Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Water Office located?
903 Hollywood St. Houston, TX 77015
When is the Water Office open?
- Monday through Friday 8 am – 5:00 pm, except for designated holidays, this will be posted prior to closing.
- If you are at the office and need to speak to someone, please push the intercom button. It is located to the left of the front door.
- The door is locked, to help keep foot traffic low, for safety. If you need further assistance, please call the office to set up an appointment.
Do you have a drive-in window?
Not at this time. `
Do you have a payment drop box?
Yes. The payment drop box is located on the right side of the front entrance door. Only money orders or checks please, NO CASH. Payments placed in the payment drop box are posted the next business day.
What are the methods of payment?
- No more cash as of 04/01/2012
- Money Order
- Drop off check or money order at payment drop box at the office
- Bank Draft (FREE, just fill out form from office turn in with voided check or letter from bank with routing number and account number)
- Phone credit card payment at 832-271-2934 (additional $3.45 per transaction)
- As of October 1, 2013, you may make a payment online. See our homepage, and register your email and account today! (additional fees apply to online payment processing)
Can I pay my bill at any other location?
No, not at this time.
What is your fax number?
The office fax number is 713-453-4552.
What is your email address?
What is the mailing address for payments?
HCWCID No. 36
903 Hollywood St.
Houston, TX 77015
Can I look up my utility billing account on this website?
Yes, you can. Click the “PAY ONLINE” button on our home page to make an online payment. You must register your email first. Follow the instructions; you will need your last payment amount to complete the registration.
Do you accept credit card payments?
Yes. We can process Visa or Master Card. You must call 832-271-2934 (anytime, 24/7) There is a processing fee of $3.45 per transaction.
Do you offer payments by bank draft?
Yes, it’s free. To receive an application, please contact the office at 713-453-5493.
What do the bills look like?
The bill is in the form of a letter, with the top portion perforated in order to be torn off and returned with payment, to ensure proper credit of your account. If you receive a pink bill that means you are past due and are subject for disconnect. Please make a payment or contact the office immediately.
When do you send out bills?
Bills are normally mailed out between the 20th – 25th of the month. Please call the office immediately if you have not received your bill by the end of the month.
When is the due date?
The due date normally falls between the 15th and 18th of the month. If the Due Date falls on Saturday, then the due date will be the Friday before. If the Due Date falls on a Sunday, then the due date will be that Monday after. The safest thing to do is always refer to your bill or call the office, by the end of the month for next months Due Date.
Do you charge a late fee?
Yes. The District’s Rate Order states that if an account is not paid in full by the due date, the customer will be charged a late fee in the amount of 10 % of the water and sewer charges.
What do I need to do to start new water service?
- To set up new service you will need to bring documentation showing you are the owner of the property or a lease/rental agreement if you are renting the property.
- Personal identification is also required. (If out of state ID is provided, you may be asked for a second form of ID. Such as a pass port, etc.)
- A deposit must be paid in order to start your service.
- There be additional fees, always verify this information before coming in.
- An application is also required to be filled out.
- The person who is named the owner or designated renter must come in to the office to start service. If this is not possible a notarized letter stating whom you would like to start service will be required along with the above information. The District tries to provide same day service, if all fees and paper work is processed before 3:00 pm that day. Unless there is a major emergency in the District there may be a delay of one day. The office will be able to better give an estimated time when you contact them.
How much is the deposit?
The District’s Rate Order states that for Residential the amount of deposit starts at $200.00 per unit plus service fee. Please call the office to verify what the deposit will be for your property. For any larger Multi-Units or Commercial the deposit is calculated based on comparable consumption or requested consumption. Call the office for additional information.
Do I have to pay for any past fees or fines?
If you had service in the District before and did not pay your balance completely; you are liable to pay off those balances prior to activating service.
If the property you are turning service on at has assessed fines or fees prior to you purchasing and/or leasing, you may also be liable to pay those off prior to activating service.
When do I get my deposit back?
Customer deposits are held, while the customer’s account is active. When the account is closed, the deposit is applied toward payment of the final billing. Any credit balance is refunded to the customer by check, and this can take up to 6 weeks to receive. In the case of the deposit is not a sufficient amount to pay the full amount of the bill a final bill will be mailed to the customer.
How can I have a past due amount on my bill when I paid last month?
The most common reason is that a payment was made after the due date. Any payment made after the due date will not be reflected on the bill. In any case always call the office about your account immediately if you have a past due amount on the bill.
What determines the amount on my utility water bill?
This is determined by water usage recorded on your water meter. It is read monthly, generally starting the 9th of the month.
How do you figure the sewer charge?
Sewer charges are based on the customer’s monthly water consumption.
What is the TCEQ fee on my bill?
This is fee that is passed through to the state. It is calculated at ½% of your total water and sewer charge. TCEQ stands for Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.
Why is my bill so high?
A leak in the customer’s service line can cause higher usage. Seasonal increases due to increased usage, such as lawn watering, children’s wading pools additional laundry and washing automobiles.
Always check for leaking faucets or pools of water in your yard or under or near your home. Most times a leak is caused by a “silent toilet leak”. These are leaks caused by your toilet and you will not always hear it leaking. You can check for “silent toilet leaks” by putting some food coloring into the tank of each of your toilets, wait about 10 minutes and do not flush it. If the food coloring is in the bowl of the toilet, then you have leak and will need to possibly change out some of your plumbing fixtures in your tank of your toilet. You can also come by our office and pick up a couple of dye tablet packets with instructions, and other tips on leak detection and water conservation.
At this time all of our water meters are electronic. Referred to as AMR (Automatic Meter Reading). We no longer require to do a manual recheck. A report called “Data Logger” may be requested to verify your consumption. This report will reveal a time and date stamp with usage. This is free for only one-time request, every 12 months. Any additional data loggers will be charged a $50.00 service fee.
How can they read my meter when it’s full of water?
Our field technicians have a couple of ways to combat this situation. One way is to pump the water out with an electric or handheld pump. The second way is by using a long glass tube device that will magnify the read on the meter enough to read it.
How can they read my meter when the grass has grown over it?
It is very important for each customer to maintain the over growth of grass or weeds around the meter. Our field technicians will only pull back enough to access the meter. Please note that the meter and clean out (on the Utility Easement) must be accessible to our field technicians at all times. Please ensure that if you are putting up a fence that it is not in the utility easement. Please also make sure that any dogs, and foliage is out of the way of the meter and clean out. Also make sure there are no cars parked on top or drive way interfering. If there are any problems with our field technicians accessing the meter or clean out fees may be applied to your account, or disruption of service may occur, or an estimation of your bills maybe assessed.
Is there a charge for transfer of service?
There is a charge for transfers of service of $50.00 and the balance at the cut off location must be paid in full before the cut on work order can be processed. Remember you will still get one more bill for your cut off location, since the billing cycle is not over until you turn service off. Usage is billed and due the following month. So, for your first bill at your new cut on location it will be a partial bill including the end usage for the cut off location.
Why is my water cut off?
This question is most commonly asked when service has been cut off for non-payment. The best answer cannot be given until a customer service representative looks at the customer’s account.
Do you send a notice before water is disconnected for non-payment?
Yes, as a courtesy, the District makes several attempts to communicate to the customer that the service address is in danger of disconnect. The first way is by printing a past due bill on pink paper, and notating on the bottom of the bill the disconnect date. The District will also contact you by phone call, text or e-mail made through our Mass Notification system. Please make sure that the office always has the most current contact phone numbers and email address for your account.
What will I need to pay if my water is disconnected for non-payment?
If the account is not paid for by the designated time and date of notice a $50.00 service fee will be applied to the account, regardless if services were physically disconnected or not. An additional deposit maybe owed as well as other fees. It is very important to contact the office immediately when you have received your first notice, which would be the pink bill. Always, communicate to the office immediately if you have a hard ship case or need more time to pay on an account. Please do not wait for your notice to contact us, you may delay or disrupt any agreements that can be made.
What if I cannot pay my bill? Is there a place in Harris County that will provide assistance?
Please contact one of the following:
- Information and Referral Research; dial “311” they are available 24 hours a day
- Harris County Social Services at 713-696-7900
Where does our water come from?
Our drinking water is obtained from surface water sources. It comes from the following Lake/ River/ Reservoir/ Aquifer: Gulf Coast, A source water susceptibility assessment for your drink water source is currently being updated by TCEQ. Some of the assessment information will be available later this year Texas Drinking water http://dww.tceq.state.ts.us/DWW/ for more information on surface water.
Is the water tested?
Absolutely, HCWCID No. 36 test for quality control on a monthly basis. There are 12 sampling points throughout the District. TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) also conducts periodic testing. HCWCID No. 36 always goes over and beyond the minimum limits set by TCEQ. Please refer to the most current Consumer Confidence Report that is on our website.
Who provides the electrical service?
Due to deregulation, the Retail Energy Provider is selected by the consumer. You can select from a list at www.powertochose.org.
Who provides the gas service?
Please contact Center Point Energy at 713-659-2111.
Who do I call in regards to problems with garbage pickup?
All residential customers please call Best Trash at 281-313-2378.
Can I have more than one unit hooked up to water and sewer service on my lot?
No, not at this time. Since 1999, there has been a limitation on the unit amounts serviced on a lot. You can only have one unit (home or trailer) serviced (water and sewer) per each legal lot. Any properties that had multiple units serviced per lot prior to 1999 are grandfathered in. Please refer to the District’s Rate Order for more information or call the office.
When do I need to purchase a permit and inspections?
Anytime you do any kind of remodel or repair to your plumbing a permit and inspections must be paid for to avoid any other fines or fees to be charged or interruptions in service. You also need to pay for permits and inspections for brand new construction and new water or sewer tap connections. Please call the office and refer to the District Rate Order for a list of these charges and instructions.
Where can I find out more information about Grease Traps and Back Flow
Please refer to the District Rate Order that is on the website or call our office.
What can I do when a street light is out or not working properly, or if it stays on all
You can do one of two things:
- Call our office with the six (6) digit number off of the pole.
- Call Center Point with the six (6) digit number off of the pole 713-207-2222 or report it online to www.centerpointenergy.com/outage/.