Water Sewer FAQs

Who should I call with questions about my water and sewer bill?

The Water and Sewer Billing Division handles billing questions. They can be reached at 410-313-2058.

How does the County assure water meter readings and water bills are accurate?

Most water meters in Howard County are read electronically via radio interface, thereby minimizing human error. 

Water meter data is transferred electronically to the County’s billing system, again minimizing human error. 

These readings are automatically compared to the previous readings and/or the reading from the same time period in the prior year. If a substantial difference is found the bill is reviewed individually by a staff member. 

If the staff member determines that the difference is significant and there is no mitigating reason for the discrepancy, a field investigation will ensue to identify and resolve the problem. 

While it is extremely rare that the actual water meters over-register, the general cause is a malfunctioning transmitter. 

We do our best to ensure all billed water meter readings are correct.  If you feel your water bill is inaccurate give us a call at 410-313-2058 during the hours of 8 and 5pm. 


I received an estimated water and sewer bill. Who do I contact?

Estimated usage is normally the result of a stopped meter. Contact the Water and Sewer Billing Division at 410-313-2058 to schedule an appointment to have the meter repaired. 

I'm moving to another home. Where do I report the change of address?

Billing information should be directed to the Water and Sewer Billing Department at 410-313-2058. Water bills are not forwarded. All forwarding addresses must be submitted to the Department of Finance. The forwarding address with the postal service does not allow the water bills to be forwarded. 

My water bill is too high. I watered my lawn but the sewer charges are more than the water charges.

Water and sewer charges are based on the metered volume of water consumed from the public water system. The consumption is multiplied by the water usage rate and the sewer usage rate. Sewer charges are higher because of the cost of wastewater treatment.

I have a leak at my property. Will my bill be adjusted?

The County may adjust sewer charges if a leak occurs underground. In this situation, the leak must be repaired first and then a letter requesting an adjustment needs to be sent to the Department of Finance. Attach a copy of the plumbing bill to the letter and include a name and day time phone number for the person to be contacted. 


A utility worker from the Bureau of Utilities Meter Division will inspect the property location to verify that the leak has been repaired and that no other leaks exist. He/she will also read the meter and then generate a field report for submission to the meter supervisor who will determine if a sewer charge adjustment is warranted.


I’m using a hose to fill my pool, how much will my bill be?

The calculation to estimate your water bill is as follows:


Divide the number of gallons used to fill the pool by 748*
Multiply the result times the current water and sewer rates 

*This is the number of gallons in one unit of consumption

I’m moving from the property. What is my final bill?

The County does not provide final billing. Water and sewer charges are billed on a quarterly basis and constitute a lien on the property. Howard County does not pro-rate between buyer/seller or landlord/tenant. If you’re selling the property, monies will be pro-rated at settlement. If you are a tenant, please contact the landlord/management company.

Can I pay over the phone by check?

Payment by check over the phone can be made by calling 1-800-263-1923.

How do I apply for or cancel Direct Debit?

To apply for direct debit or to cancel direct debit, call our office at (410) 313-2058 or fill out the application form. Complete the form and send it to Director of Finance, PO Box 3367, Ellicott City, MD 21041-3367 along with a copy of a voided check. To cancel direct debit, check "Cancellation" on the application form.

Can I pay in person anywhere else other than the Howard County Finance Cashier's Office?

No. Payments made in person must be brought to the George Howard Building in Ellicott CIty (Directions).

Why is my bill addressed to Owner/Occupant?

We have no way of knowing who is living on the property unless we are notified. Water billing is a lien against the property and bills are addressed "Owner/Occupant" for delivery to the property location.

What are water user and sewer user charges?

The water user charge is a set fee for reading and maintaining the water meter. The sewer user charge is a set fee for maintaining and cleaning the sewer lines.