How Often Do You Pay a Water Bill?

If you’re a homeowner, one of your regular household bills is likely for water and sewer service. But how often does this bill actually come – monthly, quarterly, or some other schedule? Here’s what to expect for the frequency of water billing and payments.

Typical Billing Cycles

For most residential customers, water utilities bill on a bimonthly (every two months) or quarterly (every three months) basis.

It’s less common for single family homes to be billed monthly. Utilities often issue bills less frequently for residential customers because home usage tends to be fairly consistent month-to-month.

On the other hand, commercial properties like office buildings and restaurants that use large volumes of water are usually billed monthly.

Some common billing cycles:

  • Bimonthly: Bill every 2 months
  • Quarterly: Bill every 3 months
  • Monthly: Bill every month
  • Annual: Bill once per year

Check with your local utility to see what schedule they follow. This can vary by city and region.

Knowing the cycle length helps you budget and plan payment. It also prevents missed bills if you know when they are coming.

Estimating Usage

If you are not billed monthly, the utility will estimate usage for any months in between actual meter readings.

For example, with quarterly billing, your usage is metered and billed every 3 months. But billing statements for months 1 and 2 will show estimated usage based on your prior history.

The estimates keep charges relatively smooth from bill to bill when meters are not read every 30 days. Just be aware usage shown during non-metered periods is approximate.

Impact on Due Dates

Less frequent billing also means less frequent due dates. If you receive a bill every 60 days, you aren’t required to pay each month.

But when a bill does come, pay attention to the due date which is typically 3-4 weeks after the statement date. Setup alerts for due dates if you only pay a few times per year.

Late fees, service disruption, and other penalties can result from missing infrequent due dates when you aren’t used to paying monthly.

Benefits of Quarterly or Bimonthly Billing

While monthly billing is probably easiest to budget for, less frequent cycles do offer some advantages:

  • Fewer bills: You only get 4-6 bills per year instead of 12. This reduces mail clutter and paper usage.

  • Less transaction fees: If you pay by credit card, bimonthly or quarterly bills mean less processing fees over the year.

  • Lower cost: Some utilities give a small discount for quarterly vs. monthly billing to reflect lower administrative costs.

  • Consistent charges: Your bill is more likely to stay in a predictable range with longer billing periods. Monthly spikes even out over 60-90 days.

Call to Request Monthly Billing

If you would strongly prefer monthly billing, call your water utility’s customer service number and ask to switch your cycle.

They may approve a monthly schedule in special cases, like:

  • You’re on autopay and can handle monthly payments
  • You have an unusual or fluctuating usage pattern
  • You want bills aligned with other monthly utilities

But note that monthly billing often comes with extra fees. And reverting back to quarterly billing later may not be allowed.

Check Meters on Non-Bill Months

One downside of quarterly billing is going 2-3 months without closely checking your usage. Be proactive during non-billing months:

  • Read your water meter weekly or monthly if accessible. This lets you monitor for abnormal activity between bills.

  • Walk property lines, pool equipment, and outdoor faucets to check for silent leaks. It’s easy to miss high usage from leaks when bills come infrequently.

  • Install a smart meter that monitors daily logs and can send leak alerts. This keeps you informed in between bill cycles.

Set Payment Reminders

With less frequent billing, it’s critical to remember when payments are due. Here are some tips:

  • Mark due dates on your calendar as soon as you receive a new bill. Set advance alerts on your phone too.

  • Sign up for email or text reminders through your utility website. Many let you select a notice 7-10 days before the due date.

  • Enroll in autopay or recurring payments so the amount is always deducted on time, even if you forget.

  • If allowed, align your water bill due date with another regular bill like electricity for easier tracking.

The timing between water bills often comes down to your local utility’s standard policy. But being aware of your billing cycle, planning for due dates, and tracking usage in between are key to responsible payment habits, no matter how frequently your utility provider invoices you.


How much is the average water bill in Los Angeles?


The average person uses 100-120 Gallons of water per day and about 36,000 gallons of water per year. I would estimate about $200-$300 a year per person for water cost. If you have a 2 Bedroom unit, assume 3 occupants 3X$250 = $750 water cost per year. For 1 person in a 1bedroom $250 per year.

How do I pay my water bill in Los Angeles?


Your water bill can be paid online using MyWAM, in person at your local District office, over the phone by calling 1-877-637-3661, or by mail. If you wish to pay after regular business hours, drop your payment with the payment stub in the overnight deposit box located at the entrance of the District office.

How much is water in NYC per month?


For the Fiscal Year that began on July 1, 2022, the metered rate for water is $4.30 per 100 cubic feet, and the combined water and sewer charge is $11.13 per 100 cubic feet. If you need additional information, please visit Customer Service.

How late can you be on your electric bill before they shut it off in California?


How late can you be on your electric bill before shutting it off? Shut-off notices issued by energy companies can occur when an electric bill becomes past due. An electric account typically becomes past due 30-days after it is issued.

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