- Why is my bill so high?
- Why is my sewer charge so much higher than water?
- Where can I pay my bill?
- Do you accept credit card payments?
- Does Pinellas County Utilities Offer Automatic Bank Payments (EFT)?
- Did you receive my payment?
- Can I have extra time to pay my bill?
- When will my water be turned on?
- What is the billing charge for?
- How often am I billed?
- Where is my water meter?
- Why do I have low water pressure?
- Who picks up my garbage? What days?
- Who picks up my recycling?
- Are you sure my meter was read?
- When will my meter be read?
- Where is the shut off valve?
- Why does my water smell?
- What is the pH, hardness and iron content of my water?
- Why do I get billed a conservation fee when I try to conserve water?
- Can I get reclaimed water? If not, why?
- How often is the water tested?
- Where can I get Florida Friendly landscaping information?
- Why is someone painting colored lines on the sidewalk in front of my house?
- Where can I get information on hurricane disaster?
- What adjustments are available for me when filling my pool or irrigating my new sod?
1. Why is my bill so high?
There are many reasons why some water bills are high. Some bills may be high in the dry season due to more water usage for irrigation. Other bills may be high due to leaks. There is no defined standard for water usage in homes because each residence has occupants with their own water use habits. To find out more information, or to talk about your bill specifically, call Customer Service at (727) 464-4000.
2. Why is my sewer charge so much higher than water?
It is a more expensive process to treat sewage waste than drinking water. Pinellas County Utilities is under legal mandate to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain its sanitary sewer facilities to comply with State and Federal regulations. The operating cost of the Sewer System is approximately $30 million annually. The sewer treatment process has mostly fixed costs that continue even though a customer may not utilize their portion of the service. Many of the pumping stations (approximately 300) have either been replaced or have had major rehabilitation. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 feet of gravity sewers will require rehabilitation annually. The system's renewal, replacement, and rehabilitation program is a necessity in order to maintain a good operating system, continue to deliver reliable service, and to comply with regulatory requirements. Pinellas County Utilities receives no revenue from ad valorem taxes, gasoline taxes, franchise fees, or any support from the County's general fund, deriving its revenue solely from the services provided in the community.
3. Where can I pay my bill?
Bill payments may be made at the Pinellas County Utilities office in Clearwater, payment drop boxes or Amscot stores. See bill payment options for more information.
4. Do you accept credit card payments?
Yes. Pinellas County Utilities accepts all major credit cards over the telephone at (727) 464-4000, via self-service or a phone representative. We also accept major credit cards at our Pinellas County Utilities office located at 14 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater (open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.).
To make a payment via our website:
5. Does Pinellas County Utilities offer Automatic Bank Payments?
Yes. Pinellas County Utilities provides Automatic Bank Payment services, which allows you to have your utility charges automatically deducted from your bank account on the due date of each billing. Application forms are available at our Clearwater office, online by printing the ABP form or by registering electronically through Utilities My eAccount. You may also request a form by telephone at (727) 464-4000. There is no fee for Automatic Bank Payments.
6. Did you receive my payment?
Pinellas County Utilities offers computerized billing and payment information via the telephone. Dial our main number (727) 464-4000, option "4" to access this information. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) unit will prompt you to enter your account number found on your billing statement. The computerized voice will give such information as account balance, due date, billing date, and date last payment was received.
7. Can I have extra time to pay my bill?
Pinellas County Utilities sends bills approximately every 61 days for services already rendered. Bills are due 28 days from the billing date. When financial hardships occur for our customers, we can offer the following:
- Option to select a billing due date which is different than the date assigned by Pinellas County Utilities (more info).
- One-time extended due date in a twelve month period. The extended due date will not extend into the next billing.
- Contact information for financial assistance agencies that may be able to help customers in need.
Visit our website for financial assistance agencies that may be able to help customers in need at Financial Assistance Agencies
For more information or request an extension call 727 464-4000.
8. When will my water be turned on?
Pinellas County Utilities requires at least 24 hours notice (excluding weekends and holidays) in order to establish service and have water turned on. You may place your order by telephone, mail, or in person at our office during normal business hours.
9. What is the billing charge for?
Pinellas County Utilities bills all reclaim only accounts a $4.50 billing charge to all metered and $3.75 to all non-metered accounts on regular bi-monthly bills. Pinellas County Utilities receives no revenue from ad valorem taxes, gasoline taxes, franchise fees, or any support from the County general fund, deriving its revenue solely from the services provided in the community. Every major utility charges these fees to their customers, but in a different format. Pinellas County Utilities generates no profit from these billings. The intent is merely to cover the cost of providing customer service.
10. How often am I billed?
Bi-monthly (approximately every 61 days).
11. Where is my water meter?
Generally, for residential properties, the water meter is located at the front of a property, in the ground, near the curb. It is covered with a metal or cement lid about 1ft. X 2 ft. in size. If the property is on a corner, the meter could be located near the curb on the side street. For some residential and commercial properties, the meter may be located at the rear of the property. Because the water system was developed in 1935, the location of the meter may be different in older areas.
12. Why do I have low water pressure?
Many factors, such as line maintenance or the flushing of hydrants and water lines, could cause low water pressure. A plumbing leak on the property, a water softener with blocked lines, a leaky sprinkler system, or even a house valve that has been turned off accidentally, can also contribute to low water pressure in a home. To find out more information, or to talk about your property specifically, call (727) 464-4000.
13. Who picks up my garbage? What days?
Pinellas County Utilities does not provide garbage pick-up service countywide. If a refuse charge appears on your Pinellas County Utilities bill, it is because we are the billing agent for that municipality. If no refuse charge on the bill, a private collector provides your service.
14. Who picks up my recycling? What days?
Pinellas County Utilities does not provide recycling pick-up service. The cities provide either curbside or drop-off recycling programs. The county provides 13 drop-off centers for residents living in unincorporated areas.
15. Are you sure my meter was read?
Pinellas County Utilities employs approximately 11 full-time Meter Readers. We attempt to read each and every meter approximately every 61 days (depending on weather conditions). If you believe your meter had not been read or was read incorrectly, you may go out to your meter and verify the meter reading in comparison to your bill. When reading your meter, you will want to read the first four digits on the meter from left to right (reads like a car odometer).
16. When will my meter be read?
Meters are read approximately every 61 days. Each bill generated indicates the approximate date of the next scheduled reading. This information is located in the left margin of the utility bill.
17. Where is the shut off valve?
There is a shut off valve on the meter unit, which will turn off all water, preventing it from passing through the meter. However, Pinellas County Utilities prohibits the opening and closing of valves, removing or tampering of the meter unit. Most residential properties have a main valve (house valve) on the outside of the house (some are located in the garage). This valve will prevent water from entering the house.
18. Why are meter readers opening my spigot and running water?
You may see our meter readers doing something extra while reading your meter. If we detect there is little to no consumption used in comparison to your usage history, the meter reader will test the meter to ensure it is not stuck (no longer registering consumption). To do this, they may need access to your house valve. They will run a very small amount of water (10 gallons) at your house valve to help make this determination. This valuable service is for your benefit and is at no extra cost to you. This will help ensure that you are not back billed for money owed during the billing period in which the meter was not registering properly. If the meter is determined to be stuck, our meter reader will contact the Maintenance Department and get you a replacement right away. You may refer to your invoice for your next meter reading date.
19. Why does my water smell?
Sulfides occur naturally in Florida groundwater. Hydrogen sulfide can be produced from the association of sulfide with hydrogen ions, which are always present in water. Hydrogen sulfide has an objectionable odor and taste in drinking water, sometimes referred to as rotten egg smell. The objectionable taste and odor resulting from sulfides in the water can be eliminated by disinfection. Sulfides can be removed by an activated carbon filter, which can be installed in the home by a private company. However, sulfides are not a health hazard. If a bad odor or taste is coming from the hot water tap only, then the problem could be the water heater. When there is low usage of hot water, the disinfectant present in the water dissipates. To avoid this, it is recommended to flush out the water heater periodically as per the manufacturer recommendations and instructions. For more information, contact Customer Service at 464-4000.
20. What is the pH, hardness and iron content of
The average pH in Pinellas County is 7.8; hardness is 10 - 15 grains per gallon; and typical iron content in water in the distribution system is less than 0.1 milligrams per liter. For more information on water quality, view the current Consumer Confidence Report.
21. Why do I get billed a conservation fee when
most of the time, I try to conserve water?
Pinellas County Utilities monitors each customer's average water consumption. All customers establish a base allowance, which is average consumption plus 20%. Consumption in excess of the base allowance is billed an additional $1.00 per thousand gallons. The Conservation Rate will not be applied to any consumption less than 15,000 gallons. View water restrictions.
22. Can I get reclaimed water? If not, why?
Statistically, it takes about four households of sewer waste to make enough reclaimed water for one household. As a result, approximately one fourth of the County will receive reclaimed water. The areas originally targeted for the reclaimed water expansion were areas of the County with high water consumption and areas that could not get alternate water sources, such as wells. For more information on the availability of reclaimed water in your area, call (727) 464-4000 or visit our reclaimed service area map.
23. How often is the water tested?
Pinellas County Utilities tests its water on a daily basis. Random samples are taken throughout the county and brought to our state certified laboratory facility. Pinellas County Utilities' water meets or exceeds all Federal and State standards for safe drinking water. The taste of water may vary regionally, but your drinking water is safe and pure. Each year Pinellas County provides a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) to inform our customers about the quality of the water. To request a copy of the CCR, call (727) 464-4000 or view it online.
24. Where can I get Florida-friendly landscaping
Some informational brochures are available at our office, or you may request information by telephone (727) 464-4000. Another source of helpful information is the Pinellas County Extension Department at (727) 582-2100.
25. Why is someone painting colored lines on the
sidewalk in front of my house?
Before digging or construction, it is necessary to mark underground utility lines using color codes. Pinellas County Utilities marks water service lines and mains for other construction companies. This prevents damage to our lines during construction. Other utilities may use a private company to mark their lines. Blue = water, Green = sewer, Lavender = reclaimed water, Red = electric, Yellow = gas/oil, Orange = communication/telephone/cable TV, Pink = temporary survey markings, White = proposed excavation.
To have utility lines marked, contact Sunshine by dialing “811” (or 1-800-852-8057) or visit their website at www.Sunshine811.com
26. Where can I get information on hurricane disaster?
Pinellas County Utilities has information booklets available upon request at our office located at 14 South Fort Harrison in Clearwater. You can also visit our Emergency Management website at www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.
27. What adjustments are available for me when filling
my pool or irrigating my new sod?
All customers will be allowed a one-time exclusion to the Conservation Fee for filling swimming pools, and/or for irrigation needed for major lawn and landscape installation. In order for a customer to receive this adjustment, the customer must furnish a copy of the invoice for materials and a statement that the work was performed, or a copy of the invoice from the company or from the person that performed the work.