Resource

Water Bills

Water Meters, Billing, and Payments

Water Meters

Background

On Sept. 9, 2019, Ferndale City Council unanimously approved a plan to replace water meters and radio transmitters throughout the city. This was a move to replacing the city’s aging units, which had begun failing at increasing rates and producing unpredictable extreme water bills for some residents. The City partnered with Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to replace meters for all residential and business properties with new Neptune water-smart system meters, provided by Ferguson Waterworks. Ferguson, one of the nation’s largest waterworks companies, offers a secure, cloud-based smart-water system accessible on mobile devices, allowing customers to see their water usage in real-time, set notifications to alert them when their water use is higher than normal, and send alerts to utility staff, increasing transparency for both residents and Water Department staff.

Installation

Residents who have NOT had their meter changed, and have NOT been contacted to schedule an appointment are encouraged to contact DPW to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment, please call 248-546-2514 or 248-546-2519. You may also see a $100 charge on your water bill relating to the obsolete meter fee (see below). However, if you schedule and complete the water meter change, any fees incurred may be reimbursed if the meter is replaced.

After Installation

The City is happy to offer new WaterSmart software, supporting the upgraded water meters, that allows you to view water history, get real-time information about your water usage, manage your information via app, and more.

Reading Your Meter

Curious about how to read your meter or check for leaks? View this instructional graphic.

Understanding Your Water Bill

Sample Bill

To view a sample water bill, please click here.

VIEW/PRINT YOUR BILL

  1. After you've arrived at the BSA home page, enter your address into the white bar and click the "search" button. You should see your address come up in the list of results.
  2. Click on your address, and it will take you to a record details page that displays your account information.
  3. Scroll down to the "Current Utility Bill" section. To view your bill, click the button that says, "Click here for your current Utility Bill." You can choose to save a PDF copy if you'd like. To print your bill, click the "Click here for a printer friendly version" button.


billing differences

If you've received a new meter and you notice your bill is higher than previous bills, you have received an actual water meter reading after an estimated, or several estimated bills. As the City's older water meters and their radios began failing at increasing rates, it became impossible for staff to keep up with repairs and individual in-person readings. For those with failing meter radios, the Finance Department began estimating bills (estimate of the previous three billing cycles). For some properties, these estimates may have been higher or lower (significantly so, in some cases) than normal usages. The result: several months of bills—up to a year and a half—that weren't reflective of a property's true water usage. The first actual read with the new meter is "catching up," creating a higher or lower bill. There is also the chance that a property is experiencing an individual issue, such as a leak, extra usage because of summer activities (pools, garden and lawn watering, etc.), or something similar. If you have questions about this kind of scenario, please contact the Water Billing staff.

Obsolete Water Meter Fee

On October 1, 2021, the City of Ferndale approved a fee for any property that has not upgraded its water meter through the Department of Public Works (DPW). The water meter replacement late fee is $100 per billing cycle. However, any fees incurred by a property may be reimbursed to the billing account through a credit if an appointment is made and kept.

If your meter change has been scheduled and completed, you may still see a $100 charge due to the timing of when your meter was completed and the time your quarterly water bill was calculated. If you see this charge appear on your bill, but have already completed your water meter change, please wait until you receive the next bill to see this fee removed. If for some reason the charge remains, and you have had your meter changed, please reach out to Water Billing Specialist Tim Brown at waterbilling@ferndalemi.gov.

Residents who have NOT had their meter changed, and have NOT been contacted to schedule an appointment are encouraged to contact DPW to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment online, please call 248-546-2514 or 248-546-2519.

How to Pay Your Water Bill

Online

Your online account is the best and easiest method for paying your water bill. Here's a step-by-step guide of how to process payment:

  1. After you've arrived to the BSA home page, enter your address into the white bar and click the "search" button. You should see your address come up in the list of results.
  2. Click on your address, and it will take you to a record details page that displays your account information.
  3. Under the "Utility Info" tab, you will see a red box that says "Amount Due" with the total amount displayed below. Click on the "pay now" button. You may also save your bill as a PDF or print your bill under the "Current Bill" section.
  4. You will be taken to a screen that provides a breakdown of your charges. If you would like to pay your balance in full, simply click the "make payment" button. If you would like to make a partial payment, enter your desired amount in the "total payment" box, then proceed by clicking the "make payment" button.
  5. You will then be taken to a payment portal where you can enter your payment information, review and submit payment, and receive a confirmation.

Mail

Mail your bill payment using the return envelope provided with your bill. Submit payment via check or money order; please don't send cash through the mail.

Phone

Call the automated number at 866-873-9157 to pay your bill 24 hours a day, seven days a week using a credit or debit card.  You will need to have your account number (located on your water bill) handy when calling. Please be advised: Partial payments cannot be made over the phone - only the full balance. To pay a partial balance, please pay online.

IN-PERSON

Pay your bill in person at City Hall, 300 E. Nine Mile Rd., during regular business hours: Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Or, drop your bill and payment into the 24-hour drop-box, located outside the front entrance of City Hall. 

Drop box: Drop box payments may be made by personal check, money order, or cashier's check. The drop box contents are removed prior to noon Monday through Friday. Please do not put cash in the drop box.

Recurring WITHDRAWAL

Set up a recurring payment that is automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account each billing cycle.

payment plan

In case of financial hardship, you can fill out the Water Payment Plan form to set up a payment plan. The City does not turn off water per City policy, however, a delinquent utility bill will incur fees and can be transferred to property taxes if a payment is not arranged. Utility Billing staff will work with you to help maintain your water service during periods of financial hardship, so please contact the Water Department for any questions or concerns.


Register for Water Service

Are you moving into a new Ferndale home? Here you can transfer water service, add or remove tenants, or request to start a new service using our Application for Water/Sewer Service Form.

Request a Final Water Bill

Are you moving out? The best and easiest method for receiving a final water bill—for residents/tenants and property managers—is our Final Water Bill Request Form.

Mailing Address Change

Need to change your mailing address for property taxes or water bills? Use our new online form to have your bills mailed to a different address.

Water Safety & Reports

Visit our Water Safety & Reports page for information about water testing, quality, and reporting.

Contact the Water Department

Contact our Water Department in person, by email, or by phone at:

City of Ferndale Water Billing
300 E. Nine Mile Rd.  
Ferndale, MI 48220

Email: waterbilling@ferndalemi.gov
Phone: 248-546-2374

FAQs

How do I know if I have a new water meter or not?

You can check your water bill to ensure that it is reflecting an actual reading as described above, but you can also check the meter yourself. The water meter is located INSIDE the house, typically in the basement or near the water heater. If you have a crawl space, it may be located under a sink or in the actual crawlspace itself. If you locate the water meter, you just have to lift the cap on it to see the face of the meter. The new water has the word "Neptune" on it, and will typically have analog digits depending on the size of your meter. If you cannot locate your water meter, or have any other questions, please contact Water Department or the Department of Public Works.

Is there a fee to have my meter replaced?

There isn’t any fee involved with the replacement of the water meter. As long as you have completed the meter change update, your water bills will reflect an auto or actual reading under "read type" instead of an "e" for "estimate." If you see that your bill is estimated and you have already had your meter updated, you can email a photo of your meter reading to waterbilling@ferndalemi.gov or call the Water Billing Department to go over your account.

What part of the water system is the property owner's responsibility?

The property owner is responsible for maintenance on any pipe leading from the stop into the property as well as any piping inside the structure.

The City is responsible for the stop box at the street and the water meter inside the home or business. The curb stop box refers to the enclosure which houses the actual valve that provides water service to residences and businesses on the adjacent street. 

Who is responsible for the water bills?

The utility bill is tied to the property itself, therefore, the owner of the property is the responsible party. However, if a lease agreement is confirmed between the owner and the tenant, the payment will be the tenants' responsibility. Please keep in mind, a lease agreement doesn't necessarily remove the property owner of the payment responsibility. If any balance is ruled as delinquent, a portion of this will be transferred to the property taxes. In the event of a financial hardship, you can set up a payment plan by filling out this form.

How often does the City bill for water service?

Residents and businesses are billed quarterly. If the first digit of your account number is:

  • One: Bills will be due on the 5th of March, June, September, and December
  • Two: Bills will be due on the 5th of April, July, October, and January
  • Three: Bills will be due on the 5th of February, May, August, and November

Industrial properties are billed monthly.

How are costs for sewer service and water service assigned on my water bill?

In previous years, charges for water and sewer consumption on your bill were allocated identically: (50% water / 50% sewer). However, the actual cost of providing water is significantly less than the cost of treating water.

As a result, the City has adjusted how water rates are allocated on a water bill to more accurately calculate the cost of providing the different services. Beginning July 1, 2021, charges for water and sewer consumption on your bill are allocated at 61% sewer, 39% water, and a flat $29 readiness to serve fee. The rate is currently $11.68 per unit, or 100 cubic feet.

For example, if your total water bill was $200, your water & sewer costs would be allocated as such:

Sewer Fees:      $104.31 (61% of total water bill costs)

Water Fees:       $66.69 (39% of total water bill costs)

RTS Fee:            $29.00

Total:                 $200.00 (100% of total water bill costs)

For a complete breakdown of fees, view the current fee schedule.

What is the "Readiness to Serve" fee?

The "Readiness to Serve" fee is the fixed-rate cost applied to cover system maintenance, supporting customers, and the portion of the Department of Public Works that is reserved for water. Every property where there is a water meter present and connected to the system is assessed a Readiness to Serve fee, whether its occupants are utilizing water or not.

What is the non-converted meter charge?

On October 1, 2021, the City of Ferndale approved a fee for any property that has not upgraded its water meter through the Department of Public Works (DPW). The water meter replacement late fee is $100 per billing cycle. However, any fees incurred by a property may be reimbursed to the billing account through a credit if an appointment is made and kept.

If your meter change has been scheduled and completed, you may still see a $100 charge due to the timing of when your meter was completed and the time your quarterly water bill was calculated. If you see this charge appear on your bill, but have already completed your water meter change, please wait until you receive the next bill to see this fee removed. If for some reason the charge remains, and you have had your meter changed, please reach out to Water Billing Specialist Tim Brown at waterbilling@ferndalemi.gov.

Residents who have NOT had their meter changed, and have NOT been contacted to schedule an appointment are encouraged to contact DPW to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment online, please call 248-546-2514 or 248-546-2519.

What happens if I have a delinquent water bill?

The City does not turn off water per City policy, however, a delinquent utility bill will incur fees and can be transferred to property taxes if a payment is not arranged. If you are facing a financial hardship, you can fill out the Water Payment Plan form to set up a payment plan. Utility Billing staff will work with you to help maintain your water service during periods of financial hardship, so please contact the Water Department for any questions or concerns.

If I move from the property, must I request a final water bill?

Yes. If you are moving from your current property address, the best and fastest way to request your final bill is by using our online seamless form

You can also receive a final bill by calling the Water Department at 248-546-2374 or stopping into the office, 300 E. Nine Mile Road, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. 

If I'm a landlord, how can I let the City know I've started renting my property, or there has been a tenant change?

If you have not yet registered your property with the City as a rental, please contact the Community and Economic Development Department at 248-336-4117.

If someone has moved into your property, an application for water service should be processed. Here, you can add or remove tenants.

If someone has moved out of your property, a final bill request should be processed.

How do I read my meter and check for leaks?

To learn how to read your meter or check for leaks, view this instructional graphic.

What should I do if my water pressure seems low?

If your water pressure seems low, contact the DPW Water Department at 248-546-2514 to see if work is being performed in your area. You may also contact Water Department Billing at 248-546-2374 to see if your service has been impacted or discontinued due to nonpayment.

How can I contact the Water Department?

Contact our Water Department in person, by email, or by phone at:

City of Ferndale Water Billing
300 E. 9 Mile Rd.  
Ferndale, MI 48220

Email: waterbilling@ferndalemi.gov

Phone: 248-546-2374

Please click here for our current hours of operation.

No items found.

Stay Connected

SEND US A MESSAGE

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form