Final bills are generated at the request of property owners or their representative. In order to process the final bill request, the City must obtain a visual reading from the meter. The following guidelines have been established to process final bill requests: readings will be completed within 48 hours of the request, access inside the property is necessary between the hours of 8am - 3pm, and authorization by the owner to perform meter maintenance if required. No final readings will be scheduled on Wednesdays.
The Department will not be responsible if we are unable to process a final bill request due to a failure in following the above guidelines. There will be a final bill charge of $40.00 assessed to your account to perform the final bill process. Please contact the Water/Sewer Billing Office at (603) 610-7248 or (603) 610-7237 to schedule a final reading or if you need additional information.
FREQUENCY OF BILLING: The City bills all customers on a monthly billing cycle with readings obtained on the last day of each month.
MINIMUM METER SERVICE CHARGE: The minimum meter service charge is for costs associated with making water service available to each customer and is based on the size of the meter located at the property. This charge is assessed to the water portion of your bill only. There is no minimum meter charge assessed to the sewer portion of the bill.
WATER/SEWER CONSUMPTION CHARGES: The City Council adopted the following water and sewer rates for the Fiscal Year 2020, effective July 1, 2019.
1 Unit of metered water = 748 gallons
WATER RATES -
Tier 1: First 10 units of consumption billed at a rate of $4.32 per unit.
Tier 2: Consumption above 10 units billed at a rate of $5.20 per unit.
SEWER RATES - Sewer charges are based on water consumption.
Tier 1: First 10 units of consumption billed at the rate of $13.77 per unit.
Tier 2: Consumption above 10 units billed at the rate of $15.14 per unit.
IRRIGATION METERS -
Tier 1: First 10 units of consumption billed at the rate of $5.20 per unit.
Tier 2: Consumption above 10 units and up to 20 units billed at the rate of $9.81 per unit.
Tier 3: Consumption above 20 units billed at the rate of $12.11 per unit.
An estimated bill is rendered when we are unable to read your meter, such as when the reading device has become dislodged. Your bill will indicate an estimated reading in the meter reading section of your bill. It is important for the City to obtain an actual reading as soon as possible. A corrected billing or issuance of credit will be applied to your account when an actual reading is obtained.
Your bill is payable upon receipt. You have 30 days from the date of the bill to pay your balance in full before a penalty will be imposed. Penalty per month of 1.5% will be added if not paid within 30 days of bill date. Your prompt payment is appreciated.
For your convenience, the City has implemented the following payment options for water and sewer bills. Please note that some payment methods take longer for the payments to be posted to your account. The following methods of payment are listed in order of promptness:
Payment made at the Tax Collector’s Office in person (same day credit to your account): Payments by cash, check and credit card are accepted at the Tax Office window (VISA is not accepted at the counter for water/sewer payments).
Grey Box drop off (same day credit to your account): The Grey Box is located outside of City Hall. Payment must be made by check only and must include payment stub or the complete 12 digit customer account number [ex. xxxxxxxxxx-xx] written on the check.
City website - “NEW” online bill and payment program (estimated 2 business. days for payment to be credited to your account): Visit Online Bill Payment Webpage, to view your bill or make a payment on your water and sewer account by using your bank account or credit card.Â Â You may now schedule an immediate one-time payment, schedule a future payment, set up Auto Payments, or set up recurring or Flex Payments (see website for details.)
ACH (electronic check) payment: No fee if paying by ACH/e-check.
Credit Card payment: VISA, American Express, Discover Card and MasterCard are accepted for water/sewer payments. ($4.95 convenience fee for up to each $250.00 bill amount. (Example: $4.95 for $250.00; $9.90 for up to $500.00 bill amount, etc.)
NOTE: For those customers only who are currently enrolled in the City’s Auto-Pay Program, there is no need to do anything at this time. Your payments will continue to be drafted on the payment due date.
Online bill pay through your bank (estimated 10-12 days for payment to be credited your Account): Payments made through your bank’s online bill pay service is not recommended for payment of your water and sewer bills as it can take up to 10-12 business days before your payment is posted to your account. Payments paid through your bank are processed through a third party payment service contracted by your bank.Â Although a payment may clear from your bank account, the processor does not send the payment to the City for up to 10-12 days causing a delay in posting payment to your account. If you choose to use this method of payment to ensure proper posting to your account, the entire current 12 digit customer account number [ex. xxxxxxxxxx-xx] must be entered in the bank’s payment setup and allow plenty of time for processing.
WATER AND SEWER FEES
The Water and Sewer Division charges fees for other associated services, including Industrial Discharge Permits for Sewer, Oil and Grease Trap Permits for Sewer, Turn on and Turn off fees for water/sewer service, Final Billing Requests, Hydrant Rental, Account History, Frozen Meter Repair, Emergency Callouts, Meter Testing, Water Service Applications, Meter Reading System Repairs, Fire Flow Testing, Fire Services, Backflow Testing, Sewer TSS and BOD charges for large industrial customers, Sewer Connection Permits, Equipment Use, and Water/Sewer Capacity Improvement charges. These fees are updated annually as part of the budget process and are posted on the City's website at: http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/finance/budgets.htm (click on "Appendix III - Schedule of Fees" and scroll down to "Fee Schedule - Water and Sewer Divisions")
In general, most of these charges are added to a customer's water bill, therefore, those customers with automatic withdrawal should make sure that if they anticipate any of these charges on their next bill that they have the appropriate funds in their account to cover the payment.
Water/Sewer Rate Studies
The purpose of the water/sewer rate structure studies is to stabilize utility revenues and to maintain a rate and fee structure that is fair and equitable. In order to assure that our customers are equitably charged the City periodically performs a comprehensive rate analysis. A detailed rate study was performed in 2006. This has subsequently been followed up with another rate study in 2013. The following documents are presentations made to the City Council and the public from these efforts. They provide background information on the Water and Sewer Division's Enterprise Fund finances, customer demographics, and rate recommendations.
The City of Portsmouth's Water & Sewer Division is pleased to announce our latest effort to promote water efficiency in our water and sewer systems - A Toilet and Washing Machine replacement rebate for eligible residential water customers.