Information About Your Bill
Bills are determined by the amount of water that has passed through your meter since the last meter reading. Wastewater usage is determined based on the amount of water delivered through the meter to your home.
Listed below is information about how your bill is calculated and about potential charges you may see.
Sewer Service Only
Customers with wastewater service only are billed quarterly at a flat rate. The charge is based on the average of 16,000 gallons per quarter for a family of three. If you have less than three people living in your home, only live on the property periodically, or believe you use less than 16,000 gallons of water per quarter, it may be cost effective for you to convert to a metered account. For a brochure explaining metered accounts, contact Customer Relations at (410) 222-7582.
Metered Sewer Service
If you have wastewater service only and want to change to a metered account you must contact a licensed plumber to perform the meter installation on your property. It is your plumber’s responsibility to contact the Bureau of Utility Operations Meter Services section before proceeding with installation. Call (410) 222-8455 for detailed instructions on proper installation of a meter and a remote register.
Note: Remote register must be installed 5’ above ground level. Your plumber is also required to acquire a water connection permit from the Department of Inspections and Permits. This permit is valid for 6 months from the date it was issued and another must be re-issued if time expires. The connection may be inspected by a county inspector.
Once installation has been completed, you, as the property owner, have up to one year to monitor and determine if you will save money using a metered account. While monitoring your account, be sure to calculate the amount that would be due on a metered reading. Your consumption would need to be less than 16,000 gallons for a savings to be realized.
If a cost-savings is realized during this trial period, you must call Meter Services at (410) 222-8455 to schedule an appointment in order to have the meter account set up.
Since these devices belong to the property owner, it is his/her responsibility to maintain them. Once the account has been set up, Meter Services personnel will visit your home to read the meter. If they find it to be out of order, the owner will be notified in writing and given three months to repair or replace it. During this period, consumption will be estimated based on prior history. If repair or replacement is not made within three months, the rate of consumption will revert back to the current flat rate charge. If this occurs, the account will not be allowed back into the metered account billing system and will remain flat rate until the property changes owners.
Environmental Protection Fee
The environmental protection fee is used to cover the cost of building, expanding and maintaining water and wastewater treatment plants that service the existing connected customers.
The revenue generated from this fee is invested in improvements required to meet increasingly stringent environmental regulations and to extend the useful life of aging and deteriorating assets.
Sometimes our meter readers may not be able to read your meter. This happens for a number of reasons such as inclement weather, inaccessibility, or utility work. In these rare cases, the Office of Finance will estimate your consumption based on your history of usage. The estimate is based on last year’s bill during the same time period. This is because usage tends to vary at different times of the year, but remain constant for the same time period from year to year. If you have an estimated bill, it will be indicated on the bill by an “E” after the meter reading date.
Meters are read approximately every 90 days. If you have an estimated bill, your next bill will reflect your actual consumption based on the next reading. We prefer not to estimate your bills and make every attempt to read your meter, however, circumstances sometimes make this difficult to accomplish. Your help in keeping your meter accessible is one way to help our meter readers keep estimated bills to a minimum.
Excess Use Credit
If you water your landscape and gardens, be prepared for a higher than normal bill. Outdoor water use can add up quickly. Residents are often unaware of the large volume of water used, especially with an underground irrigation system.
The County recognizes that outdoor water use increases in the summer months and that some of the water used outdoors does not return to the public wastewater system. Therefore, the County instituted an “excess use credit” for residential users which is applied to usage associated with the first full billing quarter after April 30.
The excess use credit is a deduction from the wastewater portion of the utility bill. When the water consumption in the first quarter after April 30 exceeds 110% of the average for the previous three quarters, the resident’s wastewater charge is reduced by 50% of the amount over 110%.
If payment is not received by the net due date, a 10% late fee is added to the bill.