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday.
We are closed 12:00-12:30 pm for lunch.

How hard is our water?
The hardness of the water is 20 grains per gallon (gpg).

What is the “Other” charge on my bill?
The charge that is listed on the bill as “Other” is a facility charge. This charge has always been part of the total bill. In 1999, when our computers were updated, this “other” charge was made into a line item.

Why does my coffee get an oily film on top?
The following information was provided in an article on “Oily film on Coffee” from the Tennessee Division of Water Supply. We have been posed the question many times and the explanation… I thought you might find interesting

It appears that the oily film is caused by the hardness of the water (ours is 20 grains per gallon). It is similar with tea as well. The Chemical Technology and Consulting team explains that the calcium in hard water binds with the fatty acids that are released from the coffee during brewing. The lower calcium levels in soft water don’t have this effect which explains why coffee and tea that is brewed with bottled water do not produce the oily film. Some individuals are trying to determine which type of water softener is the best to effectively solve this problem in a cost effective, reduced labor manner.

Explaining the Oily Film Observed on Coffee
Coffee beans naturally contain coffee oil up to 15% on a dry basis. This coffee oil is comprised of approximately 71% fatty acids or, in other words, oils much like those which would be found in margarine or soaps. These fatty acids contain a hydrophilic area and a hydrophobic area. Because they contain a hydrophilic area, fatty acids are somewhat soluble in water. When water is poured through ground coffee, this naturally occurring coffee oil is dissolved into the water and is carried to the pot which stores the coffee. Here, the oil may remain dissolved and pass unnoticed. This usually is the case when the water used is of low hardness. When the water is hard (which our’s is) the calcium bonds with fatty acids to precipitate them, even though they are usually soluble. Hot water from the coffee maker helps this bond to form more readily, and thus, the precipitated oil is even more pronounced.

A good analogy is soap. Much like the soap molecule, which is sodium or potassium salt of a long chain carboxylic acid (fatty acid), hard water calcium substitutes with the sodium or potassium to form the insoluble scum. In coffee, there is no substitution, but the the calcium simply bonds to the fatty acid. The (CH3)(CH2),COOH+Ca2 is the oily film seen on the coffee. It is also the soap scum seen in bathrooms after calcium has bonded with the fatty acid chains in the soap. This is seen in hard water because there is enough calcium present to precipitate the fatty acids. Soft water does not contain enough calcium to precipitate fatty acids. In general, the use of very hard water increases the oily film formation seen on coffee. I hope that you find this information useful.

Article by Diane, Watertown, TN on Dear Dr. Brew: