1. Can I pay your field service person in order to keep my water on?
As a safety measure, Suburban Water strictly prohibits utility workers from accepting payments of any kind. Please call or visit our customer service office for payment arrangements.
2. If my water is shut off for non-payment, how long will it take to be turned on?
3. Do you offer online payments?
Online payments may be made via Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, or via check (for most banks). We are unable to accept Visa or MasterCard payments for Business accounts, however you may pay online via check. Please review the Pay My Bill page for more information.
4. Why do I have to pay a minimum charge every month, whether or not I use any water?
The service charge portion of your bill is designed to recover a portion of the fixed costs incurred in providing water service. These costs include the cost of maintaining the supply, treatment, distribution and service facilities that are needed to provide water service to your home or business. This charge appears on every bill and does not vary with consumption, but is related to the size and flow capacity of your meter.
5. What should I do to dispute a bill?
If you question the amount of your bill, you should ask for an explanation in person or by telephone from the customer service office in your area. A customer service office representative (or manager, if you prefer) will review your situation and take necessary action. If you are not satisfied with the explanation and wish to register a complaint or request an investigation and avoid having your service shut off, you must deposit the amount of your bill with:
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
State Office Building
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 203
San Francisco, CA 94102
You can reach the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Branch at (800) 649-7570. For the speech and hearing impaired, call TDD (800) 229-6846.
Make your check or remittance payable to the “California Public Utilities Commission” and attach a copy of the bill in question along with a statement explaining the basis for your dispute of the amount of the bill. The CPUC will review the billed amount and disburse the deposit in accordance with its findings.
The CPUC will not accept deposits when the dispute appears to be over matters that not directly relate to the accuracy of the bill. Such matters include the utility’s service quality, rate levels, pending rate applications and fuel sources or power.
6. How much do I have to pay to keep my water service from being discontinued?
The total amount shown on the bill is due and payable when rendered. The only exception is if there is a significant need to set up an arrangement for partial payment over a period of time due to temporary financial difficulty, and only after consultation with a customer service representative.
7. Is bottled water better than tap water? Is bottled water really more healthy?
According to the American Water Works Association, “If your tap water consistently meets federal, state or provincial drinking water standards, it’s not necessary to use either bottled water or a home water treatment device to have safe water to drink.” Our water meets (and is usually of higher quality) than all state and federal drinking water standards. Purchasing bottled drinking water is a personal choice. However, here are a few things you should consider:
- 50 percent of bottled water comes from the same source provided by water utilities – rivers, lakes, wells, etc.
- Bottled water costs about 1,000 times more than tap water.
- Because bottled water is not required to be date stamped, its quality can deteriorate over time. Any bacteria in the water at the time of bottling can continue to grow.
8. How can I check my water usage?
To determine your average use, you can read your meter on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Simply record your meter reading at the beginning of a measurement period and again at the end of that period. The difference between these two meter readings will be the water used during the period.
Note that your meter measures volume in cubic feet. This can be readily converted to gallons by the factor of approximately 7.5 gallons for each cubic foot (1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons, 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons).Example of calculating your average daily use:
|Subtract the first day reading||
|from the second day||
|The answer (132) is the amount of water used in cubic feet||
|You determine how many gallons have been used by multiplying the 132 cubic feet by 7.5||
|The answer (990) is the number of gallons used during the 24-hour period||
Please know that we bill our customers for water usage in units of 100 cubic feet. In the example above (132 cubic feet of water used), we would therefore bill you for 1 cubic foot of water. (More general information on how to read your meter.)
9. Where is my water shutoff valve?
Your main water shutoff valve controls all of the water coming into your house. Everyone in your home should know where the valve is, and know how to turn it off. In case of an emergency such as a burst pipe, shutting off the water quickly could prevent costly damage from flooding. Often it’s near the water meter, inside the water meter pit. You may want to turn the valve to make sure it isn’t stuck. Water valves are generally closed by turning the handle clockwise. (Learn how to install a houseline shut-off valve.)
10. How do I check for leaks?
If you suspect a water leak, your water meter is an ideal checking device. To test for leaks, turn off all the faucets and other water outlets and keep watch on the one-cubic- foot scale on your meter. If the hand continues to move, you have a leak. Regardless of the rate of water loss, search for the cause. It could be as simple as a steady drip from a faucet that needs a new washer. But toilet leaks are by far the biggest cause of higher-than-normal water bills.
11. Who is responsible for pipeline leaks?
12.Why didn’t someone from Suburban tell me that water service was going to be interrupted?
Suburban Water makes every effort to avoid inconveniencing its customers with unscheduled water shutoffs. But sometimes these circumstances are out of our control. We don’t know when a water main might break. On rare occasions when we must interrupt your water service to improve or maintain the system, we notify you in person or by door notice of the hours planned for the interruption.
13. What should I do if there is a water leak inside or outside my house?
In case of an emergency such as a burst pipe, quickly close the main water shut-off valve to prevent costly flood damage. Your main water shut-off valve controls all of the water coming into your house. Everyone in your home should know where the valve is, and know how to turn it off. It is often located near the water meter, inside the water meter pit. If the source of the leak seems to be coming from Suburban facilities-which include everything up to the outlet connection of the water meter-please contact the Suburban office in your area. Read more on how to handle a water emergency.
14. How can I obtain a temporary construction fire hydrant meter?
For developers temporary construction fire hydrant meters are issued when a completed application is submitted with the following requirements:
1) Check made payable to Suburban Water Systems for $750.00
2) Job location (where meter will be used)
3) Complete fire hydrant meter application (PDF)
Deposits will be refunded upon return of undamaged meter and tools, after payment has been deducted for water used, and meter rental. All or part of the deposit may be forfeited for failure to pay any bill, or for failure to return or damage to any meter or tools issued to the permitee. Refunds are mailed two weeks from return date. Contact our customer care representatives.
IMPORTANT: Permitee checking out fire hydrant meter will be fully responsible for returning meter.