Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you're a new utility customer or have been a customer for many years, we would like to provide you with answers to the questions customers most frequently ask about their accounts. You may also want to refer to information available from the Solid Waste, Wastewater and Water departments.
Customer Information System FAQs
- I have auto-pay through my bank set-up. What do I need to do?
- I use my bank’s Bill Pay feature to pay my utility bill. What do I need to do?
- Does the new customer information software affect how payments are processed?
- Is there an option to receive an electronic bill only?
- Is the new customer information software linked online to my existing MyTampaGov account?
City of Tampa Utilities FAQs
- How often will I be billed?
- Where will I find the "due by" date on my utility bill?
- Can the deposit on my utility service account be waived?
- What if I do not receive my bill when expected?
- Why did I receive a final notice in the mail?
- What should I do if I cannot pay my utility bill?
- What can I do if my service is turned off or discontinued for non-payment?
- What is the basis for my water and wastewater (sewer) charges?
- Why are there base charges added to my utility bill for water and wastewater services?
- What is the Tampa Bay Water Pass-Through Charge?
- Why is my bill so high?
- I repaired a water leak that resulted in a high utility bill. Can I get an adjustment on my bill?
- Can I get an allowance on my bill for filling my swimming pool?
- Can I get an adjustment on my bill when I install new sod or landscape material?
- What rules or laws govern the operations of the City's Utilities?
- My water meter box is always full of dirt or debris. Does this mean my meter isn't being read?
- What should I do when I'm ready to move?
I have auto-pay through my bank set-up. What do I need to do?
Nothing. Your payment will continue to be drafted from your bank account.
I use my bank’s Bill Pay feature to pay my utility bill. What do I need to do?
To ensure prompt payment posting and avoid delays that may result in late fees, update your account number on your bank’s website with your new utility account number before your next billing cycle.
Does the new customer information software affect how payments are processed?
Yes. As of March 11, 2019, payments completed after 6 p.m. online, by phone, via auto-pay, via bank bill pay or with Amscot® will not be posted to your account until the following business day.
Is there an option to receive an electronic bill only?
Not at this time; however, this feature is planned to be added in Phase 2 of the software upgrades.
Is the new customer information software linked online to my existing MyTampaGov account?
No. For security, to access the convenient features offered by the new software, City of Tampa utility account holders need to access the new utility customer service portal online to establish a user name and password. To access the portal go to utilities.tampagov.net
How often will I be billed?
Bills are mailed monthly. Electronic bill delivery is not available. Once your account is established you will receive your bill at approximately the same time each month. Please advise the City of Tampa Utilities Call Center, at phone number (813) 274-8811 or via the City's online Customer Service Center, if you fail to receive your bill. You can access your account online at anytime at utilities.tampagov.net to view your current bill and bill history.
Where will I find the "due by" date on my utility bill?
Look for the "Please pay by due date of month/day/year" statement printed below the total amount due.
Can the deposit on my utility service account be waived?
A new customer may be exempt from the requirement of placing a utility deposit if a written statement of "good credit history" from another utility company is provided to the City within 30 days of original request. City of Tampa Code Section 26-27.1 states "Good credit history means that during the preceding twelve (12) consecutive months the customer (1) never had service discontinued for a delinquent bill; (2) never had a check returned for nonpayment and (3) had no more than one instance of a delinquent payment of a bill".
Submit documentation via the City's online Customer Service Center, mail to Utilities Call Center, 3402 W Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL 33607, or fax to (813) 274-8430. Note: The Columbus Drive address is not accessible to the public.
What if I do not receive my bill when expected?
Your City of Tampa utility bill is mailed monthly as long as your account remains in an active status. You also may view and pay your most recent bill online at utilities.tampagov.net or get your account balance by calling the Automated Payment System at (813) 274-8811.
Utility account holders are responsible for payment regardless of whether or not the bill is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not receive a bill around your normal billing date, please call the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 to determine your account status and confirm your mailing address on file.
Why did I receive a final notice in the mail?
City of Tampa Utilities sends notification to our customers who have not paid the balance due on their account by the bill due date as a reminder that payment is due. Pay your bill online or view past and current bills at utilities.tampagov.net.
What should I do if I cannot pay my utility bill?
Your monthly utility bill is due when rendered and delinquent after the due date. If you are going to have trouble making payment, request a payment extension or payment arrangement online at utilities.tampagov.net or contact our Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 to see what arrangements can be made to avoid an interruption of service.
What can I do if my service is discontinued or interrupted for non-payment?
Discontinuation and interruption of water, wastewater and solid waste services for non-payment is initiated through the Credit and Collections Section. To reinstate service, please refer to the tag left at your property or contact the Credit and Collections Section at (813) 274-8811 regarding the payment amount required to restore service. Payments for delinquent and discontinued accounts can be made at utilities.tampagov.net, by phone or at Amscot®.
If you make a payment on a discontinued account online or by phone, please contact us at (813) 274-8811, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to confirm your payment has been received. Provide the Customer Service Representative with the date of payment, the payment confirmation number and the amount paid. Following payment confirmation, service will be restored within 24 hours. Payments made on weekends and holidays can be confirmed on the next business day.
What is the basis for my water and wastewater (sewer) charges?
Water and wastewater (sewer) rates are based on the volume of water registered on your water meter. One unit of usage (100 cubic feet or 1 CCF) is equal to 748 gallons. Our engineers tell us that the average resident of Tampa uses about 3 CCF of water per month. This means that a family of four could expect to use about 12 CCF (or about 9,000 gallons) a month. Tampa has a tiered water rate; so the more water you use the higher the cost per unit.
You can monitor your usage by referring to the meter reading and the number of units of usage shown on your bill. Take your own independent reading of your water meter (disregard the last two fractional digits of the reading), and compare it to the reading on your bill to confirm that it's correct. If your current meter reading is LOWER than your bill, contact the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 to request a re-read of your meter. Video describing Tampa's water meter reading procedures.
Single-family residential customers without an irrigation well, reclaimed water or a lawn meter may be eligible for a lawn credit/sewer max on their account to cap their wastewater charges. Contact the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 for additional information.
Base charges for potable water and wastewater services were implemented on Oct. 1, 2019 to cover fixed operating costs for both utilities. The base charge for each residential portable water meter initiated at $2 and the base charge for corresponding wastewater service also initiated at $2. Residential base charges are scheduled to increase by $1 each annually through October 2033. Base charges for commercial properties are calculated by meter size and also increase annually through October 2033.
What is the Tampa Bay Water Pass-Through Charge?
The Tampa Bay Water Pass-Through Charge is used to recover additional costs incurred when the City of Tampa purchases water from Tampa Bay Water. This surcharge recovers the difference between what we pay Tampa Bay Water and what it costs to produce water at our own facilities. The City of Tampa purchases water from Tampa Bay Water when demand is high and our the Hillsborough River can no longer meet customer demand.
The surcharge is passed on only when the City of Tampa has to buy water from Tampa Bay Water. A per unit cost is calculated from the total cost for all of the purchases from Tampa Bay Water during the previous 3-month period. Using water as efficiently as possible can help keep the need to purchase water and use of the surcharge to a minimum. The amount each customer pays is calculated by multiplying individual usage times the calculated per unit cost. The surcharge appears as a separate line item on the utility bill and, like the tier rates for water, the surcharge line item is subject to tax.
For more information on the surcharge contact a Utilities Call Center Customer Service Representative at (813) 274-8811.
Why is my bill so high?
If your water bill increases dramatically and your household patterns haven't changed, you most likely have a leak. Over the years we have found that leaks are the most frequent cause of a high bill and that leaks most frequently can be traced to toilets and irrigation systems. If you suspect a leak, we suggest that you turn off all faucets and taps and locate your water meter. Your meter has a small red triangle on its face. If that triangle is rotating when no water is intentionally being used at your location, that means that you likely have a plumbing leak. For additional help, review our "Locating Leaks 101" slideshow.
If there are no obvious leaks, review your recent activities. Filling an average swimming pool can take up to 20,000 gallons (26.7 ccf) of water. A hose left running on the lawn can waste hundreds of gallons. A malfunctioning pool fill device or water softener can significantly, and silently, increase your water use. Finding and finding leaks and saving water can help lower your utility bill.
For questions about your bill, please call the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811.
I repaired a water leak that resulted in a high utility bill. Can I get an adjustment on my bill?
Depending on the type of leak, you may be eligible for an adjustment to the tiered-rate water charges and/or wastewater charges on your bill following a water leak repair on your private property. When determining a water charge adjustment, the account average annual water consumption is computed and the water use above the average is recalculated at the lowest tier rate. It may take several months to process an adjustment request. Additionally, if your utility account does not have at least a one year of water consumption history it may not be possible to review your account for an adjustment until a usage history is established.
Contact the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 or download a Water/Wastewater Leak Adjustment Request Form for more information. If you are unable to pay a high bill due to a leak, you should request a payment extension or payment arrangement online at utilities.tampagov.net or contact our Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 to see what arrangements can be made to avoid an interruption of service.
Can I get an allowance on my bill for filling my swimming pool?
Our policy is to charge for the amount of water used regardless of the purpose. Because wastewater charges are calculated based upon your metered water use, you may be eligible for an partial allowance for the wastewater charges associated with a pool filling. Contact the Utilities Call Center at (813) 274-8811 for more information.
When emptying your pool, remember that local ordinances prohibit disposal of any pollutants (including chlorinated pool discharge) to the storm sewer. Contact the Stormwater Division at (813) 274-3101 for proper disposal procedures.
Can I get an adjustment on my bill when I install new sod or landscape material?
We sometimes are asked to give adjustments for people who irrigate to establish new sod or other plant materials, but our policy is to charge for the amount of water used regardless of the purpose.
What rules or laws govern the operations of the City's utilities?
City of Tampa utility departments are governed by City Ordinances, which are passed by City Council and approved by the Mayor of the City of Tampa. These ordinances state specifically the rates to be charged for all utility services. They also set forth the various charges and fees for a variety of services associated with your utility services.
My water meter box is always full of dirt or debris. Does this mean my meter isn't being read?
Dirt over the meter does not mean your meter is not being read. It is very common for meter boxes to fill with dirt, leaves and other yard debris. There are many contributing factors. Meter boxes are generally slightly lower than ground level and also are typically at lower spots in your yard, so all run-off makes it into the meter box. It is our procedure to clean out the meter boxes so that the meter register is free from dirt and debris and easily read. It is common to clean out a meter box one month only to find the meter covered the following month. All it takes is a good rain or watering of the lawn for dirt from run-off to resettle over your meter. Dirt also can cover the meter as a result of insect or rodent activity or from slamming the meter box lid. Usually when we have reports of meter boxes being full of dirt and debris, the debris is easily cleared away and a meter reading can be taken. Video describing Tampa's water meter reading procedures.
To assist the reader, please keep the meter box free of garbage cans, boxes, piles of yard waste, or parked vehicles. It is against Tampa City Code to cause a meter to be inaccessible. Please do not install fences or plant trees or shrubs that restrict access to your meter. They may need to be removed.
What should I do when I'm ready to move?
As soon as you know when you want to discontinue service, complete an online Stop Service request, fax your request to (813) 274-8430 or call (813) 274-8811 to let us know so that we can arrange to take the account out of your name. Do not depend on the next occupant to sign up for service and relieve you of your liability. .
If you have further questions regarding your account, one of our Consumer Services Representatives will be happy to help you. Call (813) 274-8811 or contact us through the City's online Customer Service Center.