Billing and Shutoff Process
- Water and Sewer usage is billed once per month. Meters are manually read within the first 10 days of the month to determine water used for the previous 30 days. Bills are mailed on or around the 15th of each month. Therefore a bill produced May 15 will cover the service period for the majority of April and a few days of May.
- Bills are due upon presentation (City Municipal Code §13.04.080 B) as they invoice for water already consumed. The City’s water and sewer invoices are always due on the 15th of the month and must be paid by the due date on the bill to avoid a penalty.
- In the event a utility bill becomes delinquent, a late notice of delinquency will be mailed to the customer. This notice will be mailed to the same address as the original bill, one business day after the due date. In addition, a late fee will be assessed to the account at the same time. This fee amounts to $15 or 1.5% of the total past due balance, whichever is greater. This fee will be charged every 30 days as long as there is a past due balance. A late fee will be waived once in a 12-month period at the customer's request.
- In the event that a utility bill has a past due balance of 60 days or more, a notification of shutoff pending will be mailed to the customer. If a customer fails to pay their bill by 4:00 p.m. on the the due date printed on their shutoff pending notice and has not made any other arrangements with the City for payment, the water/sewer service to the address in question will be terminated on the following business day. This termination includes a lock on the meter preventing the customer from restoring service. A $117 service termination and restoration penalty will be assessed to the account, which will be due along with the entire past due balance before service will be restored. The past due balance will include both the 30 day and 60 day past due bills. This means if your total past due balance was $100, you will be required to pay $217 to have service restored.
This fee is a cost recovery for the City employees who process the shutoff and restore; it is not a deposit. As the fee was established by Council mandate, Utility Billing staff does not have the authority to waive this fee. If you believe this fee was applied to your account in error, please contact Utility Billing staff at (805) 781-7133 and we will review your account.
View our "Discontinuation of Water Service for Non-Payment Policy in the following languages: English Spanish Chinese Tagalog Vietnamese Korean
Reduced Discontinuation of Service Fee
Customers who demonstrate their household is below 200 percent of the federal poverty line may be eligible to pay only a $50 re-connection fee. A customer shall be deemed to have household income below 200 percent of federal poverty line if any member of household is recipient of
- Cal Works
- Cal Fresh
- General Assistance
- Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment Program
- California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- or customer declares that households annual income is 200 percent below the federal poverty line.
Once sufficient payment has been received, a work order will be placed to our water distribution crew to restore service to the address. As we are not digitally connected to water meters in the City, restoration requires a crew member to travel to the location and manually restore the service. Given that these workers already have a full day of work scheduled for them, this restoration is not likely to take place quickly and will usually occur in the afternoon.
Please note: If you make a payment to restore service via our website, you must contact us to let us know that the payment has been made. The online payment system does not notify Utility Billing staff that a payment has been made.
The City recognizes that there are circumstances which may prevent our customers from making their utility bill payment before the due date on their shutoff pending notice. If you need an extension to pay your past due balance, the City may provide an extension of up to two weeks from the shutoff due date, once per 12-month period. The City may alternatively offer amortization of the unpaid balance or an alternative payment schedule. Please contact a Utility Billing Assistant at (805) 781-7133 or by e-mail at email@example.com to inquire about setting up an extension.
It is important to understand that such an extension does not move any other due dates, and therefore you are likely to have another past due bill by the time the extended bill is paid, so please consider this before making an extension. Setting up a payment extension does not prevent or cause to be waived any late fees on the account.
If you have questions about your past due balance or if you would like to contest or appeal your bill, please contact a Utility Billing Assistant at (805) 781-7133 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.