Customer FAQ

General
What is the office location, hours of operation and phone number?
Is there a place I can drop off my payment after hours?
I think my meter was misread; what should I do?
How can my meter be read if the box is filled with dirt?
What is a landlord agreement?

New/Existing Accounts
How do I start an account?
How do deposits work?
Who has account authorization for changes/inquiries?
How do I make address/telephone changes for my bill?
How do I make account changes due to a divorce or death in the family?
How do I close an account?

Payments/Bills
Can I pay my bill online or automatically?
Can I go paperless (stop receiving paper bills)?
What if I have an unusual situation, and need to make payment arrangements?
Why do I have a late penalty?
What is the policy on returned payments?
My water was shut off for non-payment; how can I restore service?
When is a delinquent account reported to Collections or Credit Bureaus?
What does the “CR” on my bill mean?
What is the Superfund tax?
Is there a special rate for filling my pool?
How is my sewer rate calculated?

Leaks/Emergencies
What if I have an emergency after hours?
I had a leak; can I apply for an adjustment on my bill?
What is a “leak indicator,” and how do I use it?

Water Quality
How do I know my water is safe?
Where does my water come from, and what does Metro Water add to it?
Why does my water sometimes look milky coming out of the tap?
Why does my water have a taste/odor?
Do I need to filter my water?

Water Pressure
What affects water pressure in my area?
What affects water pressure in my house?
What should I do if I lose water pressure?

Office Location/Hours/Phone

The Metro Water District office is located at 6265 N. La Cañada Dr. which is just south of Orange Grove Road, on the west side of La Cañada Drive. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The main office phone number is 520-575-8100, and the fax number is 520-575-8454.

After Hours Payment – Drop Box

There is a drop box located on the north side of the office at 6265 N. La Cañada Drive for your convenience. Payments are collected and posted every morning at 7:00 a.m. on business days. Please do not put cash in the drop box.

Misreads

Meters can be misread due to human or equipment error. If you notice a read lower than the read on your bill, please contact our office so an adjustment can be made. Misreads not corrected will eventually correct themselves but may result in a higher or lower bill than usual.

Meter Box Filled with Dirt

Meter boxes frequently fill with dirt, and it can happen quickly. Meter readers must remove enough dirt each month to obtain a read. Meter readers are not able to estimate reads, because they do not carry previous reads with them in the field. In rare cases, when meters are covered by a car or other personal property, an estimate must be made by the billing clerk. Please note: It is the customer’s responsibility to keep the area around the meter box clean and unobstructed.

Landlord Agreements

Landlord Agreements allow the landlord or agent to authorize Metro Water to put service back into landlord’s name when a tenant closes their account. Applicable service fees will be charged to the Landlord for the initial transfer of service. Thereafter, no additional service fees for water will be charged when the account reverts back to the Landlord (please note – a service fee for sewer will always be charged). Each account will have its own account number. Owners authorizing a Property Manager to act on his/her behalf must provide a copy of the Management Agreement with the Landlord Agreement. Cancellation or change of a Landlord Agreement must be requested in writing. Click here for a printable Landlord Agreement. 

Return the completed form by mail or in person to: 6265 N. La Canada Drive, Tucson, AZ 85704; by fax to: 520-575-8454; or by email: info@metrowater.com

Starting a New Account

To start service, please call our office at 520-575-8100 or visit in person at 6265 N. La Cañada Drive. We require a notice of at least one business day to be able to start your service.

The District will need to collect some basic information directly from the person who will be the “account holder”. It may be necessary to provide a photo ID. For rental properties, the owner or property manager’s name and phone number will also be required.

A new account holder will be given a new account number. A refundable deposit and set-up fees will apply and must be paid in advance of starting service.

Deposits

Deposit amounts vary due to size of meter: $132 for residential homeowners, $200 for Renters, and $1,500 for Multi Family, Bulk Meters, and Commercial accounts. Deposits are refundable, earn interest, and are required for each new account.

Customers may qualify for a waiver of deposit if they have had an account with Metro Water within the past two years and at least 12 consecutive months of good payment history (no late payments). Additional deposits may be charged if service is shut-off for non-payment or other reasons.

Upon closing the account, deposit and interest will be applied. If the balance is a credit, and customer has no other active accounts, a refund check will be issued. In cases where the customer has another active account, the balance will be transferred to that other account.

Account Authorization

Account information and account history are always treated as confidential by the District. The account holder is the only person authorized to obtain information or make changes to the account.

The account holder may add another person to the account, authorizing them to obtain information or make changes. The account holder may not be removed from the account until it is closed.

Payments can be accepted from unauthorized third parties; however, account information will not be shared with third parties.

Any manager or agent requesting account access will be asked to provide documentation of their right to act on the account holder’s behalf. For property managers, a copy of the management agreement is required.

Address/Telephone Changes

A change to the mailing address or phone number can be made over the phone, by mail, or in person by any person listed on the account.

There is also a place on the back of your payment stub for making address and phone number changes. However, the back of the stub can not to be used to establish a new service, which requires the new customer to call customer service.

Divorce

If the account holder needs to be changed due to divorce, a new account will be setup for the spouse that will remain in the home. The new account holder must provide his/her basic information.

Death

If the account holder is deceased, the account can be updated with the surviving spouse’s name and information. There is no service charge in this case. If there is no surviving spouse, and the home will be sold, the mailing address only will be updated, sent in care of the person handling account matters. If a relative will be moving into the home, it will be treated as a new account with normal deposit and setup fees.

Closing an Account

Call the office at 520-575-8100 to request termination of service and to provide a forwarding mailing address. Please allow at least one business day to schedule a final meter read, the water will be turned off if no other party has taken responsibility for service.

A final bill will be mailed to your new mailing address in about one week. If the customer has other active Metro Water accounts, the unpaid balances may be transferred to the customer’s other active Metro Water accounts, if applicable.

Automatic Payments

There are currently two options for paying your bill automatically.

Direct Pay: Payments are deducted from your checking or savings account on the due date each month. An application can be mailed to you, or printed from our website. Return the application to the office with a voided check. A special message will appear on your monthly statement when Direct Payments have been activated. Changes to Direct Pay must be made in writing by account holder. A message will appear on the monthly statement confirming the automatic payment. There is no charge for this service. 

Xpress Bill Pay: Payments are charged to your credit card on any date you choose. Payments can be scheduled one time, or you can choose recurring payments.

Paperless Billing

If you would like to stop receiving paper bills, please visit Xpress Bill Pay to sign up.

Payment Arrangements

Payment arrangements can be requested by calling our office at 520-575-8100. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Late Penalties

Payments are considered late if not received by the due date. Penalties for delinquent accounts are $5.00 or 2%, whichever is greater.

Returned Payments

Payments returned unpaid will result in a $40.00 fee. This fee and the amount of the returned item must be paid in a guaranteed method to include cash, money order, or approved debit/credit card upon notification by Metro Water.

Shut off for Non-payment

If your water has been shut off for non-payment, it will be necessary to contact our office to reconnect. In most cases, the account balance plus a $30.00 refundable deposit and a $40.00 delinquency fee (or $75.00 after hours) must be paid prior to reconnection. If water service is restored after hours, the account must be paid in full by 9:00 am the following business day to avoid another interruption in water service. If the lock is removed or broken additional fees and penalties may be imposed.

Collections and Credit Reporting

Closed accounts with unpaid balances over 30 days will be reported to Collections and assessed a $10.00 collection fee. Closed accounts with unpaid balances over 90 days will be reported to Credit Bureaus.

CR = Credit Balance

When there is a credit balance on your account, nothing is due, and you will see a “CR” under “Amount Due” on your bill. Credit balances can be the result of a deposit being applied to your account, overpayment, or other adjustments to your bill.

Superfund Tax

Superfund tax is mandated by the Arizona Department of Revenue for cleanup of contaminated water in the State of Arizona. This tax is billed at the rate of $0.0065 per thousand gallons of water.

Filling a Swimming Pool

If you have filled your pool, please let us know so that we do not give you a courtesy call for high usage. There are no special water rates or discounts given when filling pools. It may also be beneficial to notify your sewer provider, Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department at 520-724-6609.

Sewer Calculations

Your sewer charge is determined by Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department. Metro Water includes the sewer charge on your water bill as a convenience to the customer.

Sewer rates are calculated by using your average water usage in December, January and February, which is considered the lowest water use months. If you can show that three other months have a lower water usage, you can work with Pima County to have that average used to calculate your sewer charge.

All questions and inquiries about your sewer charge should be directed to Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department at 520-724-6609.

After Hours Emergencies

Office hours are Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.. If assistance is needed after office hours, please call 520-575-8100. An answering service operator can dispatch a technician for emergency situations.

Leak Adjustments

Adjustments are offered to customers upon written request after all leaks have been repaired and water usage by the customer has returned to normal levels. Leak adjustments are also available when there is an unexplained high-water use, theft, or vandalism. Certain conditions must be met. Leak adjustments are calculated by charging a customer at the current adopted rate based upon the same tier, for the same month of the previous year. The full Leak Adjustment Policy and printable Leak Adjustment Form are available.

Leak Indicator

Sudden increases in your water bill may indicate a leak, either inside or outside. To check for a leak: 1) Turn all your water off (such as appliances, faucets, etc.) 2) Check your water meter. If the leak indicator is moving, you have a leak, either inside or outside. 3) Turn off main water valve to house. 4) Check water meter again. If it is still moving, the leak is outside. (Detailed instructions to check for leaks can also be found on the back of your water bill.)

How do I know my water is safe?

As a Metro Water customer, you can be assured your water is safe based on our meeting and exceeding all requirements and regular testing of contaminants for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) throughout each year, including both regulated and unregulated contaminants. Our highest priority is safety of the public water supply we deliver to our customers. An interesting fact is that commercially bought bottled water, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and not the EPA, actually has less stringent requirements for contaminants than municipal water providers (regulated by the EPA). This means the purity of your tap water exceeds even that of bottled water (by way of regulated contaminants). You can get more information about the actual list and levels of regulated and unregulated contaminants from our most recently published Water Quality Reports.

Where does my water come from, and what does Metro Water add to it?

All of the water for District customers currently comes from existing municipal wells throughout our service areas. Metro Water only adds/maintains a residual amount of chlorine in the water delivered to customers to eliminate any type of bacterial contamination that could occur in the water pipes. Since Metro Water has a current allotment of Central Arizona Project (CAP) water that is currently unused (and being recharged into the aquifer of the Tucson basin), it is a future goal to deliver this CAP water to Metro Water customers for our long term renewable supply of water. Our current well sources would still need to be maintained as backup sources in the event of an outage or for maintenance periods on the CAP canal.

Why does my water sometimes look milky coming out of the tap?

When the tap water turns warm in summer, this is a common occurrence in the desert. The reasons involve some basic knowledge of thermodynamics and chemistry of water. When water is cold, it can hold more dissolved oxygen. Water under pressure will also retain more dissolved oxygen, even when a rise in temperature would release this oxygen when open to the air. Water in aquifers is generally cold, under pressure, and full of oxygen, and gets pumped from the aquifer and into water pipes that are also under pressure. During the summer, additional warming occurs to the water in the pipes throughout the system, but a great deal of this dissolved oxygen remains in the water since the system remains under pressure. When the water is suddenly released to atmospheric pressure coming out of your faucet, all this extra dissolved oxygen is suddenly released into the water in the form of very small bubbles giving a milky appearance. This process is similar to that of opening a pressurized can of soda, and the carbon dioxide being suddenly released into the soda (though with much larger bubbles). There is no danger to health or property with this phenomenon, and the milky appearance will disappear after a short while.

Why does my water have a taste/odor?

The only possible taste/odor you should experience with Metro Water is from the chlorine residual that must be maintained to ensure public health and safety in the water system, especially in the summer months. If this taste/odor is an issue for you, allowing the water to rest in a container in the sunlight for two hours, or overnight in the refrigerator may help. You may also wish to consider some solutions regarding filtration.

Most other taste and especially odor complaints are usually due to filters and/or traps within home water systems or plumbing that need to be periodically changed or replaced. Sometimes gases build up in the trap of the drains, or due to sewer vents being blocked or obstructed, and are only released once the water moves through the drain, giving the impression the water from the faucet or shower head is the source of the odor. An easy test is to go to the sink when the odor is not present. Fill a clean jar halfway with water from the tap (without letting any down the drain) and check to see if this odor is coming from the jar. Then seal the jar with a lid and shake the water vigorously to release whatever might give off the odor. Remove the lid and check again to see if the water is the source of the odor. If no odor is detected, gases from the drain are likely the source of the odor. If you can smell an odor from the water (when no water has gone down the drain), please contact Customer Service to report this issue.

Do I need to filter my water?

While additional filtration of Metro Water is not necessary to meet EPA requirements, some customers elect make use of a variety of filtration choices to further purify water above and beyond what the EPA regulates, and/or to address aesthetic taste/odor issues related to chlorine in delivery water systems from a municipal provider. There are many filtration solutions to address different concerns–including distillation, ion exchange, carbon adsorption, ultra filtration, ultraviolet radiation, and reverse osmosis–and some are far more costly than others to implement. Carbon adsorption is the most popular and least expensive option for removal of taste/odor issues with organics, though sometimes ultra filtration is combined to remove hardness, heavy metals, and other solids absorbed in water. Reverse osmosis is the most expensive, and when commercially produced, it is necessary to reintroduce minerals stripped in this purification process.

What affects water pressure in my area?

To meet operational guidelines and state requirements, and to accommodate existing building and plumbing codes, the water pressure supplied to customers generally needs to be delivered approximately between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi), depending what elevation your home exists in this pressure zone. With an increase of 1 psi per 2.31 feet drop in elevation, a new pressure zone is created roughly every 100-foot change in elevation. Other than this static baseline, there are also dynamic realities in certain areas where system demands affect pressure more, and cause larger swings in pressure between a low demand period (with higher pressure) to high demand period (with lower pressure). The District maintains a Capital Improvement Program to evaluate such areas, prioritize, and address deficiencies in these areas.

What affects water pressure in my house?

First, you should confirm the expected pressure exists before entering the house (such as at a hose bib by the main shut off valve). If not this is likely a failed pressure reducing assembly between the house and the meter, or a constriction of old piping (such as galvanized pipe). For these you may need to have our staff confirm what pressure should be at the meter. If pressure is fine when entering the house, in-home issues are generally related to clogged inline filters (if the whole house is affected), and clogged/calcified fixtures if only at isolated locations in the house.

What should I do if I lose water pressure?

Loss of pressure can occur for a number of reasons, including a broken water main, a broken service line (either the public or private side), a scheduled shutdown for connections by new development, or even the water being shut off at the meter. If it is not evident why you have lost water pressure, our Customer Service will be able to give additional information as to the nature and/or expected duration of the outage, or notify our personnel to investigate and correct the problem. Until pressure has been restored, it is best to keep all fixtures closed in the house until all necessary repairs have been made, as the public system may need to be flushed after repairs. Depending on the nature or duration of the outage, you may also need to open up fixtures to clear out air in the system immediately after pressure is restored.