Utility Bills

1. What are the current Residential Rates?

2. How is my water bill actually calculated?
The City of Rowlett has over 20,000 accounts with each account having one or more water meters. Each water meter is electronically read once every 30 days. That reading is uploaded into the billing system, and the account is charged based on the amount of usage.

3. Are sewer charges calculated the same as water?
Not exactly. Sewage is not metered at the property; therefore, the City uses the amount of water usage measured by the water meter to calculate sewer charges. However, for residential customers, the City has a cap of 10,000 gallons. Therefore, if a customer uses less than 10,000 gallons of water, the City would use the actual amount of water usage to calculate the sewer volume charges. If a customer used a higher amount, they are only charged 10,000 gallons for sewer.

4. Why is my water bill so high?
We have heard two main questions/statements from numerous customers - that their bill has never been this high and/or that they have never used this much water. The answer is complicated because every customer has different personal habits and some have irrigation systems or swimming pools while others do not.

•My bill has never been this high.
For many customers this is a true statement. For several years, Rowlett increased the water and sewer charges by an average of 5.5% each year (based on 10,000 gallons of usage) to pass on increases from North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) for water purchases and the City of Garland for sewer treatment. Then, the City was able to LOWER the water rate by 5% for two years in a row. However, the NTMWD increased the rate 13% in FY2023, meaning the average water user in Rowlett (based on 7,500 gallons/mo.) saw an increase of approximately $2.21 per month. For FY2024, as a result of increased supply and service costs (11% increase by NTMWD, 3.3% by City of Garland), water and wastewater rates increased 3.9% for residents and businesses ($4.80/mo. for the average residential 7,500 gallon/mo. usage). Based on increased contractual costs with FCC, the refuse rate increased 4.5% for residential and 5% for commercial. Find Fiscal Year 2024 rates, which are in effect as of October 1, 2023, here.

•My usage has never been this high.
For most customers, this is not accurate. Customers can check their historical usage on both the AMI and Citizen Self Service Portals. Customers can also contact the Utility Billing office to discuss their past usage patterns.

5. Does the City of Rowlett use “estimates” in billing?
The City reads each customers’ water meter every month to obtain actual usage. The only time “estimates” may be used are in situations when the customers’ water meter is pulled and tested or even rarer times when a resolution to an issue cannot be resolved during the billing period. Otherwise, we do not estimate bills.

6. What is the “pavement fee” that appears on my utility bill each month?
The pavement fee assessed each month on the utility bill is for providing a funding source for pavement maintenance to alleys and streets each year. Approximately $750k is generated each year for pavement maintenance. The fee was included in the refuse collection fee previously but to improve transparency, the fee was recently broken out so customers can view what amount is assessed each month.

7. What Is AMI?
Water meter reading system, AMI-Flexnet, is an online tool. giving water customers (YOU!) the ability to access and track water consumption. In fact, the system reads every hour so you can get real-time usage information. Simply create an account at www.rowlett.com/AMI, set up your alerts, and start tracking your daily usage. Armed with this information, customers can spot and repair potential leaks before they result in a higher bill! Realizing that we all have to work together to reduce water use, improve the reliability and sustainability of our water system and minimize costs, the City replaced ALL of the radio antennas for this important upgrade to the water meter reading system. In fact, approximately 18,000 meter radio antennas were installed! These Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) antennas transmit water consumption data directly to the City’s Utility Billing Department, thereby eliminating the need for staff to drive by each home and business to acquire the meter readings.

8. Why doesn’t the AMI record usage when I take a shower?
The AMI system registers usage in 100 gallon increments. Common household tasks alone are not enough to register while occurring:
•Shower (17-32 gal);
•Washing dishes by hand (8-27 gal);
•Dishwasher (6-16 gal);
•Washing load of clothes (25-40 gal)

Read Mayor Blake Margolis' July 2022 Mayor’s Spotlight newsletter (linked below) for more great information about the complex issue of water in our community.

Mayor's Spotlight - July, 2022 (PDF)

Show All Answers

1. NTMWD Membership
2. Sapphire Bay
3. Economic Development
4. Senior Tax Freeze and Exemption
5. Utility Bills
6. Downtown Rowlett
7. Liquor Stores
8. Rental Housing Standards Program
9. Housing Finance Corporation
10. Multi-Family Developments