Your Public Services Bill...
Your bill will be issued by the Department of Public Utilities. This bill is for the services available through the City of Portsmouth (water, sewer maintenance and refuse disposal). These charges are combined into one bill to simplify your payment and to save the cost of mailing separate bills, a cost that would ultimately be paid by you as a customer.
New Customer Fee...
The feeis included on your first bill and covers the cost of establishing and maintaining your account with the Department of Public Utilities.
A deposit equal to an average bimonthly bill is required if you are not the owner of the property. The deposit is returned to you or applied to your last bill when you close your account.
The Timing of Your Bill...
Your bill covers two months. Your meter is read by Department of Public Utilities employees approximately every 60 days. Under unusual circumstances, such as a period of severe weather or if there is an obstacle over your meter box that prevents it from being read, your bill would then be estimated. Your water meter measures your water usage in ccf (one hundred cubic feet) units. Each ccf = 748 gallons. Your water and sewage maintenance charges are based on your metered usage.
The Charges on Your Bill...
Charges reflect the costs of providing the different services you receive from the City of Portsmouth. Here is a brief explanation of these charges.
The ready to serve (meter service) charge is based upon your meter size and is set to recover the normal, fixed charges (meter reading, billing, etc.) associated with supplying you with water and servicing your account. This flat charge is included in the water charge.
The water charge is based upon a published water rate schedule and the amount of water that you use during the billing period. The amount of water you use (measured in ccf) is multiplied by the current water rate to compute the amount of your water charge.
The sewage (maintenance) charge is based upon a published sewage rate schedule and the amount of water you use during the billing period. The amount of water you use (measured in ccf) is multiplied by the current sewage rate to compute the amount of your sewage charge.
A utility tax is added to your bill as required by City Ordinance. The tax is applied to the total amount of the water charges (ready to serve and water charge) on your bill.
Refuse Collection Fee
The refuse collection fee is a flat monthly charge based upon the number of dwelling units and helps cover the City's cost for providing refuse and bulk waste disposal. The Department of General Services collects the refuse and bulk waste. The waste is disposed of at a City owned landfill (bulk waste) and at facilities run by a regional solid waste agency, the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA).
A late charge of 1.5% per month, computed daily is charged on bills remaining unpaid 30 days after billing.
Fees for returned checks and for cutting water on and off are also imposed to cover the actual costs of these services to those customers who require them.
Note: The Department of Public Utilities maintains sewage lines and sewage pumping stations. A State chartered, regional agency, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) treats the sewage. You will automatically receive a separate bill from HRSD for wastewater treatment. The City's sewage charge and the HRSD wastewater treatment charge are not the same.
When Paying Your Bill...
Mail your payment and stub to our post office box in the convenient return envelope included with your bill. Allow sufficient time (normally 7 days) for us to receive your payment through the mail. If you lose the return envelope, you may mail your payment and stub to either:
Portsmouth Department of Public Utilities
P.O. Box 85661
Richmond, VA 23285-5661
Portsmouth Department of Public Utilities
P.O. Box 490
Portsmouth, VA 23705
You May Also Make Payments at:
Our office at 801 Crawford Street (Portsmouth City Hall Building), 1st Floor or our drop box on Water Street adjacent to the Portsmouth Municipal Building.
Note: Special services, such as new customer sign-up, final notice and delinquent account services, are offered only at our 801 Crawford Street location.