BILLING & CLAIMS
When will I receive my bill?
Residential and some commercial customers using less than 5,000 gallons a day can expect to receive a bill from WSSC approximately every three months. Our commercial customers with an Average Daily Consumption (ADC) of 5,000 gallons or more per day receive a bill approximately every 30 days.
Depending on the date you moved into the property as well as our meter reading schedule, your first bill may contain charges for only a portion of the initial three-month period you occupied the premises. Then bills will be mailed quarterly.
Pipeline is an informational publication included with each bill that provides public hearing dates, conservation techniques, policies for adjusting accounts, and other topics of interest.
Can I get my bill electronically?
WSSC now offers Electronic Paperless Billing, learn more about Go Green.
What payment options do you offer?
Please refer to the Pay Your Bills page.
How does WSSC bill water and sewer charges?
Your billed charges are based on the amount of water that passed through the meter since the last billing period. Sewer; however, is not metered and charges are based solely on water consumption.
Your overall consumption is then divided by the number of days in the billing period to come up with the “average daily consumption.” The higher the ADC, the higher the cost per thousand gallons. Our incremental rate structure is designed to encourage and reward water conservation.
“Comparable” consumption is what was consumed during the same time period previous year. If there has been a dramatic increase based on your comparable consumption, we will alert you in the important message section of the bill.
WSSC charges more for sewer service because wastewater treatment is more expensive and complicated than water filtration. Each bill also includes an item labeled Account Maintenance Fee.
Why did I receive an estimated bill?
When circumstances such as inclement weather, an inaccessible or obstructed meter, or a locked gate (to name a few) prevent WSSC from obtaining an actual meter reading, our computerized billing system automatically generates an estimated bill. We will also estimate usage when there are questionable changes in current consumption compared to historical usage.
A residential customer's usage is estimated based on the household’s comparable usage. When there is a new owner/occupant at the property, the estimated bill is based on a preset Average Daily Consumption (ADC) of 245.
Commercial customers' bills are estimated based on the previous occupants' ADC.
If we are unable to obtain an actual meter reading, the field service representative will leave a card at the property requesting that you supply us with an actual reading from the inside meter and visual remote reader (located on an outside wall of the property) as soon as possible. Both the inside meter and visual remote readings contain 7-digits and should be read left to right, including any stationary zeros painted on the face of the registration unit. (Customers cannot read electronic remotes.)
To provide an actual reading during non business hours, please access our Interactive Voice Response System at 301-206-4001. You can provide an agent with your actual meter reading Monday through Friday at 301-206-4001 or contact us online.
The actual reading in almost all cases cancels the estimated charges and re-bills actual usage. We will credit your estimated bill payment when we reduce the current charges by the amount of the estimated bill payment.
Can I provide a meter reading without speaking to an agent?
Please refer to our Interactive Voice Response System page.
What is the Account Maintenance Fee?
Please refer to our Account Maintenance Fee page
Why do you charge for water used outside?
If water is used outside (i.e., landscaping, filling pools, carwashes, power washes), be prepared for a higher Average Daily Consumption (ADC) resulting in higher billed water and sewer rates. Installing a sub-meter or leasing a fire hydrant could be what you need. Without a properly installed sub-meter or a fire hydrant rental, your billed charges will be based on your water consumption and the outside water usage never returns to the public sewer for treatment.
Please refer to our Sub-Meter Information file.
Please refer to our Fire Hydrant Meter Information file.
My billed charges are high: can WSSC help?
If you have a high bill and you do not know where the water is going, you may wish to check the property for leaks, especially toilet leaks. In fact, one leaking toilet can lose as many as three to five gallons each minute, often silently! The three most common toilet leaks are: flapper, siphon tube, and overflow leaks.
We also offer property inspections to assist with your leak investigation. To schedule an inspection, please call 301-206-4001, 1-800-634-8400, or contact us online. The inspection fee is minimal because our inspectors will not make repairs and toilet leaks are the leading cause of unexpectedly high bills. In many cases a new toilet tank kit or new flapper from the hardware store will remedy a toilet leak. Toilet flappers and toilet tanks should be checked at least once a year.
Please refer to our Guide to Household Leak Information page.
Will WSSC adjust the high charges?
New Dispute Policy for Unpaid Bills
*The adjustments set forth in this section are subject to available funding in the approved annual budget.
The most commonly offered adjustment is our courtesy “High Bill Adjustment” (Single Unit Residential Properties). This adjustment applies if a “single unit” residential customer receives a bill with an average daily consumption (ADC) at least three times the comparable ADC and no other applicable adjustment policy exists.
Eligible customers may receive this adjustment on one bill once every seven years while at that property. Charges are adjusted based on comparable or current ADC plus 50% of the excess usage on the one bill.
Comparable consumption is your billed ADC from the same time period in the previous year as long there were no occupancy changes after the comparable period.
A single unit commercial property can also receive a High Bill Adjustment (Single Unit Commercial Properties); however, the higher than normal charges are re-billed based on comparable or current (if no comparable consumption is available), plus 75% of the excess usage. Unlike the residential high bill adjustment, a commercial property is limited to one high bill adjustment.
||Jan 1, 2011
||March 31, 2011
||July 2, 2011
||Oct 1, 2011
||Jan 12, 2012
||Apr 1, 2012
In this example, the January 12, 2012 consumption does not qualify for the HBA. The “comparable” January 1, 2011 charges were based on a 121 ADC. The 319 ADC billed January 12, 2012 is not three times the comparable (121 x 3 = 363).
However, the 392 ADC billed April 1, 2012 qualifies (if occupancy did not change and there were no leaks) since it is at least three times the comparable 98 ADC billed March 31, 2011 ( 98 x 3 = 294).
What if I still have billing issues?
Call 301-206–4001, 1-800-634-8400 or contact us online. We will thoroughly review the account to determine whether the charges qualify for adjustment according to WSSC’s policies and guidelines. If you are unhappy with our decision, you may appeal the billed charges in one of two forums.
What if I have issues with an unpaid bill?
Please refer to the Dispute Resolving Board page.
What if I have issues with a bill I've already paid?
Please refer to the Refund Hearings page.
Is there a fee for dishonored checks, unsatisfied electronic debits, and credit chargebacks?
Yes, we will assess a fee if a check is not honored, your bank does not satisfy an electronic debit, or a credit card payment is not properly authorized. Furthermore, a "cash only" status will be assigned to the account for six months. During that period, payments must be made with certified or bank check, credit or debit card, Western Union Quick Collect, or money order. Written notification that a payment has not been satisfied and that the account has been placed in "cash only" status will be mailed to the service address.
If you feel the payment was returned due to a bank error, please provide a letter from your bank that indicates the error was theirs and we are happy to reverse any adverse account action taken.
Miscellaneous Fees Table