All properties within New York City that receive water and sewer service from us are billed for those services in the form of water and sewer bills. Most properties are billed based upon consumption at the premises, which is measured by a water meter at the head of the water service pipe where it enters the building. Each property connected to the “system” should have at least one account.
Where does my water come from?
Visit Drinking Water to learn more.
How is DEP involved with water and sewer services?
DEP is charged with providing clean drinking water and the safe management and disposal of wastewater for the city of New York. Additionally, DEP protects and maintains the water supply system, the water delivery system, the sewer system, the wastewater treatment plants and disposing of the product of those plants.
DEP is also responsible for reading water meters, charging and collecting fees related to water and sewer usage from property owners in New York City and surrounding communities, monitoring and controlling who connect to the water and sewer systems, and ensuring the safety of the water supply system.
Aren’t water and sewer bills taken care of by my mortgage company?
For small properties (under 5-family buildings), most mortgage companies will no longer take care of these charges. This is primarily due to the fact that all small properties are billed on metered consumption, not an annual flat-rate bill. To understand the difference between these two types of billing, please see “When Do I Get a Bill?”.
What types of water and sewer bills are issued?
Most small properties in NYC are now billed on metered usage as measured by the water meter in their property. Water meters are read once every four hours by an automated meter reading device and bills are generated once every three months for most customers. Larger residential properties may be enrolled in the Multi-family Conservation Program (MCP). The MCP is based on a flat, per unit, annual charge, and is designed to encourage conservation while still allowing participants to remain on a flat rate.
What information is on my water and sewer bill?
Your water and sewer bill contains several important pieces of information (see an example water and sewer bill).
At the top of the bill are boxes that contain the following:
Which part of the water and sewer bill is important?
The middle portion of the water and sewer bill shows detailed information about your charges (see an example water and sewer bill).
If the water and sewer bill is not dated July 1, it is most likely a bill based on your actual consumption. This type of bill will first list the meter number, then it will list the date of the last reading, then the date of the most recent reading. It will show you the number of days in that period. It will show the “type” of meter reading the bill is based upon (see Estimated Bills). It will show the readings, the one the calculation is starting with and the “end” reading. At the right it will show the consumption in “cubic feet” for the time period. Further to the right it will show the consumption rounded up to units of “100 cubic feet”, which is how the bill is calculated.
On the right edge of the bill, approximately in the middle of the page, near the billing and meter information, will appear the dollar charge for water and immediately under it will be the sewer charge. The total amount will be displayed below with the words “Pay this Amount.” This amount should match the amount shown in the box at the top of the bill page.
Other important information:
The top of the bill has the return address. This is the address to where you should send payments:
NYC Water Board
P.O. Box 11863
Newark, NJ 07101-8163
On the right side of the bill, under the amount due, is the address to where you should send written inquiries if you have questions about your water and sewer bill.
How can I pay my water and sewer bill?
For ways to pay your water and sewer bill, please go to How to Pay.
Why am I required to have a water meter?
In 1985, Local Law 53 was passed requiring all new construction and all substantially renovated properties to install water meters as part of a major conservation effort. In 1987, the New York City Council approved a plan called “Universal Metering” required DEP to install water meters in every property within the City over a 10-year period.
The installation of water meters is an important reason why New York City has more than enough water to meet its needs.
Who is responsible for the water meter?
For most small properties in New York City, DEP is responsible for the initial installation, replacement and repair of the meter. There are some occasions where the property owner may be responsible and all newly constructed or renovated properties must install water meters at their own expense.
Property owners are responsible for protecting their water meters and ensuring that they are not damaged by freezing weather or negligence. Property owners may also be responsible for replacement of the meter if it is illegally removed.
Where is my water meter?
Water meters are required to be installed on a property’s water supply line very close to where it enters the building. Some water lines come into a property underground, which requires the water meter be installed in a pit, which may be indoors, in a basement, under a sub-floor, in a garage or outdoors in a yard. Where an outdoor pit is required, it must be insulated to protect the meter in winter.
How can I check my water meter?
Water meters are mechanical devices and most work in a similar manner. They have a measurement device in an inner chamber that is calibrated to record the amount of water that goes through the meter. Most meters in one, two and three family homes record water in tenths of cubic feet. A tenth of a cubic foot of water is approximately equivalent to 3/4 of a gallon of water.
If you feel that your meter is recording incorrectly, you may request to have a “meter accuracy test” be performed on your meter. This test is not free and a service fee of $180.00 must be paid before a meter test appointment can be arranged. Please call Customer Service at 718-595-7000 during for more information about this service.
How can I get a water meter installed in my property?
Property owners should contact DEP at 718 595-7000 to schedule the installation of an automated meter reading device.
What is Automated Meter Reading?
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices consist of small, low-power radio transmitters connected to individual water meters that send water meter readings to a network of rooftop receivers throughout the city. These receivers will provide DEP with all relevant billing information and eliminate the need for meter readers to visit your property. To learn more, visit AMR FAQs.
How do I read my water meter?
All water meters approved for use by DEP read much like a car odometer. To learn how to read your meter properly, download How to Read a Water Meter.
Who can I speak to about water and sewer bills?
If you have questions about your water and sewer bill, please Contact Customer Service.
How are water rates determined?
Like water utilities around the country, DEP’s budget is funded by revenue it collects through water and sewer rates. The New York City Water Board is responsible for setting these rates, and must ensure that they are able to fund the entirety of DEP’s operating and capital needs. This includes salaries and benefits for DEP’s more than 6,000 employees, as well as major capital initiatives to protect our critical infrastructure and ensure that New Yorkers continue to receive a reliable source of drinking water for decades to come.
Though water rates must satisfy the capital and operating needs of New York City’s water and sewer system, the Water Board also strives to set rates that are equitable and fair, that encourage conservation, and that are understandable to the City’s water and sewer customers. Before any rate increase is adopted, the Water Board solicits public comment through hearings held in each borough.
How do I get a water and sewer bill?
If you are not receiving a water and sewer bill every quarter and you know you have a water meter, Contact Customer Service. An inspection by our field staff may be necessary. If you wish, you may also download our Customer Registration Form. After you print sign the form, you can mail it to us at:
DEP, Bureau of Customer Services
Attention: Mail Services, 7th floor
59-17 Junction Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11373
You may also write to DEP at this address with questions regarding your water and sewer bill. Please provide daytime contact phone numbers in all forms or correspondence.
When do I get a bill?
Most small properties in NYC are now billed on metered usage as measured by the water meter in their property. Water meters are read once every four hours by an automated meter reading device and bills are generated once every three months for most customers.
Larger residential properties may be enrolled in the Multi-family Conservation Program (MCP). The MCP is based on a flat, per unit, annual charge, and is designed to encourage conservation while still allowing participants to remain on a flat rate.
Why did I get an estimated bill?
An estimated bill is issued if DEP was unable to obtain a meter reading for your meter. If this occurs once or even twice, you can easily verify the estimated reading on your bill against the reading on your meter. Download How to Read a Water Meter. Please call us at 718 595-7000 to schedule an appointment to repair or install an automated meter reading device.
My bill says “Estimated,” what do I do next?
The Water Board is authorized to issue estimated bills when reliable reading information is not available. Receiving an estimated bill is not justification for avoiding payment as the Water Board considers estimated charges as valid bills if they are based upon good historical consumption information. Please do not let consecutive estimates continue longer than three sequential bills without contacting DEP.
If your bill says ‘Estimated’ in the field marked ‘Read Type’ (see an example water and sewer bill), look at the date of the estimated read and what numeric figure is listed as the ‘reading index’. Compare that number to what is displayed on the top of the register head of the meter. Remember that the bill will not show ‘zero’s or blank spaces’ on the left of the reading index but the meter may have them.
If the index number (meter reading) on the bill is very similar to the number on the meter (the index number on the meter will most likely be a higher number by the time you receive the bill), then the bill is considered valid and should be paid as you would a normal meter bill with an actual meter reading.
Do you offer customer assistance programs?
The Water Board has a self-imposed limitation on its ability to upwardly adjust bills that were originally issued at a lower amount. This restricts the Water Board from increasing the size of an existing bill that was issued more than four years in the past. If you have never received a bill for water and sewer services, you are liable for four retroactive years of charges. NOTE: If a “Title Meter Reading” is not requested and completed at least 30 days prior to you taking ownership at the closing, you are not protected from un-issued charges that may date back to consumption of the prior owner, if it is discovered that those earlier charges were too low.
The four year rule is not a limitation on how much you may be responsible for if you have extended unpaid charges. Bills issued by the NYC Water Board, including flat-rate bills and metered bills, using actual reads or estimated reads, late payment charges and other fees and charges, are valid and considered a “lien” against your property until they are paid in full.
Visit Customer Assistance Programs for additional information.
How long will it take for my payment to be posted?
Please allow at least three business days for your payment to process.
Where can I see my payment history?
Your billing and payment history is available online through your My DEP Account.