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Billing FAQs

What are my payment options?
Payments can be made online here or by calling 513-887-3066, option 3.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit and debit cards.  There is a $2.80 transaction fee for all credit and debit card transactions and a per transaction maximum payment amount of $350.00.  BCWS does not receive the transaction fee and it is non-refundable.  Our payment processor established the maximum per transaction payment amount.

Checking and savings accounts may also be used to make payments online or by phone.  There is no transaction fee when using a bank account and no maximum payment amount limit.

AutoPay – SET IT AND FORGET IT!  Never miss a payment or pay late fees again.
Automatically pay your bill on the due date with your checking or savings account at no charge and no maximum payment limit or use your credit or debit card.  All credit and debit card transactions incur a $2.80 transaction fee and have a maximum transaction amount of $350.00.  Register for autoPay by signing up for an online account.

Sign up by clicking the VIEW OR PAY UTILITY BILLS button at the top of the page.  Click Register Now and follow the prompts.  Once you sign in click My Profile to setup Payment Methods then easily set up autoPay from your homepage. 

NOTE: Enter your account number exactly as shown on your bill.  Enter only the last name of the account holder in the Customer Name field.  The secure code box is requesting you to type the letters displayed beneath it in the text box.

Pay Online – No registration needed.  Pay online anytime, day or night.
To make a one-time payment you will enter your account number exactly as shown on your invoice.  Enter only the last name of the account holder.  Enter the secure code.  Select an invoice to pay and click the + Add selected invoices to your cart button.  Follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

You may also choose to Register Selected Invoices.  Registration gives you choices over how you receive and pay your bill, view bills online, and manage your account.

Pay By Phone – Quick and Easy.  Pay by phone anytime, day or night.
Call (513) 887-3066 to use our automated system to pay your bill using checking/savings account or credit/debit card ($2.80 transaction fees apply to all credit/debit transactions). 

Pay by Mail – We use an offsite payment processing center to efficiently process thousands of check payments each month.

Mail checks to:
            BCWS
            PO BOX 742640
            Cincinnati, OH 45274-2640
           
Pay in Person – We accept checks and cash at the payment window.  We do not process credit/debit card payments at the payment window.
           
            Butler County Water and Sewer
            Administrative Center, 1st Floor
            130 High Street
            Hamilton, OH 45011

*Place after hours payments in our secure drop box located in the front of the building to the left of the main doors.  Please deposit only checks or money orders.

Why should I register for an online account?
Customers who register for an online account through the payment portal can view payment history, manage autoPay and paperless bill settings, sign up for email and text alerts, and setup Pay by Text.

How do I log on or register to view or pay my bill?
The BCWS payment portal was updated March 1, 2018.  Click here to view or pay bills online.  If you created a new username and password after the payment portal update click Sign In.  To create a new account click Register Now. 

Account Registration and Setup PDF

Hint: Enter the account number with the dash.   For Customer Name enter only your last name.

I need copies of my invoices
To print copies of monthly invoices please register for an online account. 

Account Registration and Setup PDF

How can I easily manage multiple accounts?
Customers with multiple accounts can easily manage account preferences, view invoices, and pay multiple accounts under one username and password. 

Setup Linked Accounts Video

Does BCWS have even-billing?
Not at this time.  We do offer many payment options including scheduled payments and pay-by-text.

How is my bill calculated?
Meters are read once a month and we issue monthly bills.  Residential water and sewer charges are calculated using an Increasing Block Rate Structure in which each block is charged at a higher rate than the previous block(s).  This type of rate structure is used to promote water conservation.  BCWS reduced rates in June 2009 thanks to a resolution passed by the Butler County Board of Commissioners.  Rates have not increased since the reduction took place.

See Rates for more information.

Why do I receive email notices about my bill?
During registration there is an option to select how you would like to receive invoice notifications, by email or by email and text.  To unsubscribe from invoice notifications log in and select My Profile > Update Account Info.  Click the box under Unsubscribe from Invoice Notifications.  Click Save my changes.

How do I update or change my saved payment information online?
From the water.bcohio.us homepage click the VIEW OR PAY UTILITY BILLS button.  Log in or register for an account.  Click on My Profile and select Payment Methods.  You will be able to add or modify bank account or credit/debit card account numbers.  Also see Add or Update Payment Methods for more info.

What is Summer Sewer Credit?
Residential customers receive summer sewer credit during the summer sewer period since water from pools, landscaping, and other outdoor use does not enter the sewer system.

The summer sewer period starts on your May meter reading date and ends on the October meter reading date.  In each of these months your sewer use is compared to your average monthly winter use.  Your sewer charge during the summer sewer period is based on whichever is lower, your actual usage or the calculated winter sewer average.  See Summer Sewer Credit Program for more information.

Disconnected Service
Your service may be disconnected for the following reasons for delinquency or maintenance issues.  Visit our Disconnected Service page for more information.

Shut-off Procedure
If payment is not received in our office by the due date, a late fee of 5% of the unpaid balance will be assessed to the account.  Delinquent accounts are subject to turn-off without further notification.  Water will not be restored until the past due balance is paid in full.  An account past due more than 60 days may have the balance due assessed to property taxes.

Note: When a disconnection trip is made to the location for non-payment or failure to comply with other rules and regulations, a disconnection trip charge of $40 will be charged to your account.  Payment at the time of disconnection or other circumstances resulting in the water service remaining on is not justification to remove the $40 disconnection trip charge once the technician arrives at the location.

A reconnection fee of $111.00 will be charged for any service reconnection performed after normal business hours.  Services will not be restored after 9:00 PM.  

Tampering with Utility Equipment and Theft of Services - Ohio Revised Code Section 4933.18
Installing unauthorized devices, making unmetered connections, tampering with a meter, restoring services BCWS shut-off for delinquency, or connecting to a fire hydrant without a BCWS hydrant meter or otherwise obtaining services without paying the scheduled charges is a prosecutable offense.

Fines will be levied against the account of the owner and/or responsible party.  All fines must be paid within 30 days. 

            Fine Schedule

  • Unauthorized use of a fire hydrant                       $1,000.00
  • Instances of damaged equipment                         $1,000.00
  • Unmetered or undeterminable water use              $1,000.00 plus $20.00 per day

Illegal devices will be confiscated and will become property of BCWS.  Incidents will be referred to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office for prosecution.

Why is my bill higher than normal?
Water and sewer charges are based on the gallons of water that flowed through the meter during a reading period.  There are many reasons water usage fluctuates from month to month.  The number of days in a reading period and changes in household use are common causes.  A higher than normal bill could be an indication of a leak. 
Higher than Normal Bill

I found a leak.  Will my bill be adjusted to normal?
No.  All water is treated and transmitted and incurs the same operational costs and demand for capacity whether it is used intentionally or lost due to a leak.  However, we do recognize the financial burden a significant increase in usage and the repair(s) places on our customers.  Fortunately, with the conservation rate structure and the approval of the Butler County Board of Commissioners we have an adjustment policy.

Applying for a leak adjustment does not exempt an account from collections processing or service disconnection for delinquency. 

Where is my water meter?
The majority of water meters installed in the BCWS water service area are outside the home.  Outside meters are housed inside of a meter box (pit) usually within the public easement.    While the meter and transmitter are owned by Butler County Water and Sewer, you are responsible for protecting the equipment.  If the equipment is damaged, you must pay for repair or replacement.

If you have an inside meter they are usually installed in the basement or in a utility room.  While the meter and transmitter are owned by Butler County Water and Sewer, you are responsible for protecting the equipment.  If the equipment is damaged, you must pay for repair or replacement.  You are responsible for maintenance of the curb stop located outside and the service line from the curb stop to the building.

Locate My Meter

Meter Reading Information
Our water meters measure water usage in gallons.  Residential meters consist of 3 basic components:  main case, measuring chamber and sealed register.  Water meters are designed and engineered to be precise and to meet rigorous industry standards.

Monthly readings are recorded by Automated Meter Reading (AMR) radio read drive-by devices that increase accuracy, efficiency, and control.  The AMR system sends a radio signal from a transmitter connected to your water meter to the mobile unit.

Usage is calculated in hundreds of gallons, rounding down to the hundreds place. 

Can I read my water meter?
Yes.  Reading your meter will give you valuable information regarding your daily water usage and help you check for leaks. 
Locate and Read Your Water Meter.

Who is responsible for repairs?
BCWS is responsible for maintenance and repair of the public side mains and service lines.  The property owner is responsible for all water maintenance and repairs past the outside water meter or curb stop if the meter is inside and the sewer service lateral from connection to the sewer main.

Lateral connection schematics are available online.