Skip to content
Customer Service Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you offer budget billing?

A: Budget billing does not promote conservation. A customer on budget billing may not realize that they have a leak or other water related problems at their property until the “true-up” period which could waste a great deal of water and money.

Q: My meter box is full of water. Do I have a leak?

A: Our meter reader’s responsibility is to read the meter and inform the County of any problems with the meter. They enter certain codes in their handheld computers when they read the meters and reports are generated from those codes. Based on the codes that are entered, we can either reread the meter or check for leaks, but because of the number of meters in the county, we can’t check each and every one that comes up on the list. The bills are generated within two to three days after the meter is read, so the customer is notified relatively quickly by the bill.

Q: Do you estimate water usage?

A: Most likely no. We attempt to read every meter every month. On the rare occasion that we estimate usage, it is because we were unable to read a meter. Reasons that a meter will not be read are, overgrown brush blocking access to the meter, cars parked over the meter box, or dangerous spiders or snakes in the meter box. It is the customer’s responsibility to make sure we have access to the meter at all times.

 Q: I get paid at the beginning of the month. Can you change my billing cycle to coincide with my pay date?

 A: We bill approximately 240,000 customers per month. Because we send out so many bills, we bill customers daily. We have the county split into portions. We read one or two portions per day and bill the next day. Your billing date is based on which portion you live in. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to manually change your billing cycle.

 Q: I just got married/divorced. How can I get my account to reflect my new name?

 A: We will need a copy of the marriage certificate/divorce decree. You may fax this to us at 678.376.6838 or bring it into our office at 684 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville.  It may take one or two billing cycles to reflect the change. This change will not affect your balance or account number. No activation fee will apply.

 Q: I just got divorced or am recently widowed. How can I get my account out of my (ex-) spouse’s name and into mine?

 A: We will need a copy of the divorce decree/death certificate. You may fax this to us at 678.376.6838 or bring it into our office at 684 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville. Changing the account holder from an ex-spouse’s name will require opening a new account in your name. This will require that open balances on the ex-spouse’s account be paid or transferred to the new account. This change will require a new account number. No activation fee will apply.

Q: My bill seems really high. What should I do?

A: First, look at the consumption on your bill. A report of consumption is located on your invoice in the lower left hand quadrant. If your consumption is substantially higher than last month’s consumption, and/or the consumption from one year ago, you may have had an unusual amount of water coming through your meter.

SAMPLE
 
Usage History
Billing Days
Consumption
 
Current Month
28
24.4

Consumption is shown in 1,000 gallons. So, 5.1 is 5,100 gallons of water

 

 

Last Month
32
5.1
One Year Ago
32
4.0
 

Sometimes habits change depending on the season. For instance, in summer, families start watering the yard, fill pools, pressure wash the home in preparation to paint, have college children home from school, etc. During the winter months, out-of-town family visits may cause more water consumption than normal. If you cannot determine unusual water usage in your household, you may have a leak.

Q: How do I check for leaks?

A: Ways to check for a leak include: the one-hour leak test, and the toilet-leak test.

To perform a one-hour leak test:  

  • Assure that no water is running in the house (check the washing machine, dishwasher, ice maker, toilets, etc.)
  • Go to your water meter and remove the main lid (covering the hole in which the meter is placed)
  • Write down the meter number to the meter you are checking. The meter number can be found on the small round metal lid that covers the glass of your meter. You can check this number against your invoice to assure you are looking at the correct meter
  • On the face of the meter, there is a row of numbers. Also record at what number the gallon-indicator is pointing. Read and record the first five digits from left to right, including zeros. The decimal point goes between the fourth and fifth digits
  • Are the numbers moving? Is the gallon-indicator hand sweeping? Is the leak-indicator spinning? If yes, and you have checked to see that no water in on in the house, you may have a leak
  • If you do not see any indication of movement in the numbers, the gallons-indicator, or the leak-indicator, then wait an hour or two. Be sure to use no water during this time
  • Compare the meter readings now to the readings you wrote down. Any changes could indicate a leak

 

To check your toilets for leaks or a faulty flapper valve:

Continuously running toilets can be a silent culprit, and one that may not be caught by performing the one-hour leak test (above). Check the overflow pipes in the toilet tanks to be sure the water isn’t draining. Place food coloring in the back of each toilet (tank), and wait 20 to 40 minutes. Do not flush or use the toilet during this time. After 20-40 minutes, check the toilets to see if any coloring has run into the bowl. If the coloring has leaked into the bowl, then this can be an indication that your flapper valve is faulty and may need to be replaced.

Q: Do you offer leak adjustments?

A: Please contact Customer Service at 678.376.6800 to see if you qualify for an adjustment.

Q: Does Gwinnett County offer adjustments on sewer charges for filling of a swimming pool? 

A: Yes.  Gwinnett County offers adjustments for water consumption and sewer charges related to pool fills.  This adjustment is offered in two instances:  (1) the first pool fill of the year, and (2) if the pool is repaired and needs to be refilled.  Please contact Customer Care for additional information.  Email DWRresidential@gwinnettcounty.com or call 678.376.6800.


High Bill/Consumption/Leak FAQ's
Q: My bill appears to be higher than normal, what could be the cause?
 
A: Between the dates listed on your last bill, did you do any of the following:
  • Have more guests in your home?
  • Landscape your yard (i.e. put down new sod or plant grass or shrubs)?
  • Pressure wash your driveway or house?
  • Have any plumping repairs completed (even if minor)? 

If any one of the above applied, then this could be a reason for the increase in your consumption and your bill. If none of the above applied, then we suggest you conduct a leak test.
 
Q: Will Gwinnett County test for leaks in or around my house?
 
A: No, Gwinnett County employees are not permitted to work on private property; therefore, we cannot test for leaks on your property. However, we encourage you to conduct a simple test for leaks.
 
Q: I have found a leak at my property, what should I do now? Does Gwinnett County make repairs?
 
A: Gwinnett County is not responsible for repairing leaks on the customer’s side of the meter. The customer must repair those leaks. Gwinnett County is not responsible for leaks between the meter and the house or in the house. It is the customer’s responsibility. The maintenance and repair of pipes and fixtures after the water meter are the sole responsibility of the resident/property owner. This includes any consumption charges associated with the leak. 
 
Q: Why do I have to pay for water when a pipe bursts at my residence?
 
A: It is Gwinnett County’s responsibility to provide water to all our customers to the service location’s water meter. We are not responsible for the type or condition of plumbing from the water meter to the service location (either residential or commercial).

Past Due Account FAQs

Q: Why didn't you warn me that my water was going to be disconnected?

A: Any account that is past due is subject to disconnection.  Every bill with a past due balance has a special message that states, “WATER SCHEDULED TO BE DISCONNECTED ON (A SPECIFIC DATE*) IF PAYMENT IS NOT RECEIVED.  PLEASE CONTACT US TO MAKE PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS.”   Past due accounts receive a disconnection date* notice on past due bills.  Past due accounts also receive a postcard with the disconnection date*.

*Disconnections may take up to 2 additional business days to be completed.

Q: I was locked-off, so I called and made the required payment.  Can I get my water turned on today?

A: Reconnection service is made the next business day after we receive payment. For an additional fee of $125 paid by 4:00pm, we can offer same day service. Customers who paid yesterday are going to get priority service for today. Because our routes are determined before we begin working each day, many times, same day service requires our crews to work overtime. In addition to that, same day service costs us additional fuel costs. The fee for same day service covers the additional costs that we incur to offer that service and allows us to only pass those costs on to those who require same day service.

Q: I need water today, but I can't afford an extra $125 for same day service. What happens if I cut the lock?

A: Any type of meter tampering will cost you an additional $250.

Q: I need help paying my water bill. Is there someone who can help?

A: We maintain a list of agencies that are willing to help those who are truly in need.  Please contact Customer Service at 678.376.6800 for a list of those agencies.