Please review the following frequently asked questions (FAQ) to assist with your inquiry.
By Phone: toll free (866) 654-SWWC (7992) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
SouthWest Water Company, Customer Care
12535 Reed Road
Sugar Land, TX 77478
By E-mail: TXcustomercare@swwc.com
Our customer care representatives are trained to assist you with a range of subjects, including account and bill inquiries, service order requests, water and wastewater usage history, or questions about your rates. They are trained to answer questions while you’re on the phone, but depending on the exact nature of your inquiry, a representative may sometimes need to first research your issue before contacting you with an answer.
We strive to get to your inquiry within a few minutes. A prepared customer is time’s best ally. Simply follow the tips below to help speed up the process.
Tip #1: Be prepared and have the following information ready when calling or e-mailing us:
- Account name
- Account number
- Service address
- Description of the issue
Tip #2: Avoid calling when everyone else calls. Customer Care is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. central time. Call volume is usually the heaviest on Monday’s and our busiest hour is 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. You may experience a shorter hold time or faster service by calling outside these times.
Please visit the Payment Options page for more information.
The monthly rate on your bill is designed to recover a portion of the fixed costs incurred in providing water service to your home or business. These include the cost of maintaining the supply, treatment, distribution and service facilities, e.g. vehicles, fuel, and equipment. These are costs that we incur whether you use any water or not. The monthly rate does not vary with consumption, but rather is related to the size and flow capacity of your meter, unlike the gallonage charge which relates to your water usage.
If you question the amount of your bill, you should ask for an explanation by email or telephone. A Customer Care representative will review your situation and take necessary action. A reasonable payment based on a previous 12-month average usage will be required while the disputed amount is being researched.
It’s true that water falls from the sky, melts from the mountains, and runs down streams and rivers. At first glance it appears that it can be captured by anyone with a bucket. However, it isn’t this easy and before you can enjoy a drink from your tap, a lot of work has to happen. In order to provide and maintain a reliable water supply that meets state and federal water quality standards, many expenses are unavoidable. Some of these include drilling or maintaining wells, operating industrial pumps to deliver consistent pressure, installing or maintaining pipes to transport it, reservoirs to store it, and plants to treat it. Residential and industrial wastewater, too, has to be treated and de-contaminated before it can be released back into the environment.
We make every effort to avoid inconveniencing our customers with unscheduled water shutoffs, but sometimes these circumstances are out of our control. Most water outages are the result of water main breaks that we cannot predict. It is impossible for us to give advanced notice of these interruptions. On rare occasions when we must interrupt your water service to improve or maintain the system, we notify you in person or by a door notice of the hours planned for the interruption. To receive notice about an interruption of service, sign up for our WaterAlert! program to receive a text or email. Visit the Water Alert Signup page to enroll.
9. If my water service is shut off for non-payment, how long will it take to have it turned back on?
Under normal circumstances, water service is restored within 36 hours after you pay your balance and all required fees.
Our meters are located in meter boxes that are placed in the ground. As a result, rainwater, dirt, leaves or other debris can easily accumulate inside. Our meter readers are used to this and it is not a hindrance for them. To get a correct reading of your meter, they simply brush away the dirt and wipe the dial clean to see the numbers.
Some of our meters have an automated meter reading (AMR) device that is connected to the meter. The AMR component of the device is a radio transmitter powered by a battery. As the meter reading truck passes by the meter on the street, a data-collecting device records the meter reading transmitted from the AMR.
First, go check your meter. Your reading should be a bit higher than what’s shown on your bill, because you’ve been using water since we’ve issued your bill. Second, review your monthly statements to compare your usage to the same time last year. Look at differences in usage, not just the total monthly amounts.
A number of things can cause a higher monthly bill. Increases can be caused by the following:
- adding an additional guest or resident
- irrigation or outdoor watering
- seasonal changes, such as summer heat
- new appliance
- added bathroom
- spending more time at home
If none of these apply, check for leaks (see below). To help lower your overall usage, read our water conservation tips.
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 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. Know that toilet leaks are by far the biggest cause of higher-than-normal water bills.
Water meters have leak flow indicators. Learn how to read your meter.
In case of an emergency, such as a burst pipe, quickly close your houseline shut-off valve to prevent costly flood damage. The houseline 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. If you do not have a shut-off valve on your side of the meter, it is your responsibility to have one installed so the water may be shut off in case of an emergency. (Learn how to install a houseline shut-off valve.)
If you have an emergency and do not have a houseline water shut-off valve installed, call Customer Care at (866) 654-SWWC (7992) 24 hours a day, seven days a week and select the repair/emergency option for assistance.
If the source of the leak seems to be coming from a Utility facility or line, which can include everything up to the outlet connection of the water meter, please contact customer care at (866) 654-SWWC (7992) 24 hours a day-7 days a week and select the repair/emergency option.
Learn more about how to handle a water emergency.
Our utility owns everything up to the outlet connection of the water meter. This includes the portion of pipe that runs from the water main to the water meter. As the home owner, you own the onsite plumbing, which includes everything after the outlet connection of the water meter, including the pipe from the water meter to your house and a shut-off valve. Any line, valve, box, device, or leak that occurs past the meter is the property owner’s responsibility and you must pay for the water regardless of the presence of a leak.
Your shut off value is located on your side of the meter. 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 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.
If you’ve ever had to turn off the water in the whole house just to change a washer, you understand how a shut off valve can make everybody’s life easier, especially if you had to go to the plumbing store halfway through the job. If you live in an older home or your builder didn’t install a main shut-off valve, you are required to have one installed according to the state plumbing code.
Rates are based on our operating costs and investments made to the water and/or wastewater systems. These costs of doing business are applied to the Texas legal rate-making formulas. The rates are then set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to reflect what the Commission believes are reasonable and fair rates to provide a high quality of water and/or wastewater service while allowing us a fair return on investment.