Water & Sewer Billing | Howard County (2022)


Water and sewer bills are issuedby Howard County on a quarterly basis. All property owners are responsible for payment of their water and sewer bills.

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Water & Sewer Billing | Howard County (1)

Water & Sewer Bill Information

Water and sewer bills are issued on a quarterly basis. Water usage charges are a property lien. The property owner is responsible for payment of the water/sewer charges. The County does not pro-rate between buyers and sellers or landlords andtenants.

Charges are based on metered water usage. The usage of consumption is multiplied by the current water and sewer rates. There is a water account user charge based on meter size and a sewer account charge set at a flat rate. The water account charges and the sewer account charge are billed each quarter even if there is no water usage.

Payment Options

Below is a list of all the ways you can pay your water & sewer bill. You can make payments online, direct deposit, over the phone, through the mail, and in person. There are no convenience fees for payment of Water & Sewer bills by credit card or e-check.

1. Online Payment Portal

You can pay your water & sewer bill through our online portal. Payments can be made with credit / debit cards. VisitHoward County Utillito register.

2. Direct Debit Automatic Payment

You can set up an automatic electronic transfer from your checking account to pay the bill when it is due.

To apply:

  • Complete the application formthat pertains to your type of checking account (personal or business)
  • Enclose a copy of a voided check
  • Send your application in a separate envelope to:
    Director of Finance, Direct Debit
    PO Box 3367
    Ellicott City, MD 21041-3367
  • Keep one copy of the authorization for your records

3. Telephone

You can pay over the telephone by using our toll free number 1-800-263-1923.

Payment by credit card does not give Howard County Government access to your credit card number. That information is retained strictly by Govolution. Govolution takes full advantage of internet security in the handling of your credit card information.

4. Mail

You can mail in a check or money order with the envelop enclosed in your printed bill. Payments must be received by the Department of Finance on or before the net due date to avoid late fees.

5. Pay In Person

You can pay in at our Cashier's Office located at 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043.

You can also pay at our drop box located to the left of the main entrance at 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Payments deposited after 8:30 A.M. will not be collected until the next business day.

Billing Address

Bills are issued to the property unless the County receives notification to mail the bill elsewhere.

The account number stays with the property address. A secondary billing address is available that allows the past due notice to be issued to the address recorded for mailing and to the secondary address.

Late Fees

Water bills are mailed allowing a thirty-day payment period. Payments must be received in the Department of Finance on or before the net due date to avoid late fees. A 10% late fee is assessed to the unpaid balance if payment is not received in the Department of Finance by the net due date. If payment has not reached the Department of Finance on or before the due date a past due notice will be issued. Failure to pay the past due charges will result in the discontinuance of service. Turn–off and turn-on charges will then be assessed. All charges must be paid before water service can be restored. Charges that remain unpaid can be placed in the annual tax sale and are assessed an administrative fee.


  • Howard County Utilli
  • H2O - Help to Others

Howard County Utilli

“Howard County Utilli” provides users secure access to their water and sewer account information as well as the option to pay bills online without incurring a convenience fee.

The “Howard County Utilli” app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store. There is an online version of thecustomer portalavailable.

Creating an account takes only a few minutes and provides county water and sewer customers the ability to view their consumption, billing and payment history, as well as meter reading history. Customers can also enroll in the county’s Direct Debit program, as well as sign up for or donate to the new “H2O Help to Others” program (read more about the program below).

Manage Your Customer Utilli Account

Title Company Utilli Portal

H2O - Help to Others

H2O Help to Others is a program to connect Howard County residents who need assistance in paying water and sewer bills with residents who want to help.Water and sewer customers are able to make donations to a fund used to assist customers with delinquent accounts who are facing disconnection of service. Howard County has selected a non-profit, Family and Children Services, to administer the program and verify the need of those seeking assistance.

Residents have the option of rounding up their payment to the nearest dollar and donating the excess, or making one-time donations to the program. You can check the box on your bill to opt into the Round-Up program, sign up on theUtilli portal,oremailto sign up.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Who should I call with questions about my water and sewer bill?


The Water and Sewer Billing Division handles billing questions. They can be reached at 410-313-2058.


What are water user and sewer user charges?


The water user charge is a set fee for reading and maintaining the water meter. The sewer user charge is a set fee for maintaining and cleaning the sewer lines.

(Video) How to Calculate a RUBS Water/Sewer Bill - Part 1


What is the State Bay Restoration Fee?


On May 26, 2004, Governor Robert Ehrlich signed Senate Bill 320 (Bay Restoration Fund) into law. By signing this bill, Governor Ehrlich initiated Maryland’s efforts to reduce nitrogen loading in the bay by over 7.5 million pounds per year and phosphorus loading by over 260 thousand pounds per year, which represents over one-third of Maryland’s commitment under the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement.

The County is required to levy the Bay Restoration Charge for properties connected to the public water/sewer system on all bills issued after February 1, 2005. As of July 1, 2012, Residential properties will be charged $15.00 per quarter. Commercial properties are charged based on water consumption.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has set up awebsitegiving detailed information about the Bay Restoration Fees. Questions regarding the Bay Restoration Fee should be directed to MDE at 410-537-3567.

Bay Fee Hardship Exemption

Howard County has a Hardship Exemption for low income users of County Water & Sewer Service. If you are a homeowner living in your property, you can apply for both the Bay Fee Hardship Exemption and the Trash Fee Credit with one form as the requirements for qualification are the same.

Application and Instructions

Renter Bay Fee Hardship Exemption

If you are a renter paying a Water & Sewer bill for the property you are leasing, you can still qualify for the Bay Fee Hardship Exemption.

Application and Instructions


How does the County assure water meter readings and water bills are accurate?


Most water meters in Howard County are read electronically via radio interface, thereby minimizing human error.

Water meter data is transferred electronically to the County’s billing system, again minimizing human error.

These readings are automatically compared to the previous readings and/or the reading from the same time period in the prior year. If a substantial difference is found the bill is reviewed individually by a staff member.

If the staff member determines that the difference is significant and there is no mitigating reason for the discrepancy, a field investigation will ensue to identify and resolve the problem.

While it is extremely rare that the actual water meters over-register, the general cause is a malfunctioning transmitter.

We do our best to ensure all billed water meter readings are correct. If you feel your water bill is inaccurate give us a call at 410-313-2058 during the hours of 8 and 5pm.


I received an estimated water and sewer bill. Who do I contact?

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Estimated usage is normally the result of a stopped meter. Contact the Water and Sewer Billing Division at 410-313-2058 to schedule an appointment to have the meter repaired.


I'm moving to another home. Where do I report the change of address?


Billing information should be directed to the Water and Sewer Billing Department at 410-313-2058. Water bills are not forwarded. All forwarding addresses must be submitted to the Department of Finance. The forwarding address with the postal service does not allow the water bills to be forwarded.


Why is my water bill so high?


Water and sewer charges are based on the metered volume of water consumed from the public water system. The consumption is multiplied by the water usage rate and the sewer usage rate. Sewer charges are higher because of the cost of wastewater treatment.


I have a leak at my property. Will my bill be adjusted?


The County may adjust sewer charges if a leak occurs underground. In this situation, the leak must be repaired first and then a letter requesting an adjustment needs to be sent to the Department of Finance. Attach a copy of the plumbing bill to the letter and include a name and day time phone number for the person to be contacted.

A utility worker from the Bureau of Utilities Meter Division will inspect the property location to verify that the leak has been repaired and that no other leaks exist. He/she will also read the meter and then generate a field report for submission to the meter supervisor who will determine if a sewer charge adjustment is warranted.


I’m using a hose to fill my pool, how much will my bill be?


The calculation to estimate your water bill is as follows:

Divide the number of gallons used to fill the pool by 748*

Multiply the result times the current water and sewer rates

*This is the number of gallons in one unit of consumption

(Video) Water & Sewer Board Meeting


I’m moving from the property. What is my final bill?


The County does not provide final billing. Water and sewer charges are billed on a quarterly basis and constitute a lien on the property. Howard County does not pro-rate between buyer/seller or landlord/tenant. If you’re selling the property, monies will be pro-rated at settlement. If you are a tenant, please contact the landlord/management company.


How do I apply for or cancel Direct Debit?


To apply for direct debit or to cancel direct debit, call our office at (410) 313-2058 or fill out the application form. Complete the form and send it to Director of Finance, PO Box 3367, Ellicott City, MD 21041-3367 along with a copy of a voided check. To cancel direct debit, check "Cancellation" on the application form.


Can I pay in person anywhere else other than the Howard County Finance Cashier's Office?


No. Payments made in person must be brought to the George Howard Building in Ellicott City.


Why is my bill addressed to Owner / Occupant?


We have no way of knowing who is living on the property unless we are notified. Water billing is a lien against the property and bills are addressed "Owner / Occupant" for delivery to the property location.


How far back can you be billed for water? ›

There are no legal limits to amount they can recover, but in practice they may decide to charge you for this year plus the last six years. The Consumer Council for Water can give information on how debts have been recovered by water companies in the past.

Why does my water bill say credit? ›

This shows any payments made or any adjustments to your balance since you received your last bill. Where you see CR, that means credit. This is either payments you've made towards your account or if your account balance is in credit.

How often do you pay water bill in Maryland? ›

Billing Period

WSSC Water bills residential and some commercial customers quarterly - every three months.

How do I pay my water bill in Maryland? ›

You can pay in cash using any of these in-person options:
  1. At WSSC Water's Cashier window at: 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707. ...
  2. Use a PayNearMe service at 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy or Family Dollar store. ...
  3. At Western Union Quick Collect locations. ...
  4. at our Drive-Thru window.
  5. At our Dropbox.
18 Aug 2022

What happens if you dont pay your water bill? ›

Your water company can't disconnect you if you owe them money, but if you don't pay up, they could take you to court. You may get a county court judgment against you and you'll have to pay extra court costs. If you don't pay up after that, bailiffs might come round and take away some of your goods.

Do you get reduced water rates if you live alone? ›

You cannot get a discount on your water bill for single occupancy. But your bill should be less than if you lived with other people because either: you have a water meter and only pay for the water you use. your flat rate is based on the amount of water someone living alone uses.

What does balance mean on a bill? ›

An account balance is the amount you owe after your bills have been balanced against any payments you've made.

What does it mean when you're in credit? ›

If you pay your energy bill by direct debit, you might end up being 'in credit' with your supplier - this means that they owe you money.

What does it mean by in debit? ›

in debit. BANKING. if a bank account, etc. is in debit, more money has been taken out of it than was originally put into it or paid: These transactions had put his account in debit. debit.

Why is sewage charge so high? ›

The water released by the treatment facility is usually cleaner than the drinking water's receiving stream. Typically, the advanced systems are expensive to build and operate, increasing the overall cost of wastewater treatment. So, it is logical that sewer bills are higher than water bills.

What is the average water bill in Maryland? ›

Water Prices by State 2022
StateAvg. Total UtilitiesWater
New York$311$30
46 more rows

How is the water bill calculated? ›

We measure your water usage by reading your meter – we try to do so roughly every six months. If we haven't been able to take a reading, we'll use an estimate, based on your previous water usage. If you'd like to take your own reading and submit it, we'll cancel the estimate and send you a new bill.

What is the average water bill in Frederick MD? ›

Average Consumption by Household Size per 90 Days
Number of People in HouseholdAverage Consumption (Gallons)Average Bill Total (Water and Sewer Only)
18,000 to 13,000$190
213,000to 18,000$245
318,000 to 23,000$305
423,000 to 28,000$365

What is the average water bill in Baltimore City? ›

Currently the typical household pays $118.46 per month. Starting July 1, the average monthly rate will increase to $122.22. In July 2023, that amount will rises to $126.11 a month.

What is WSSC water? ›

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC Water) is a bi-county governmental agency established in 1918 by an Act of the Maryland General Assembly.

How can I reduce my water bill? ›

These are the best ways to lower your water bills:
  1. Never boil more water than you need. Credit: Universal Pictures. ...
  2. Only use your washing machine when it's full. ...
  3. Use a dishwasher instead of washing up. ...
  4. Use a washing up bowl. ...
  5. Store cold water in the fridge. ...
  6. Have shorter showers. ...
  7. Don't use the toilet as a bin. ...
  8. Replace leaky taps.
10 Nov 2021

What happens if I dont pay my bill on time? ›

Consequences of Missed Bill Payments

Phone, internet, or utility service disconnects or disruptions. Credit score damage. Inability to obtain new student loans if you're behind on federal loan payments. Creditor lawsuits.

How long does it take for water to come back on after paying the bill? ›

It will take up to one business day to turn on new water service or restore a disconnected water service from the time all paperwork is completed and all applicable deposits or payments are made.

How do people afford to live alone? ›

Done With Roommates? 48 Ways to Afford Living Solo
  1. Learning the rental market. Read the ads for a sense of what places cost in your area. ...
  2. Live at home, briefly. ...
  3. Watch for “move-in specials” ...
  4. Think small. ...
  5. Track your spending. ...
  6. Create a budget. ...
  7. Ask why you buy. ...
  8. Build an emergency fund.

What do you have to pay for when you live on your own? ›

You'll have to pay a separate bill for electricity, gas, water, cable TV, internet, and other similar things. Internet and cable usually have fixed rates, but with electricity, water, and gas, you'll have to pay for what you use. Most people pay around $50 to $100 on their utilities, depending on the area.

Are water meters cheaper than bills? ›

A water meter means you only pay for the water you use. So that could mean significant savings for your household, or bigger bills – which of course you want to avoid at all costs. If you don't have a water meter, you pay a fixed price for your water. It doesn't matter how much water you use, your bill won't change.

Why is my bill negative? ›

A negative balance indicates that your bill was overpaid and that you may be eligible for a refund.

What does minus mean on utility bill? ›

If your bill says minus something as a total then it means they owe you. Add message. Report.

How much electricity does a 2 bedroom house use? ›

How much electricity does a 2-bed house use. Typical electricity usage for a two-bedroom home sits between 2,500 and 3,000 kWh per year.

Is it better to be in debit or credit? ›

If you tend to spend outside your means, it's better to use a debit card to prevent yourself from accruing too much debt that is difficult to pay down. Debit cards are also great for day-to-day spending. If you want to earn rewards or build your credit score, credit cards are best.

Why does my credit card say no payment due but I have a balance? ›

If your statement balance is $0, that means there is no minimum payment due. If there's no minimum payment due, but there's a current balance on your account, it means those charges were made after the end of the last billing period and will be listed on the next statement.

How do I claim the energy rebate? ›

We will contact you by email or post to claim your payment by completing our online Energy Rebate Grant form. We will ONLY contact you by email if we have your email address on file. The email will come from counciltax.energyrebate@towerhamlets.gov.uk. We will only send a letter if we do not have your email address.

Does debit balance mean I owe money? ›

A debit balance is the remaining principal amount of debt owed to a lender by the borrower.

Is debit positive or negative? ›

Debit is the positive side of a balance sheet account, and the negative side of a result item. In bookkeeping, debit is an entry on the left side of a double-entry bookkeeping system that represents the addition of an asset or expense or the reduction to a liability or revenue. The opposite of a debit is a credit.

Does debit mean you owe them? ›

If your account is in debit, you've used more energy than you've paid for. When your energy bill is in debit it means that you owe the supplier money.

How are sewerage charges calculated? ›

The amount of sewage is calculated by looking at the total amount of water used, subtracting the volume of water which does not return to the sewer. Water companies define a large or intermediate user if they are likely to go over a predefined threshold limit for water use.

How is waste water measured? ›

Used to measure the volumetric or mass flow of waste water, sewage or trade effluent, a waste water flow meter works by measuring the amount of waste water that flows through, under or around flow meter sensors.

What is the difference between sewage and sewage? ›

The simplest way to explain the two different words is this – sewage is the waste that is produced by people while sewerage is the structure that holds the sewage within its “stomach.” In the end, it is only us humans and the rain that uses these systems, and we need to make sure that these two things will be used ...

Why are my water bills so high? ›

The most common cause of high bills is using lots of water. You may be using more water just by being at home more often than usual. Take a moment and think about the water you've used recently.

How much are utilities per month in MD? ›

When it comes to utility costs, Maryland is among the worst in the U.S. The average 2021 electricity bill in Maryland is $124.16 per month, says saveonenergy.com, while monthly natural gas bills average $131.16. Overall, Maryland residents pay an average of $389.73 a month in utilities.

How much are utilities per month in Maryland? ›

According to 2017 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly utility bill in Maryland is $131.16. That's just about $20 above the national average of $111.67, which is good for the fifth highest monthly rate in the U.S.

How much water does a 2 person household use per month? ›

According to Waterwise, for the year April 2019 – March 2020, the average amount of water usage in cubic meters in, a home of: one person - 66 (per year) two people - 110. three people - 136.

How much water does a family of 4 use per month? ›

What is Average? The water industry estimates that an average person uses 3,000 gallons of water monthly, so a family of 4 would use 12,000 gallons for bathing, cooking, washing, recreation and watering.

How much water does the average household use? ›

The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home. Roughly 70 percent of this use occurs indoors. In addition, there are other miscellaneous uses of water in the house which may be very significant, depending on the degree of water conservation by the household.

How often is Water billed Frederick County MD? ›

2. How does Frederick County bill water and sewer charges? Water and sewer charges are billed quarterly. Billable water charges consist of the amount based on your quarterly water consumption (the amount of water that passed through the meter since the last meter reading) plus a fixed Ready to Serve Fee.

How often do you pay Water bill in Maryland? ›

Billing Period

WSSC Water bills residential and some commercial customers quarterly - every three months.

How much are utilities in Frederick MD? ›

Frederick cost of living is 109.1
COST OF LIVINGFrederickMaryland
Median Home Cost$379,400$361,900
4 more rows

Why is Baltimore City water bill higher than Baltimore County? ›

A city consultants' report says the bill — designed to make up the difference between what county residents pay for water and the actual cost of providing it — stems from the county undercharging its residents and businesses.

How is the sewer service calculated in Baltimore County? ›

For a family of four, the average Sewer Service charge is $1,111.66. This is based on 156 units of water used in a calendar year. A unit is based on 100 cubic feet of water or 748 gallons. Your quarterly usage can be found on your water bill from Baltimore City.

How does Baltimore City calculate water bill? ›

Your water bill is calculated in CCF units which represents 100 cubic feet of water. 1 CCF is approximately 748 gallons. The average amount of water used by an individual is approximately 2 CCF per month (Baltimore City monthly billing) or 6 CCF per quarter (Baltimore County quarterly billing).

Who regulates WSSC? ›

WSSC Water is governed by six commissioners, three from Montgomery County and three from Prince George's County, who serve four-year terms. Working with the commissioners is the Corporate Secretary, who keeps WSSC Water's official files and records.

Is Wssc a federal agency? ›

WSSC Water is a state-created bi-county agency uniquely governed by Prince George's County and Montgomery County.

How do you read a water meter? ›

How to Read Your Water Meter - YouTube

How long can utility bills be backdated? ›

If you haven't received an accurate gas or electricity bill for over a year, you might not have to pay for all the energy you've used. Under 'back billing' rules, your supplier cannot send you a bill for energy you used more than 12 months ago.

How far back can a company bill you? ›

The only regulations placing a time limit on collecting a genuine debt is the Limitation Act 1980. Although you have the right to invoice, where the invoice is over 6 months old we would recommend to include a covering letter apologising for the delay or simply calling your customer beforehand to discuss the matter.

Can water bills be statute barred? ›

Gas, electricity and water bills become statute barred 6 years after the date on the bill. There are also rules regulating when a supplier can “back bill” – send a new bill for charges more than 12 months old. If you think you have a problem with back billing, go to your local Citizens Advice and ask for their help.

Can bailiffs force entry for water debt? ›

Water companies can employ registered bailiffs to come to your address and enforce the debt after a CCJ has been issued. The bailiffs will give you further opportunities to pay – possibly using a repayment plan secured against your assets – or they may take control of your goods and sell them to pay back the supplier.

What is the back billing rule? ›

What are the back-billing rules? You can't be charged for gas or electricity used more than 12 months ago if you have not been correctly billed for it, or informed about it via a statement of account, before. This includes situations where a supplier increases your Direct Debit because it was set too low.

What happens if you give false meter readings? ›

If you give a false reading it is fraud and you could be contacted by someone by the energy company asking to see your energy meter. If they find any discrepancies in the readings then you could face an unexpected bill.

How long can a utility company chase you for debt? ›

Debt is written off after 6 years where you do not make any payment to your energy supplier during that time, or acknowledge the debt in writing. Under these circumstances, the debt then becomes what is known as 'statute barred'. This means that your energy company cannot legally pursue the debt through the courts.

Can I refuse to pay an old invoice? ›

Can you refuse to pay old invoices? No. You can't refuse to pay an invoice, whether late or old. As we know, invoices are legally binding contracts, especially for companies that pay VAT.

What is a catch bill? ›

Back bills or. catch-up bills. A back bill, or catch-up bill, is for energy you have used but was not included on past bills.

What is a catch-up bill? ›

If you haven't been billed for all of the electricity or gas you used, your retailer can send a backbill, also known as a catch-up bill. A backbill includes charges for consumption not included on past bills or not previously billed.

How long before a debt becomes uncollectible? ›

In California, the statute of limitations for consumer debt is four years. This means a creditor can't prevail in court after four years have passed, making the debt essentially uncollectable.

Is a debt wiped after 6 years? ›

For most debts, the time limit is 6 years since you last wrote to them or made a payment. The time limit is longer for mortgage debts. If your home is repossessed and you still owe money on your mortgage, the time limit is 6 years for the interest on the mortgage and 12 years on the main amount.

Can I be chased for a debt after 20 years? ›

Once a debt is statute-barred, the creditor will no longer be to get a CCJ or money judgment, and they won't be able to make you bankrupt. However, as the debt still legally exists the creditor could contact you to ask for payment, if the creditor is not regulated by the FCA.

What happens if you don't answer the door to bailiffs? ›

They'll normally leave if you refuse to let them in - but they'll be back if you don't arrange to pay your debt. It's important to do this as quickly as you can, otherwise the bailiffs can add fees to your debt. You can complain if the bailiff won't leave and you think they're harassing you.

Do I have to let a High Court enforcement officer in? ›

If you run your own business, the HCEO can, if they've secured a warrant, use force to break into the business premises if you don't let them in. Read more guides to court action by creditors.

What happens if I ignore bailiffs? ›

If you do let a bailiff in but do not pay them they may take some of your belongings. They could sell the items to pay debts and cover their fees. You may be able to get extra time to make a payment or get debt advice if you're a vulnerable person (for example, you have mental health problems or are seriously ill).


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