Water FAQs

Why is my bill so high?

There are many reasons why some water bills are high. Some are caused by watering more in the dry season, while others may be caused by leaks. There is no set standard for home water usage because of people’s varying habits. You can contact customer service at (727) 464-4000 to discuss your bill. You can also review the links below for more information.

Additional resources:
High Bill Check Sheet
Sprinkler System Calculator
Leak Detector Guide
Statement of Repair Form

Why is my sewer charge so much higher than water?

Pinellas County Utilities is under legal mandate to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain its sanitary sewer facilities to comply with state and federal regulations. It is a more expensive process to treat sewage waste than drinking water.

The operating cost of the sewer system is approximately $30 million a year. The sewer treatment process has mostly fixed costs that continue even though you may not use their portion of the service.

The system’s renewal, replacement and rehabilitation program is needed to keep systems operating reliably and to comply with regulations. Around 300 pumping stations have either been replaced or have had major work done. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 feet of gravity sewers a year will require rehabilitation.

Pinellas County Utilities receives no revenue from ad valorem taxes, gasoline taxes, franchise fees, or any support from the County’s general fund. We receive revenue solely from services provided in the community.

Where can I pay my bill?

Payments may be made at the Pinellas County Utilities office in Clearwater, drop boxes or Amscot stores. See bill payment options for more information.

Do you accept credit card payments?

Yes. Pinellas County Utilities accepts all major credit cards over the phone, in-person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or online.

  • Phone: (727) 464-4000
  • Pinellas County Utilities address: 14 S. Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, FL
  • Online payment

Does Pinellas County Utilities offer Automatic Bank Payments?

Yes. Pinellas County Utilities allows you to have your utility charges automatically deducted from your bank account on the due date. There is no fee.

Applications are available at our Clearwater office, online by printing the Automatic Bank Payment form or by registering online through My eAccount. You may also request a form by calling (727) 464-4000.

Did you receive my payment?

Pinellas County Utilities offers billing and payment information by phone. Dial our main number (727) 464-4000, option “4.” You will be prompted you to enter your account number found on your statement. You can find your account balance, due date, billing date, and the date last payment was received.

Can I have extra time to pay my bill?

Pinellas County Utilities sends bills approximately every 61 days. Bills are due 28 days from the bill date. When financial hardships occur for our customers, we can offer:

• Option to select a billing due date different than your assigned date (more info).
• One-time extended due date in a 12-month period, which will not extend into the next billing.
• Contact information for financial assistance agencies that may be able to help.

For more information or to request an extension call 727 464-4000. The Financial Assistance Agencies website has information on agencies that may be able to help customers in need.

When will my water be turned on?

Pinellas County Utilities requires at least 24 hours notice (excluding weekends and holidays) to establish service and have water turned on. You may place your order by phone, mail, or in person at our office during normal business hours.

What is the billing charge for?

All reclaim-only accounts are billed a $4.50 charge for metered and $3.75 for non-metered accounts on regular bi-monthly bills. Pinellas County Utilities receives no revenue from ad valorem taxes, gasoline taxes, franchise fees, or any support from the County general fund. Our revenue is solely from our services.

Every major utility charges these fees to their customers, but in a different format. Pinellas County Utilities gains no profit from these billings. Its purpose is to cover the customer service cost.

How often am I billed?

Bi-monthly – or approximately every 61 days.

Where is my water meter?

The water meter for residential properties is located at the front of a property in the ground, near the curb. It is covered with a metal or cement lid about one-foot wide by two-foot long. If the property is on a corner, the meter could be near the curb on the side street.

For some residential and commercial properties, the meter may be at the back of the property. The meter location may be different in older areas since the water system was developed in 1935.

Why do I have low water pressure?

Many factors like line maintenance or the flushing of hydrants and water lines could cause low water pressure. Some other issues that could cause low water pressure are a plumbing leak, blocked lines on the water softener, a leaky sprinkler system, or even a house valve that has accidentally been turned off. Call (727) 464-4000 to discuss your property specifically.

Who picks up my garbage and on what days?

Pinellas County Utilities does not provide garbage pickup service countywide. If you have a garbage charge on your Pinellas County Utilities bill, it is because we are the billing agent for that municipality.

Who picks up my recycling and on what days?

Pinellas County Utilities does not provide recycling pickup service.

Are you sure my meter was read?

Pinellas County Utilities employs approximately 11 full-time meter readers. We try to read every meter depending on weather conditions. If you believe your meter has not been read or was read incorrectly, you may go out to your meter and verify the meter reading to compare your bill.  Your meter reads like a car odometer, meaning you will want to read the first four digits on the meter from left to right.

When will my meter be read?

Meters are read approximately every 61 days. Each bill generated indicates the approximate date of the next scheduled reading. This information is located in the left margin of the utility bill.

Where is the shut-off valve on my meter?

There is a shut-off valve on the meter unit, which will turn off all water and prevent it from passing through the meter. Pinellas County Utilities prohibits the opening and closing of valves, removing or tampering with the meter unit. Most residential properties have a main valve (house valve) on the outside of the house, but some are located in the garage. You can use this valve to keep water from entering the house.

Why are meter readers opening my spigot and running water?

You may see our meter readers doing something extra while reading your meter. If we detect there is little to no water used compared to your historic use, the meter reader will test the meter to ensure it is not stuck. To do this, they may need access to your house valve to run a very small amount of water (10 gallons).

This valuable service is for your benefit and does not cost extra. This will ensure that you are not back-billed for money owed when the meter was not registering properly. If your meter is stuck, our meter reader will contact the maintenance department for a replacement immediately. Your invoice will have your meter reading date.

Why does my water smell?

Sulfides occur naturally in Florida groundwater. The combination of hydrogen and sulfide can produce hydrogen sulfide, which causes an odor and taste in drinking water sometimes referred to as a “rotten egg smell.” Disinfection can eliminate the taste and odor from the sulfides. Sulfides can be removed by an activated carbon filter, which can be installed by a private company. However, sulfides are not a health hazard.

If a bad odor or taste is coming from the hot water tap only, then the problem could be the water heater. When there is low usage of hot water, the disinfectant dissipates. To avoid this, it is recommended to flush out the water heater per the manufacturer recommendations.

For more information, contact customer service at (727) 464-4000.

What is the pH, hardness and iron content of my water?

The average pH in Pinellas County is 7.8 and hardness is 10-15 grains per gallon. Typical iron content in water in the distribution system is less than 0.1 milligrams per liter. For more information on water quality, view the current Consumer Confidence Report.

Why do I get billed a conservation fee when I try to conserve water?

Pinellas County Utilities monitors each customer’s average water consumption. All customers establish a base allowance, which is the average consumption plus 20 percent. If you consume more than the base allowance, you will be billed an additional $1 per thousand gallons. The Conservation Rate will not be applied to any consumption less than 15,000 gallons. View more information on water restrictions.

Can I get reclaimed water? If not, why?

It takes about four households of sewer waste to make enough reclaimed water for one household. As a result, approximately a quarter of the county will receive reclaimed water. The reclaimed water expansion originally targeted areas of Pinellas County with high water consumption, as well as areas without alternate water sources like wells. For more information on the availability of reclaimed water in your area, call (727) 464-4000 or visit our reclaimed service area map.

How often is the water tested?

Pinellas County Utilities tests its water daily. Random samples are taken throughout the county and brought to our state-certified laboratory. Pinellas County Utilities’ water meets or exceeds all federal and state standards for safe drinking water. The taste of water may vary regionally, but your drinking water is safe and pure.

Each year Pinellas County provides a Consumer Confidence Report to inform our customers about the water quality. To request a copy of the report, call (727) 464-4000 or view it online.

Where can I get Florida-friendly landscaping information?

You can find some brochures at our office or you can call (727) 464-4000. You can also contact the Pinellas County Extension Department at (727) 582-2100.

Why is someone painting colored lines on the sidewalk in front of my house?

It is necessary to mark underground utility lines using color codes before construction or digging. Pinellas County Utilities marks water service lines and mains to prevent damage to our lines. Other utilities may use a private company to mark their lines.

Our color codes are:

  • Blue: Water
  • Green: Sewer
  • Lavender: Reclaimed Water
  • Red: Electric
  • Yellow: Gas/Oil
  • Orange: Communication/Telephone/Cable TV
  • Pink: Temporary Survey Markings
  • White: Proposed Excavation

To have utility lines marked, contact Sunshine by dialing “811” (or 1-800-852-8057) or visit the Sunshine website

Where can I get information on hurricanes?

Pinellas County Utilities has information available upon request at our office. You can also visit our Emergency Management website.

What adjustments are available for me when filling my pool or watering my new sod?

All customers will be allowed a one-time exclusion to the conservation fee for filling swimming pools, and/or for irrigation needed for major lawn/landscape installation. You must provide a copy of the invoice for materials and a statement that work was performed or an invoice from the company that provided the work to receive the adjustment.

How do I request a protected address status?

In accordance with Pinellas County Procedure, you must complete the Request for Protected Address Form. You must submit request in person at our office at 14 S. Fort Harrison Ave, Clearwater, FL, 33756 or by mail to the same address. We will not accept information over the phone or by email. This form will be kept confidential and secure by Pinellas County Utilities. The information you provide on the request form will only be used in the event a credit balance on your account needs to be refunded or to contact you regarding your account.