Water rates are based on the cost of providing service to residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and wholesale customers. Water bills pay for the following.
- Operating and maintaining the water system
- Providing customer service
- Constructing and replacing water facilities
- Complying with regulatory standards
- Paying debt service on bonds
Resources for reading your bill
The below resources are for single-family residential accounts.
Water volume charges
The average single-family residential monthly bill for water service increased 7.8% on July 1, 2021. The City adjusts water rates annually on July 1. Water use is measured in ccf, or centum (100) cubic feet. One ccf is 748 gallons. The typical single-family residential customer uses 5 ccf per month.
The monthly charges for the water portion of the combined utility bill is $48.39. With the volume rate of $6.029 per ccf, 1.2 gallons cost a penny.
Fiscal year 2021–2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022): All water volume usage is billed at the rate of $6.029 per "unit" or ccf (100 cubic feet of water).
Fiscal year 2020–2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021): All water volume usage was billed at the rate of $5.593 per "unit" or ccf (100 cubic feet of water).
Note: one ccf = 748 gallons
Every bill includes a base charge, prorated for the actual number of days billed. For FY 2021–22, the base charge for each bill is about $54.71, depending on how long the billing period is. The base charge covers the cost of reading and inspecting meters, servicing customer accounts, and billing. The bureau sets base charges yearly, in the annual rates ordinance. See below for per-day rates.
- The base charge for quarterly billed accounts (accounts billed every 90 days on average) is prorated at $0.6079 per day.
- The base charge for bimonthly billed accounts (accounts billed every 60 days on average) is prorated at $0.9118 per day.
- The base charge for monthly billed accounts (accounts billed every 30 days on average) is prorated at $1.8237 per day.
For example, say you're billed every quarter (every three months). Sometimes, that means you receive a bill for a 91-day period. Your base charge would be $55.32 instead of $54.71.
Single-family residential customers have meters that are read every three months. If you’re one of these customers, and have chosen to receive monthly statements, your base charge is divided into each monthly statement.
Even if no water is used at a property, the Water Bureau still maintains the water service and will continue billing the base charge.
Daily charges for protection services
Some buildings have a separate water service for fire protection. These fire protection services are billed a daily charge based on meter size. Meter sizes and the corresponding daily charges for fire protection are listed below.
|Meter size||Daily charge for fiscal year 2020–2021|
(7/1/2020 through 6/30/2021)
|5/8" and 3/4"||$2.0523|
|1 1/4" and 1 1/2"||$2.7415|
|3" and greater||$5.1983|
How to stop all water charges
To stop all water charges, the water service (the water meter and service line to the water main in the street) must be permanently removed and disconnected from the main.
The base charge to remove a 2" or smaller water service starts at $5,548.00.
Contact Water Development Services at 503-823-7368 to determine the cost of removal for a specific location.
Please note that permanent removal of a water service may decrease the value of your property, as it would be necessary to pay installation fees and potentially additional system development charges to add a new service in the future.
Billing cycle and late payment fees
Late payment fees reflect the actual cost of the collection effort. Fees are charged to an account based on the following billing cycle.
|Days since customer was billed||Action||Fee amount (if any)|
|21 days||Payment is due||No fee|
|28 days||Carrying charge added||1% of the most recent overdue bill|
|35 days||Reminder sent to customer and late fee notice issued||$5.00|
|42 Days||Pre-shutoff/urgent notice and follow-up late fee notice issued||$10.00|
|49 days||Last-chance notice issued. Late fee authorized. Only applies to certain accounts||$30.00 when delivered|
|56 days||Shutoff authorized. Late fee applied to account||$110.00|
|After shutoff illegal water use found at meter (about 10 weeks after bill was originally sent)||Shutoff. Meter is locked. Usage is illegal and will incur additional fees.||$130.00|
|About two weeks after meter read found illegal use||Meter will be plocked (modified) to prevent further illegal use or removed.||$210.00|
Fees add up over time. Each week you wait to pay on an overdue bill could result in more late fees applied to your account. Fees depend on your account type and how much you owe. If you have trouble paying your bill, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with Customer Service as soon as possible.
Email PWBCustomerService@portlandoregon.gov or call 503-823-7770. You can learn more about our financial assistance options and payment arrangements.
If we find evidence that your water service has been tampered with: If the water service is tampered with after the meter has been removed, you will incur a minimum charge of $795.00 and we will crimp or freeze the water supply line.
If your payment doesn’t go through: You will be charged $35.00 if your payment is returned.
If your water has been shut off or locked for nonpayment, you can contact Water Bureau Customer Service to restore service. You must make a payment arrangement for your water to be turned back on. If you have been shut off multiple times in the last 12 months or used water illegally after your service was disconnected, you will need to make a payment right away. If you don't honor the payment arrangement, collection actions will resume on your account.
Fees for restoring service
There is no fee for restoring service during business hours. However, you will incur fees if you request restoration outside of normal business hours. You'll need to pay or set payment arrangements on the remaining balance, including any restoration fees, within a week of requesting restoration of service outside of normal business hours to avoid another shutoff.
|Time of request for restored service||Fee||What the Water Bureau will do|
|Monday–Friday, 8 am to 5 pm||No fee during normal business hours||Service will be turned on that day|
|Monday–Friday, 5 pm to 9 pm||$200.00||Turn-on will be dispatched the same day|
|Monday–Thursday, 9 pm to 8 am||$250.00|
Turn-on will be dispatched the same day. If you request service between 5 am and 8 am, we will respond after 8 am, within that same day, to avoid charging you.
|Friday after 9 pm and on weekends and national holidays||$250.00||Turn-on will be dispatched the same day.|
Obstruction of meter
You might be charged under guidelines set by City Code if meter readers have trouble reading your meter. This can include situations where a customer parks a vehicle over the meter or allows landscaping to cover or obstruct the meter box, as well as other situations.
If your meter is blocked, Customer Service will inform you. You must restore access to the meter box immediately.
If you don't restore access within 24 hours, Customer Service will send a bill that is estimated based on prior usage, plus a $70.00 fee. A City crew will remove the obstruction from the property if the meter is still blocked during the next billing cycle. A vehicle blocking a meter is subject to tow at the owner's expense.
Bureau of Environmental Services sewer and stormwater
Learn about the sewer and stormwater portion of your bill.
Water Rate Ordinance Fiscal Year 2021–2022
Portland City Code authorizes the Water Bureau to issue an estimated bill when a meter fails to register water usage accurately.
The bureau might issue an estimated bill if a meter reading cannot be recorded because the meter is inaccessible due to such things as inclement weather, overgrowth or other obstruction, failure to locate a meter, or illegal usage bypassing the meter. Estimated bills are based on the property's past water usage.