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Billing

Estimating Utility Consumption

We work hard to obtain an accurate reading from your water meter each and every billing period. However, on occasion, we may not be able to obtain a reliable reading. This may occur when the meter is inaccessible, the meter is not working, or the accuracy of the meter read obtained is in doubt based on the customer's prior pattern of consumption.

In such case, the customer's consumption for the billing period is estimated using a standardized method. The estimate is derived using a number of customer consumption factors to make the estimate as fair and accurate as possible. Although no estimate will be 100 percent correct, the Public Utilities Department uses the best information available to ensure the estimate is as close as possible to the customer's actual consumption for that period.

The most common estimation method uses the customer's past pattern of consumption at the service location (when available). The following factors are included in the estimation calculation:

  • The amount of water used during the preceding billing period
  • The amount of water used the previous year during the same billing period
  • The amount of water used the previous year during the preceding billing period
  • A factor that adjusts the estimate based on the average city-wide water usage daily trend

If a customer's water consumption is estimated, an "E" will appear on the right-hand side of the bill under the CODE column.

For more information about estimated bills please contact a Public Utilities Department Customer Service Representative at (619) 515-3500.