Frequently Asked Questions
Customer Care Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you estimate water usage?
A: We attempt to read every meter every month. It is important to remember that it’s the customer’s responsibility to make sure we always have access to the meter box in order to read, repair, and maintain your meter properly. You can help us by ensuring no objects are located on or within one foot of the meter box, including overgrown brush, shrubs or grass, vehicles, garbage cans or recycling bins, and landscaping materials.
Q: How do I turn off the water at my meter?
Click here for help with turning off the water.
Q: Why do we use tiered rates and how do these rates support water conservation?
A: As a part of the North Metro Water Planning District, tiered water conservation rates were implemented as a part of the 2003 Water Supply and Water Conservation Management Plan designed to reduce overall water demand and to help ensure the future water supply in North Georgia. Tiered rate structures promote water conservation by increasing the cost as the volume of water used increases. The higher water rates discourage excessive discretionary water usage, thereby incenting customers to use water more efficiently.
Q: I just got married/divorced. How can I get my account to reflect my new name?
A: Fax us a copy of the marriage certificate/divorce decree (678.376.6838), send it by email, or bring it into our office. It may take one or two billing cycles to reflect the change. This change will not affect your balance or account number, and there will be no activation fee.
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: Fax us a copy of the divorce decree/death certificate (678.376.6838), send it by email, or bring it into our office. Changing the account holder from an ex-spouse’s name will require opening a new account in your name. In order to open a new account, you may also be required to provide proof of property ownership through deed or divorce decree. Open balances on the ex-spouse’s account must be paid or transferred to the new account. This change will require a new account number, but there will be no activation fee.
Q: Why is your address for mailed payments in North Carolina?
A: Through a contracted agreement with Gwinnett County’s shared banking service provider, the Department of Water Resources, like many organizations, uses a payment processing service. Its sophisticated high-speed equipment is equipped to complete the labor-intensive process of opening mail, removing checks, scanning checks, archiving checks and accompanying documents, applying payments, and preparing deposits for the nearly 50,000 checks received from our customers each month. This service recently moved its operations from Columbus, Georgia to Charlotte, North Carolina.
High Bills, High Consumption, and Leaks
Q: Why does my bill appear higher than normal?
A: A variety of factors can cause increased consumption in your household between the dates listed on your last bill:
- More guests in the home
- Landscaping the yard (including putting down new sod or planting grass, flowers, or shrubs)
- Pressure washing the driveway or the house
- Plumbing repairs (even minor ones)
Also, consider how habits change depending on the season. In the summer, families start watering the yard, filling pools, pressure washing the home, or may have children home from school. During the winter months, out-of-town family visits may cause more water consumption than normal. If you cannot identify a cause for abnormal water usage in your household, you may have a leak.
Q: What should I do if my bill seems really high?
A: First, look at the consumption on your bill. Your consumption history is located on your bill in the middle left-hand side. If your consumption is substantially higher than the previous month’s consumption, and/or the consumption from one year ago, it is most likely due to a sudden shift in behavior.
If you cannot identify a behavioral cause for increased water usage in your household, then we suggest you conduct a leak test.
Q: My meter box is full of water. Do I have a leak?
A: Water in the meter box could simply be groundwater if there has been a lot of rain. There is also the possibility of a leak either on the customer side of the meter or on the County side of the meter. Please contact the Dispatch Department at 678.376.7000, 24 hours a day, if you find your meter box full of water.
Q: How do I check for leaks?
Two easy ways to check for leaks are the one-hour leak test, and the toilet-leak test. Learn how to perform these tests and other tips on our Leak Detection page.
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 and cannot test for leaks on your property. However, we encourage you to conduct some simple tests for leaks by following the tips on our Leak Detection page.
Q: If I find a leak at my property, what do I do? Does Gwinnett County make repairs?
A: Gwinnett County is not responsible for repairing leaks on the customer’s side of the meter. This includes leaks between the meter and the house or inside the house. These are the customer’s responsibility and must be repaired by the customer at their own cost.
The maintenance and repair of pipes and fixtures on the customer’s side of the water meter are the sole responsibility of the resident/property owner. This includes any consumption charges associated with a leak. If you are still unsure of what is your responsibility, visit our Resident Responsibility page.
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 the service location’s water meter. The County is not responsible for the type or condition of plumbing from the water meter to the service location (residential or commercial).
Q: Do you offer leak adjustments?
A: Yes, Gwinnett County does offer adjustments on eligible water and sewer accounts. As of May 1, 2019, this adjustment is only offered once in a twelve (12) month period. Repair must be made within three (3) months of increased consumption. Requests must be made within three (3) months of the leak repair date. Use the form below to submit a leak adjustment request.
Leak Adjustment Request Form
Q: Does Gwinnett County offer adjustments on sewer charges for filling a swimming pool?
A: Yes, Gwinnett County offers adjustments for sewer charges only related to pool fills. As of May 1, 2019, this adjustment is only offered if it is a newly constructed pool, if the pool has been repaired and needs to be refilled, or for a refill once every five (5) years. Only one (1) billing cycle will be adjusted. Please call, email, or visit us for additional information.
Q: Does Gwinnett County offer adjustments on sewer charges for watering sod?
A: Yes, as of May 1, 2019, Gwinnett County offers adjustments for sewer charges only related to watering newly installed sod. This adjustment is only offered if a minimum of one pallet (450 sq. ft.) of sod is installed at the property. Only one (1) billing cycle will be adjusted. Please call, email, or visit us for additional information.
Billing and Past Due Accounts
Q: I get paid at the beginning of the month. Can you change my billing cycle to coincide with my pay date?
A: Unfortunately, there is no way for us to manually change your billing cycle. The County bills approximately 250,000 customers per month. The county is split into portions, and we read one or two portions per day and bill the next day. Your billing date is based on which portion you live in.
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 includes this message: “WATER SCHEDULED TO BE DISCONNECTED ON (*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.
Q: My water was turned off, so I called and made the required payment. Can I get my water turned on today?
A: Reconnection service is scheduled and performed the next business day. Please note, as our field technicians’ routes vary from day to day, we are unable to provide or promise an exact time of reconnection.
Q: What happens if I cut the zip tie or padlock on my meter?
A: Any type of meter tampering results in an additional $250 fee for the first occurrence. Additional fees will apply for multiple occurrences.
Q: I need help paying my water bill. Is there someone who can help?
A: Several local agencies are available for those truly in need of financial assistance. Please note, these agencies operate completely independently, and we are in no way involved in their decision-making processes.
Coalition Help Line 770.995.3339
Dept. Family & Children Services 678.518.5500
Salvation Army 770.724.1660
SE Gwinnett Co-Op Ministries 770.985.5229
North Gwinnett Co-Op Ministries 770.271.9793
Lawrenceville Co-op 770.339.7887
St. Vincent De Paul Society 678.892.6163
Q: Do you offer budget billing?
A: No. 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 they must pay the full amount of their bill, which could waste a great deal of water and money.
Q. Do you charge me a fee to pay my bill?
We never charge our customers a fee to pay your bill. Please be aware, we are not affiliated with any third-party payment services. Payments made through these services are assessed a fee by the service provider and are often delayed in reaching us, so it’s better to pay us directly using the many payment options we offer: through our 24/7 automated phone system, our online portal, or through one of our Customer Care representatives.
Q: Do you offer refunds for overpayment?
A: Our policy is not to issue refunds for overpayments on open accounts. However, if you have a question concerning your payment or would like to inquire about a potential refund, please give us a call at 678.376.6800.