Water and Sewer Billing
Water/sewer bills are issued on a quarterly basis. Water usage charges are a property lien. The property owner is responsible for payment of the water/sewer charges. The County does not pro-rate between buyer/seller or landlord/tenant.
Charges are based on metered water usage. The usage of consumption is multiplied by the current water and sewer rates. There is a water account user charge based on meter size and a sewer account charge set at a flat rate. The water account charges and the sewer account charge are billed each quarter even if there is no water usage.
Water bills are mailed allowing a thirty-day payment period. Payments must be received in the Department of Finance on or before the net due date to avoid late fees. A 10% late fee is assessed to the unpaid balance if payment is not received in the Department of Finance by the net due date. If payment has not reached the Department of Finance on or before the due date a past due notice will be issued. Failure to pay the past due charges will result in the discontinuance of service. Turn–off and turn-on charges will then be assessed. All charges must be paid before water service can be restored. Charges that remain unpaid can be placed in the annual tax sale and are assessed an administrative fee.
Bills are issued to the property unless the County receives notification to mail the bill elsewhere.
The account number stays with the property address. A secondary billing address is available that allows the past due notice to be issued to the address recorded for mailing and to the secondary address.
Direct Debit- Electronic transfer from your checking account on the bill due date. To Apply:
- Complete the application form (click here for PDF) that pertains to your type of checking account (personal or business).
- Enclose a copy of a voided check.
- Send your application in a separate envelope to:
Director of Finance, Direct Debit
PO Box 3367
Ellicott City, MD 21041-3367
- Keep one copy of the authorization for your records.
Credit Card Payments - Please read the note below.
Click here to pay by Credit Card or Check or call 1-800-263-1923 - A $4.50 convenience fee is charged by Govolution for Credit Card and Check Payments.
Please Note: The County has implemented a new Water/Sewer Billing System. Account numbers have changed from 8 digits to 12 digits. To pay via the internet you may use either the old or new account number. However, payments via the phone can only use the new account number. If you are trying to pay a bill issued before August 13, 2010 please call 410.313.2058 to get your new account number. All bills and late notices issued after August 13, 2010 have the new account number on them.
Lock box - The envelope provided with your bill directs your payment to our bank's payment processing facility.
Drop box - Located to the left of the main entrance at 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Payments deposited after 8:30 A.M. will not be collected until the next business day.
PO Box 3367 - Adjusted payments and correspondence.
Cashiers office - Located at 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Processes payments from walk in customers.
Bill payer services - Payments made through a bill payer service should be directed to Howard County Water/Sewer, P. O. Box 37213, Baltimore, MD 21297-3213.
The water/sewer billing office is located in the Department of Finance, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. For map and directions, click here. The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday, except for County Holidays.
Rate Increases - Effective July 1, 2012
Click here for a list of all the various Water and Sewer Rates increases.
Sample Water Bill (.PDF)
State Bay Restoration Fee
On May 26, 2004, Governor Robert Ehrlich signed Senate Bill 320 (Bay Restoration Fund) into law. By signing this bill, Governor Ehrlich has initiated Maryland’s efforts to reduce nitrogen loading in the bay by over 7.5 million pounds per year and phosphorus loading by over 260 thousand pounds per year, which represents over one-third of Maryland’s commitment under the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement.
The County is required to levy the Bay Restoration Charge for properties connected to the public water/sewer system on all bills issued after February 1, 2005. As of July 1, 2012, Residential properties will be charged $15.00 per quarter. Commercial properties are charged based on water consumption.
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has set up a website www.mde.state.md.us giving detailed information about the Bay Restoration Fees. Questions regarding the Bay Restoration Fee should be directed to MDE at 410-537-3567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bay Fee Hardship Exemption
Howard County has a Hardship Exemption for low income users of County Water & Sewer Service. If you are a homeowner living in your property, you can apply for both the Bay Fee Hardship Exemption and the Trash Fee Credit with one form as the requirements for qualification are the same. Click HERE for application and instructions. If you are a renter paying a Water & Sewer bill for the property you are leasing, you can still qualify for the Bay Fee Hardship Exemption using a special application just for Renters. Click HERE for the Renters application.
Phone Numbers for Inquiries
Sewer Back Up:
After Hours Emergencies:
Meter Change Out Program:
Utility Stake Out: