Estimated Bills & Other Billing Frequently Asked Questions

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WSSC Water’s aim is to bill customers in the most accurate way possible using actual meter reads. However, to protect public health and help prevent the spread of Covid-19, WSSC Water suspended non-emergency, in-home work, which includes reading inside meters. As a result of not being able to obtain actual reads, many customers will receive an estimated bill. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding estimated billing. 

Estimated Bills 

How do I know if a received an estimated bill?

Your bill will clearly indicate if it’s an estimate bill.

I received an estimated bill. How can I request a new bill based on actual consumption?

If you received an estimated bill, please provide the actual meter reading using one of the following methods:

  • Call the 24-hour Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) at 301-206-4001 and press or say 4 to enter your meter reading. The IVRS does not accept readings for accounts with multiple meters. Please have your WSSC Water account number ready when calling in the meter reading.
  • Email us at customerservice@wsscwater.com with a picture of your meter reading. Include your account number and service address in the subject line or body of the email.customerservice@wsscwater.com
  • Call 301-206-4001, and press or say 9 to speak with a customer service advisor, Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.. Note: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Once WSSC Water receives and validates the meter reading, we will cancel any estimated bills and rebill the account using the actual meter reading provided. Depending on the date the actual reading is received, the new bill may cover more than 90 days (or more than 30 days if you are billed monthly). 

If WSSC Water is unable to validate the meter reading provided, you may be asked to contact a customer service advisor to clarify the discrepancy.

I received an estimated bill. Should I disregard or pay the estimated charges?

Please pay your estimated bill. Any payments received will be applied to your account and go toward the actual charges once we receive the actual meter reading.

Why did I receive an estimated bill? 

During this health crisis, WSSC Water suspended all non-emergency, in-home work, which includes reading inside meters. While WSSC Water can read most inside meters remotely from the outside of the home, there are instances when the remote touchpad is inaccessible or is not working. Prior to this health crisis, we could ask to come inside to read the meter. As a result of Covid-19, more customers will receive estimated bills because we are not entering homes.

I received a Meter Reading Request card. What should I do?

If the remote touchpad is inaccessible or not working, WSSC Water meter readers will leave you a yellow Meter Reading Request Card. If an actual reading is not received before the billing cycle closes, our computerized billing system will automatically generate an estimated bill. 

During this unprecedented time, we are relying heavily on our customers to do one of the following:

  • Promptly return the yellow card to WSSC Water with the handwritten meter reading.
  • Use our 24/7 IVRS to report the meter reading. Please note: The IVRS does not accept readings for accounts with multiple meters.
  • Email us at customerservice@wsscwater.com with a picture of the meter reading. Include the account number and service address in the subject line or body of the email. 
  • Call Customer Service at 301-206-4001 and press or say 9 to speak with a customer service advisor who will enter the meter reading(s).  

How is an estimated bill calculated? 

When WSSC Water cannot obtain an actual reading, the estimated bill is based on your prior year’s usage during the same billing period. 

Why is my actual bill higher than the estimated bill?

During the COVID-19 crisis, customers who are working from home and families spending more time inside will likely be using more water than normal. It is possible your estimated bill using historical consumption could be lower than your current usage. Once the estimated bill is canceled and your account is rebilled using the actual meter reading, your bill may be higher than normal due to an increase in consumption and the number of days in the billing period.  

I own a business. Why is my actual bill lower than the estimated bill?

If you are a commercial customer and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan deemed your business non-essential and your account is estimated, your bill based on historical consumption may be higher than your actual usage once we receive the actual meter reading.  

Where is my meter and how do I determine the meter reading? 

To learn how to find and read your water meter, please view this page on how to submit a water meter reading. You can also contact a customer service advisor at 301-206-4001 and press or say 9 to speak with a customer service advisor, Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Note: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

I received a telephone call requesting my meter reading. What should I do? 

WSSC Water may contact you for an actual meter reading. We will never ask you any personal information such as the names of your family members, your social security number, your bank account or any other financial information. If you are suspicious about the caller’s intent, follow your instinct, and call us back at 301-206-4001 and press or say 9 to speak with a customer service advisor Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Note: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Additionally, there are other ways to provide us your meter reading: 

  • Call the 24-hour IVRS at 301-206-4001 and press or say 4 and enter your meter reading. The IVRS does not accept readings for accounts with multiple meters.
  • Email us at customerservice@wsscwater.com with a picture of your water meter. Be sure to include your account number and service address in the subject line or body of the email.

My bill appears high. What should I do? 

Any time you receive a bill that is higher than normal, consider whether the number of occupants in your home increased or if you’ve had recent leaks, including running toilets during the period of the high bill. Toilet leaks are the most common cause of high-water bills. Check out this video to help you detect one of these silent, but expensive leaks.

If you had a leak, be sure to keep any notes and documentation, such as plumber invoices, when any repairs were made. If you had recent repairs, depending on when the leak(s) was repaired, you may receive another high bill as the duration of the leak affected multiple billing periods. 

Please be assured that we are here to help. You can contact a customer service advisor at 301-206-4001 and press or say 9 to speak, Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. to discuss your bill and unique circumstances. Note: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. You can also email us at customerservice@wsscwater.com.  

Can I request an adjustment to my high bill?

Yes. If the usage in the high bill is three times the comparable bill or current average daily consumption, you may be eligible for a high bill adjustment. We are here to help. You can contact 301-206-4001 and press or say 9 to speak with a customer service advisor, Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m. to discuss your bill and unique circumstances. Note: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.You can also email us at customerservice@wsscwater.com.  More information on bill adjustments.

Is there a payment plan option available for my water and sewer bill?

Yes. Payment plans are available for all customers, residential and commercial. Partial payments are also acceptable. We are here to help you establish a convenient payment plan that works for you. Please contact us Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m., at 301-206-4001 or customerservice@wsscwater.comNote: Friday hours from July 10, 2020 through September 4, 2020 will be 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Does WSSC Water offer help financial help?

Yes. We are committed to making your water and sewer bills more affordable. If you need financial assistance, please reach out to us. We are here to help. Learn more about our various programs on our assistance page. Eligibility requirements do apply.

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