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Water rates and charges

Rates
The Water Bureau delivers water service to Portland residents and businesses.
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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.

How to read your bill for single-family residential accounts

Water volume charges

The average single-family residential monthly bill for water service increased 6.5% on July 1, 2020. The monthly charges for the water portion of the combined utility bill for the typical single-family residential customer using 5 ccf a month is $44.89. The city adjusts water rates annually on July 1. With the volume rate of $5.593 per ccf, 1.3 gallons cost a penny.

Fiscal year 2020–2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021): All water volume usage will be at the single rate of $5.593 per "unit" or ccf (100 cubic feet of water).

Fiscal year 2019–2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020): All water volume usage will be at the single rate of $5.252 per "unit" or ccf (100 cubic feet of water).

Note: one ccf = 748 gallons

Base charges

The base charge covers the cost of reading and inspecting meters, servicing customer accounts, and billing.

FY 2020–21 base charge: Base charges are set yearly. See below for per day rates.

The base charge for a quarterly (90 day) billed account is $50.75 prorated for the actual number of days billed at $0.5639 per day.

The base charge for a bi-monthly (60 day) billed account is $50.75 prorated for the actual number of days billed at $0.8458 per day.

The base charge for a monthly (30 day) billed account is $50.75 prorated for the actual number of days billed at $1.6917 per day.

Residential customers have meters that are read every quarter. For customers using monthly statements, the base charge is divided into each monthly bill by one-third. Even if no water is used at a property, the Water Bureau still maintains the water service and will continue billing the base charge.

Meter size daily charges (fire protection services)

Fire protection services, combination domestic and fire protection services, and services equipped with backflow or check metering devices located in City-owned vaults are billed a daily charge based on meter size.

Meter sizes and the corresponding daily charges are listed below.

Meter sizeDaily charge for fiscal year 2020–2021
(7/1/2020 through 6/30/2021)
5/8" and 3/4"$1.9038/day
1"$2.0863/day
1 1/4" and 1 1/2"$2.5431/day
2"$3.5422/day
3" and greater$4.8221/day

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 $4,593.00.

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 current 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 service. Fees are charged to an account based on the following billing cycle.

Day 0: Bill dateCustomers unable to pay the balance in full may contact Customer Serviceto inquire about payment options.
Day 21: Due date1% of past due amount
Day 35: Reminder. Late fee notice issued$5.00
Day 42: Pre shutoff/urgent notice. Late fee notices issued$15.00
Day 49: Last chance notice. Late fee authorized$30.00 when delivered
Day 56: Shutoff authorization. Late fee$105.00
After next read: Illegal usage & lock meter (in addition to the commodity rate charged for usage).$120.00
Approximately 14 days later: Plocking and locking of meter.$210.00
Minimum charge for crimping/freezing of water supply line if tampering with water service occurs after meter removal.$1000.00
Returned payment charge$35.00

After business hours fees for restoration of service

City of Portland Utilities Customer Service may restore water service to properties where service has been shut off or locked for nonpayment when the customer has agreed to specified payment arrangements. If the customer does not honor the payment arrangements, collection actions will resume. When the customer requests restoration of water service after normal business hours, the following fees will apply based on the time the customer's call is received.

Time of request for restoration of serviceFeeInformation
Monday–Friday, 8 am to 5 pmNo fee during normal business hoursService will be turned on that day
Monday–Friday, 5 pm to 9 pm$200.00Turn-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 charge.

Friday after 9 pm and on weekends and national holidays$250.00Turn-on will be dispatched the same day.

Obstruction of meter

City Codeauthorizes a special charge when it takes meter readers more time than usual to read a meter. This may include situations where customers park vehicles or deposit debris over the meter or allow landscaping to cover or obstruct the meter box.

Meter obstructions are identified many times a month. After a blocked meter is discovered, Portland Water & Sewer Utilities Customer Services informs the customer that access to the meter box must be restored immediately.

If the customer does not accomplish the task within 24 hours, Customer Services will send a bill that is estimated based upon prior usage and advise that a city crew will remove the obstruction from the property if the meter is still blocked during the next billing cycle. The City charges $105.00 for the service based on cost of service. 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.

Sewer and stormwater rates

Water Rate Ordinance Fiscal Year 2020–2021

Estimated bills

Portland City Code authorizes the Water Bureau to issue an estimated bill when a meter fails to register water usage accurately.

Estimated bills may also be issued 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 historic usage of water at the premises.