3. Billing & Payment

3.1. Monthly Bills: Bills are sent out monthly.

3.2. Services Appearing on Bills: CFPUA is the billing agent for the City of Wilmington’s storm water and solid waste, so you will see charges for these services along with your water and sewer.

3.3. Utility Rates: Your water and sewer charges have two components. The first will remain the same every billing period. The fixed meter charge covers the cost for building and paying debt service on the plants and pipes used to provide water and sewer service. The second component is the consumption charge which covers the cost of treating the water you use and the wastewater you put into the sewers. Your meter records how much water you use and is basis for the consumption portion of your bill. You can get a copy of the rate schedule from CFPUA Customer Service representatives or on our Rates and Fees page.

3.4. Payment Options: You can pay your bill using cash, check, money order, or debit/credit card in person at CFPUA offices. You may mail a check using the envelope provided in your bill. You can also make a payment using your credit or debit card over the phone by using our Interactive Voice Response System. The easiest and simplest way is to set up an automatic bank draft so you never have to worry about forgetting a payment or finding a stamp. Other ways to pay include EZ-Billing to make credit/debit, e-check payments or set up CFPUA with your online bill pay through your bank.

3.5. Starting or Stopping Automatic Bank Drafts: Contact a Customer Service representative to start or stop automatic bank drafts. Forms are also available on our Applications and Forms page.

3.6. Where to pay: 

CFPUA has two locations
305 Chestnut Street in downtown Wilmington
235 Government Center Drive near the intersection of Eastwood Rd and Racine Dr. 

Both locations are open Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm. CFPUA observes the same holiday schedule as the state of North Carolina offices. You may also pay online or by calling (910) 332-6550.

3.7. Due Date: The due date is printed on your bill.

3.8. Late Fees: Payments not received within 25 days will be charged a late fee of 5% of the outstanding charges. Late fees on disputed bills may be waived if you are following the appeal procedure (see Section 3.13).

3.9. Application of Partial Payment: Application of Partial Payment: In the event payment is made in an amount less than the total due on a bill, any such amount shall be allocated to outstanding charges in the following order: storm water, trash bags, trash services, other charges, sewer, and water.

3.10. Returned Checks and Bank Drafts: If your checks or bank draft is not honored by the bank, you will be charged a fee to reimburse CFPUA for administrative time. You will need to come to the CFPUA office to pay that amount plus the returned check fee in cash. Otherwise you are considered to have not made a payment, and will be subject to any late fees and procedures for collection of past due charges, which could include cutting off your water.

3.11. Adjustments for Leaks: A residential or commercial customer may seek an adjustment to an unusually high water bill caused by physical damage to the customer's water service line. Physical damage means damage to a facility or equipment supplying water to the premises and the damage:

• Is not detectable in the customer’s premises except upon excavation or some other disturbance of the property; and
• Is not the result of an act of the customer, or of any agent or contractor hired by the customer.

A customer may not receive an adjustment unless the customer has paid all outstanding water and sewer bills owed prior to the unusually high water bill. An unusually high water bill means a water and/or sewer bill for a billing cycle that reflects monthly water usage, that is at least two (2) times the customer’s average monthly usage of the premises as measured during the previous six monthly billing periods. For customers with meters 2" in size or less, the amount of the adjustment for water will be 50% over the average consumption of the previous six-month period and 100% over the average for sewer consumption charges if the leak did not enter the sewer system. If the leak enters the sewer system, sewer charges will be for 50% over the average consumption charges for the previous six-month period. Should sufficient consumption history not be available for a customer, the average residential customer consumption, as stated in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, will be used to the calculation of the average monthly consumption value. Adjustments for irrigation leaks will be made to water and/or sewer charges depending on whether a separate meter is used for the calculation of water charges associated with irrigating. The amount credited may be 50% of water and 100% of sewer, if applicable, over the average consumption charges for the same billing period of the last two consecutive years.

No leak adjustment related to irrigation or other commercial water hazard related business, that is required to have a backflow prevention device, will be granted an adjustment until such time as the backflow prevention device used for such system has been installed, inspected, tested, and all required documentation related to the device is filed with Community Compliance as required in Chapter 2 - Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention.

The Executive Director has the latitude to consider the circumstances not considered by this policy and make adjustments based on rational factors.

The customer retains control over the usage of water on the customer's premises, and as such, the customer is responsible for all water passing through the meter, including water which may be lost or wasted through leaking pipes or fixtures on the premises. The customer is responsible for monitoring for unusually high water usage as reflected on the customer's bill. The customer must promptly investigate any unusually high water bills. A customer is required to repair any water leak promptly, and the customer is responsible for all repair costs.

To encourage prompt repairs and minimize losses to the customer and CFPUA, only the bill immediately before the repair and immediately after the repair will be considered for an adjustment. Each bill must independently fall within all adjustment criteria to be considered.

A customer is not eligible for a leak adjustment to an unusually high water bill due to circumstances not caused by an undetected leak, leaks that should reasonably have been discovered, and/or high usage caused by negligence or failure to properly maintain pools or water using/consuming devices (including but not limited to such items as water softeners, auto-fill devices, irrigation control systems, etc.) that may be malfunctioning. Leaks caused by a third party from whom the customer can recover their costs will not be considered for a leak adjustment. Examples include, but are not limited to, theft, vandalism, negligence and construction damage, unoccupied or vacant properties. Leaks caused due to the meter being accessed, tampered with, or turned on/off by anyone other than a CFPUA employee that results in loss of water will not be considered for a leak adjustment.

residential or commercial customer is eligible for one leak adjustment in a 24-month period, provided the customer submits documentation of the leak repair within 45 days of the high consumption billing. Should a customer have a second leak greater than 125% of the previous adjustment, based on dollar value, within the two-year time frame for a leak adjustment, the customer may appeal to the Executive Director for an additional leak adjustment, net of the previous adjustment.

The customer must complete a Leak Adjustment Request Form stating the type of leak, date of repair, address at which the leak repair was made and the customer for whom the repair was made. The documentation must be submitted by a licensed contractor or plumber. In the event the property owner completes the repair, a receipt showing the parts purchased for the repair must be included.

A commercial customer with a meter size 3” or greater is eligible for one leak adjustment for sewer charges only in a 24-month period, provided the customer submits documentation of the leak repair within 60 days of the high consumption billing. The customer must complete a Leak Adjustment Repair Form and submit documentation from a licensed plumber or contractor stating the type of leak, date of repair, address at which the leak repair was made, and the customer for whom the repair was made.

(H) Pool Credits. sewer credit will be considered when filling a newly constructed pool or when refilling a pool that has been drained to facilitate a repair. When a customer provides written documentation that a swimming pool has been filled from the internal plumbing system, a sewer credit may be issued based on the metered water volume used to fill the pool. The customer must provide the dimensions of the pool, the volume that was filled, and the dates the pool was filled. For pool fills, your utility account may be credited for wastewater usage based on your average usage for the prior six billing cycles. Customers may receive one pool credit per twelve-month period. Credit is not available for the addition of makeup water due to normal routine maintenance (topping off), nor are credits provided for splasher pools (kiddie pools) or hot tubs/spas. The customer must complete the Pool Fill Adjustment Request Form and submit with required documentation, as outlined on the form for a sewer credit consideration.
3.12. Billing Errors: If you believe there is an error in your bill, you should contact a Customer Service Representative within 90 days. If pursuant to a request for adjustment, it is determined that the bill was in error or that an adjustment should rightfully be made, a corrected bill shall promptly be prepared and your account will be adjusted accordingly. A credit will be applied to your account; there will be no cash refunds issued unless your service has been terminated.

3.13. Appeal Billing Disputes: If you disagree with a bill or refusal of a credit or refund for disputed water or sewer charges as determined by the Customer Service Manager, you can file a written request for an appeal hearing to the Director of Customer Service. Such request should be made within ten (10) days after the bill or notification of an assessment for a violation and/or service termination was received. The Director of Customer Service will be the final decision maker for appeals under $500 in value. If you wish to appeal a decision made by the Customer Service Director AND the amount in question is $500 or greater in value, you will need to submit your request in writing to the Director of Engineering and follow the Appeal Hearing process. See Ordinance 5.5 Water and Sewer Bill Appeal.

3.14. Extension of Payments: You are responsible for paying your bill in full by the due date, or you will be charged late fees and your water may be turned off. If you cannot pay in full by the due date, call a Customer Service Representative to see if you qualify for assistance.

3.15. Discovery of Unbilled Accounts: If we discover that you have received water and/or sewer service but we have not billed you or not billed you correctly, we may send you a bill for up to three years of service, even if you received service for more than three years and were not billed for it. No interest charges are included for unbilled past service. Of course, if your account has been in your name for less than three years, or if we can determine that the billing error or omission began less than three years ago, we will prepare the bill accordingly. If the amount due is large (see Section 3.15 above), you may qualify for installment payments.

3.17. Third Party Notification: If you would like to have a copy of a bill or delinquency notice mailed to another person such as a tenant or relative, contact a Customer Service Representative. There is also a form on the Applications and Forms page that you must complete and submit to Customer Service.

Show All Answers

1. 1. General Information
2. 2. Setting Up & Terminating Service
3. 3. Billing & Payment
4. 4. Shutting Off Water
5. 5. Meter Information
6. 6. Backflow Prevention
7. 7. Deposit Policy & FAQ