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Frequently Asked Questions

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Billing Inquiries

Q. My water bill is high. What can I do?


Over the years, experience has indicated that water meters are extremely reliable and rarely fail. So, if your utility bill is unusually high, the problem will generally lie with either water usage or LEAKS.

Here are some examples of the rate of water flow through various apertures, running through a 5/8" meter:

  • WATER HOSE: 3/4", 100 feet long
    • 13.1 gallons per minute
    • 786 gallons per hr (1.05 units)
    • 18,864 gallons per day (25 units)
    • 565,920 gallons per month (756.6 units*)
    • Total cost - $3,441.96 per month!

  • TOILET with flapper removed
    • 6.8 gallons per minute
    • 408 gallons per hr (.55 units)
    • 9,792 gallons per day (13.9 units)
    • 293,760 gallons per month (392.7 units*)
    • Total cost - $1,782.12 per month!

  • TOILET with chain under flapper
    • 1.6 gallons per minute
    • 96 gallons per hr (.13 units)
    • 2,304 gallons per day (3.08 units)
    • 69,120 gallons per month (92.4 units*)
    • Total cost - $414.12 per month!

  • (*One unit equals 748 gallons or 100 cubic feet.)

So be aware that extra garden watering, or leaky fixtures and faucets can really make a difference in your utility bill!

Let's imagine the three dots below are holes through which your water leaks.
How many gallons of water would you guess LEAK through each of these size holes in 24 hours:


Get ready for a surprise! Here are the amounts:

º 170 gallons PER DAY!
o 970 gallons PER DAY!
O 3600 gallons PER DAY!

Remember, if there is a leak AFTER the water runs through the meter, the cost will appear on the bill, and have to be paid by the user. Attention to possible LEAKS will not only conserve our precious natural resources, but will help keep YOUR costs as a consumer to a minimum.

For further assistance Contact Utility Customer Service.

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Q: How can I request a payment arrangement due to a leak in my home?

A: Contact Utility Customer Service.

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Q: My gas bill is much higher now than last year, why?

A: Many factors contribute to the fuel consumption of an appliance such as the age of the equipment, efficiency/maintenance, lifestyle of the occupants (number of people in home), type of appliances and weather conditions. Note: usage will vary for each customer.

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Q: How can I pay my bill by direct debit from my checking or savings account?

A: The City of Clearwater offers a direct debit service. Your monthly bill amount will be deducted from your checking or savings account 10 calendar days after your statement date that is noted on the top left hand corner of your bill. Complete the Direct Debit application and return to the provided address. Remember to attach a VOID check.

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Q: How do I read my natural gas or propane gas bill?

A: You can learn how to read your natural gas bill or learn how to read your propane gas bill on the Clearwater Gas Web site.

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Q: How do I read my water meter?

A: You can read about water meters on the Public Utilities Water Meter section of the Web site.

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Q: How do I read my gas meter?

A: To read your gas meter:

If it is an EZ read meter, it will look like a car odometer, and can be read just the same, from left to right.

If it is a dial meter it is a little more difficult to read.

Dial Meter image

The dials on the meter are marked off in units of ten. You read the dials as you would the hands on a clock, EXCEPT that some of the dials turn the opposite way from a clock (counter-clockwise).

To tell which way the hands go, look to see which way the numbers are printed around the face of the dial. Each dial should be read in the way that its numbers increase. The dial on the right has to make 1 complete revolution (go around once completely) before the next dial on the left advances one unit or number. These dials are READ - RIGHT TO LEFT. Starting with the first dial on the right, write down the last number passed by each dial pointer. If a dial pointer looks like it is pointing directly at a number, check the dial to the right to make sure that the pointer has just passed "0".

To check the reading on the meter shown above, reading from right to left write down the first number. (Write down the numbers, right to left, also). If the hand is between the numbers, use the lower number. Then write down the readings on each of the other dials across the meter, ending with the dial on the left hand side.

5 2 1 1

The dial above shows 5211. If this were the actual reading on your home meter, then your bill would be based on subtracting your previous reading from this one. The difference would be the basis for your gas bill.

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Q: Where can I find information about rates for City of Clearwater Utility Services?

A: Rates for utility services provided by the City of Clearwater (Water, Wastewater, Lawn Water, Reclaimed Water, Gas, Solid Waste/Recycling, Stormwater) are contained in Appendix A of the City Code.

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Q: My name has changed. How do I update my account?

A: If name has changed due to divorce, or due to marriage, mail a copy of dissolution papers or marriage license to City of Clearwater, Utility Customer Service. P.O. Box 4748 Clearwater, Fl. 33758-4748 or Fax to 727-562-4629. For any further questions, call 727-562-4600.

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Q: My spouse is deceased. How do I change the name on my account?

A: Mail a copy of death certificate to City of Clearwater, Utility Customer Service P.O. Box 4748 Clearwater, Fl. 33758-4748 or Fax to 727-562-4629.

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Deposit Inquiries

Q: When is my deposit refunded?

A: Deposits for residential utility service may be refunded after (12) months of service, provided that a good payment record has been established. A good payment record would be: no more than (2) past due notices (penalty charges) in 12 months, no NSF (non-sufficient funds) checks, no disconnection for non-payment of bill.

The security deposit is applied against any outstanding balance when the utility account is closed.

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Q: Do I receive interest on my security deposit?

A: Interest on cash deposits is credited to accounts annually at the prevailing interest rate.

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New Customer Inquiries

Q: How do I connect/disconnect my utility services?

A: To connect or disconnect utility services you can call Utility Customer Service at 727-562-4600.
Utility Customer Service attempts to accommodate requests for service connection/disconnection during normal business hours. In order to allow efficient scheduling of resources, customers are requested to provide at least one business day notice for service connects and disconnects.

The City of Clearwater requires that the customer provide us with proof of ownership or occupancy. For an owner, this can be in the form of a settlement statement, deed, title, or purchase agreement. For a tenant, this can be in the form of a lease, or a written letter of authorization from the owner of property, if a lease is not available.

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Q: Do I need a deposit to connect my utility services?

A: In general, payment of a security deposit equal to two (2) times the average monthly bill is required at the time utility service is requested.

Applicants for residential utility service may satisfy the deposit requirement by producing a letter of referral from another utility that confirms that the customer has established a good payment record for 12 consecutive months. In general, such referral letters should be received prior the date when service is requested to begin.

Applicants for nonresidential utility service must place a cash deposit before utility service will be connected.

Alternatives to a cash deposit for nonresidential accounts include a Surety Bond (obtained through an insurance company) and an Irrevocable Bank Letter of Credit. Such alternatives are subject to acceptance by the City of Clearwater. Detailed information regarding these alternatives is available upon request.

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Service Inquiries

Q: I do not have my gas / water service on. Who do I call?

A: Call Utility Customer Service at 727-562-4600

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Q: I received a watering restriction violation on my door. Who do I call?

A: Call Code Enforcement at 727-562-4720.

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Q: What is Stormwater?

A: Pollutants carried by runoff from rainfall and storms threaten Clearwater’s lakes, creeks and bays. This “stormwater” floods our streets and roads. Many of our homes are inundated during major storms.

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Q: Why is stormwater a problem?

A: After a heavy summer rain, stormwater running off our buildings, homes and streets carries pollutants, such as oil, grease and fertilizers. This stormwater runs through hundreds of miles of ditches and underground pipes. Then it is discharged into Clearwater Bay, Old Tampa Bay, and other surface waters. The stormwater drainage system is a direct line to the Bay and the Gulf. Debris that is in the street, sidewalk, driveway, and even yards will end up on our beaches, polluting them and making them unsafe for our children and visitors.

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Q: What is a stormwater service utility and why do we need it?

A: A stormwater service utility is a system that charges a fee for stormwater services, just like a water or sanitation utility. Fees are used for engineering services, operation and maintenance of the stormwater infrastructure, and capital improvements to control flooding and improve water quality.

Section 402(P) of the Federal Clean Water Act (PL 92-500) and the State’s Growth Management Act of 1985 (F.S. 163) mandate that the City clean up stormwater before it drains into the lakes, creeks, and bays. However, they do not provide funds to do it. In order to raise the millions of dollars necessary to collect stormwater effectively, and to clean it up, the City had to find a new way to raise revenue. The stormwater utility (or management system) will collect the water, treat it and dispose of it. At the same time, it will maintain the drainage system and plan for future collection systems.

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Winter Resident Inquiries

Q: How do I place my water and solid waste service on dormant status?

A: You may place your services on dormant by calling Customer Service at 727-562-4600.

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Q: Why do I have to pay for services when I am not occupying the residence?

A: With regard to sewer/wastewater services:
A minimum bill shall be rendered even though the water meter has been temporarily turned off to any location that is connected to the wastewater collection system. Per City Code Ordinance 32.190.

With regard to Stormwater:
Fees are used for engineering services, operation and maintenance of the stormwater infrastructure, and capital improvements to control flooding and improve water quality. The stormwater drainage utility fee shall be billed and collected with the monthly utility bill for those parcels of land utilizing any other of the city utilities. Per City Code Ordinance 32.244.

With regard to solid waste collection:
The solid waste collection and disposal charges are applicable until all municipal utilities including lawn (water) meters are disconnected. Per City Code Ordinance 32.278.

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