Water Bills

Water Meters, Billing, and Payments

Water Meters


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.


Residents who have NOT had their meter changed, and have NOT been contacted to schedule an appointment are encouraged to contact UMS to schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment online, please click here. Alternative scheduling options are available via the letter you may have received in the mail. 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 by the end of the calendar year, this fee will be waived.

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.

Understanding Your Water Bill

Sample Bill

To view a sample water bill, please click here.

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 by December 31, 2021.

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

Residents who have NOT had their meter changed, and have NOT been contacted to schedule an appointment are encouraged to fill out the Waiting List Form. After completing this form, you will be contacted by the DPW or Utility Metering Solutions (UMS) to schedule a meter change by the end of the year. Once again, you may still see a $100 charge on your water bill. However, if you schedule and complete the water meter change by the end of the calendar year, this fee will be waived.

How to Pay Your Water Bill


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


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.


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.


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, contact the Utility Billing Office to request arrangements for an extended payment term. Utility charges are ultimately the liability of the property owner and, if unpaid, water service may be discontinued. Utility Billing staff will work with you to help maintain your water service during periods of financial hardship.

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

Phone: 248-546-2374


If I am a landlord, can my tenants register to receive water bills directly to his/her name(s)?

Yes. As the landlord, you must call 248-546-2374 and permit the tenant to sign for the water service. Tenants may register for water service online by completing an online registration form.

What part of the water system is the City's responsibility?

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. 

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

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

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 or call the Water Billing Department to go over your account.

What is the non-converted meter charge?

Any water billing account that has not completed the water meter replacement will be assessed a $100 non-converted meter fee. This fee may be applied to your account prior to the scheduling of the water meter replacement. As long as your meter is updated by December 31, 2021, you will be reimbursed for this fee on your account. The fee reversal may take one billing cycle to process, so you will see this refunded on your following quarterly water bill.

What if I don’t pay the $100 non-converted meter fee?

You do not have to pay the $100 fee as long as your water meter has already been updated by the end of 2020. You will not incur any late fees even if you pay your balance minus the 100 dollars. This will be refunded on your following water bill, if you do not see this fee reimbursed and have successfully fulfilled the meter change pleased contact Water Billing.

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


Phone: 248-546-2374

Please click here for our current hours of operation.

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.

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 "Sewer Usage Fee?"

The "Sewer Usage Fee" is a cost associated with cleaning water (via the County's wastewater treatment facility). The cost of cleaning water is higher than the cost of receiving/using water, so the City multiplies each customer's incoming water usage (it's not possible to meter outgoing dirty water) by roughly 1.54—a predetermined number provided by the wastewater treatment center. This gives us the amount to charge for used water that will be cleaned.

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 (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)

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. 

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.

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