Bangor Water

Article Title: How to Pay a Water Bill

Article Content

Customers are billed once per quarter for water used during the previous 90 +/- days.  Your water bill is based on the amount of water registered by the water meter in your building. We bill a different section of our service area each week during the 13-week quarter. Your billing date will not be the same as someone living on the opposite side of our service area.

Water Billing: 

Water bills are due 28 days from issuance. Once past due, interest charges accrue, and after mailing a disconnection notice to you, we may shut off the water and/or begin lien proceedings.

Our website www.bangorwater.org allows you to

  • View your water bills
  • Sign up for e-mail notification that your water bill is ready to be downloaded and paid. When you choose this option, you will no longer receive a water bill in the mail.

Paying Your Water Bill:

You can:

  • Mail a check to Bangor Water, PO Box 1129, Bangor ME 04402-1129 (don’t confuse us with the City of Bangor).
  • Pay through our website. There is no fee for an electronic payment linked to a checking account (EFT transfer). There is a fee for payments made with a credit/debit card. You can:
    • Make a one-time payment
    • Sign up for automated payments
  • Pay at our office at 614 State Street.
    • Cash or checks
    • Log-in station available for on-line payments (we don’t process credit cards across the counter). Email address required.
    • Drop slot at front door for after-hours payments.

We can request that your payment be made by cash, certified bank check, or money order if your payments are repeatedly not honored (your payment bounces).

If You Can’t Pay Your Water Bill:

  • Let us know right away. We can set up a payment plan. Dial 2-1-1 or 211maine.org, or contact your local town office for possible assistance.

How Much Does It Cost?

Our water rates are proposed by our Board of Trustees, and approved by the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Water bills for domestic use (the water used in kitchens, bathrooms, gardens, etc.) are based on water use as measured by a water meter. Water bills for fire protection (fire sprinkler systems and fire hydrants) are charged a quarterly fee.

Most of our 10,700 domestic accounts are billed quarterly; our 50 largest users are billed monthly.  The State of Maine requires sales tax to be charged on non-residential accounts unless a State exemption certificate is provided.

Our water meters measure in “hundred cubic feet” or “HCF.” To convert to gallons, multiply by 748. (For example, if your water bill shows a quarterly consumption of 11 HCF, multiply by 748 to convert to gallons. Divide by 90 to find your daily use).

Water use shown on bill Multiply by 748 for gallons Divide by 90 for daily use
11 HCF 8,228 gallons 91.4 gallons

 

A use of 9 HCF per quarter is typical for one person.  The chart below shows average use (based on number of full-time occupants), as well as the daily cost and water use. We use various size meters to provide water service; the size generally depends on how much water is needed (two-bedroom house vs. eight–unit apartment building vs. restaurant vs. laundromat).

Meter size Minimum quarterly bill Water use allowed as part of minimum charge 9 HCF converted to gallons Gallons allowed under minimum (6,732 / 90 days)
5/8” meter

(typical residential)

$41.71 9 hundred cubic feet 6,732 75 gallons per day
3/4”  meter $46.17 9 HCF 6,732 75 gallons per day
1” meter $50.65 9 HCF 6,732 75 gallons per day
1 1/2” meter $67.42 9 HCF 6,732 75 gallons per day

 

Our “per hundred cubic” quarterly charges are:

Use in HCF Cost per HCF
0 – 210 HCF $2.79
211-14,999 HCF $2.45
15,000 HCF + $2.27

 

Calculation of bill for 5/8” meter with use of 11 HCF
Minimum charge (up to 9 HCF) $41.71
2 additional HCF 2 x $2.79  $ 5.58
Total bill $47.29

 

Calculation of bill for 1 1/2”meter with use of 250 HCF
Minimum charge (up to 9 HCF) $  67.42
Use from 9 to 210 HCF ( 201 additional) 201 x 2.79 $560.79
Use from 211 to 250 (40 additional) 40 x $2.45 $  89.00
Total bill $726.21

 

If You Don’t Pay Your Water Bill:

  • We will mail you a disconnection notice 14 calendar days before your water is eligible to be shut off. (Interest charges will be added to your balance.)
  • If your property appears to have tenants living there, we will post a notice on the front door as required to inform them that their water may be disconnected.
  • On the 15th calendar day, a 10-day “window for disconnect” opens. On that day or within 10 business days, we will come to your service location and knock on the door to collect the overdue water bill (a collection fee of $35 will be added to your balance).
  • If no payment is made, we will shut the water off. (A reconnection fee of $65 is charged during business hours; fees are higher outside of business hours.)

If you make a payment once your account is past due, call us when you make the payment. We may not receive notification before your water is disconnected.

Fees for Electronic Payments:

Payments made through our website are not processed through Bangor Water’s bank; they are processed through a third-party vendor that partners with our billing software company. Using a third party:

  • Provides a higher level of security
  • Avoids Bangor Water accessing or storing customers’ financial data
  • Allows automatic posting of payments to our billing system

The convenience fee for electronic payments goes to the vendor, not Bangor Water. We are charged an additional user fee each month for payment processing.

The convenience fee for payments linked to a checking/savings account (EFT transaction) is absorbed by Bangor Water; there is NO COST to the customer. Payments made by credit/debit cards are charged to the customer. Currently, the fee is $3.95 to a maximum payment of $250. We use a flat fee (rather than a percentage of the transaction) to make it simpler for the customer.

The fee is set by the vendor and the credit card companies. In setting the fee, many variables are considered including

  • Our customer base (11,200 accounts)
  • The vendor’s level of risk (water bills range from $38 per quarter to $34,000 per month)
  • The largest pool of potential users (small residential/non-residential accounts)
  • The customer group we most hope to accommodate by providing electronic payments (small residential accounts whose quarterly bills are $250 or less)

Security:

Our vendor for electronic billing and payments is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant to ensure the safety of your information. This includes truncating (only showing part of) your account information to protect confidential data, and blocking some information completely – even from us!