I recently moved in and I’ve received two bills showing the same service period. Am I being doubly billed?

No. Our rate structure is such that you are billed the minimum in advance and the overage in arrears. If you became a customer during a billing cycle, a manual bill was generated charging you for the minimum in advance for one, two or three months upcoming, depending on the date you moved in. The same service period shows on your next bill as you are now being charged for the water consumed over the minimum during those same months. This usage charge and the minimum charge for the upcoming quarter are combined into one account.

I understand what you are telling me about the codes, but how are these codes calculated?

All water bills we send out are calculated the following way and have been since water meters were installed in the system in 1917: Each meter has a minimum allowance (based on the size of the meter) which is billed in advance each billing period. Each bill will also reflect usage for the previous billing period that was over the minimum allowance for your meter size. Ex: you may be billed on June 1st for $59.36 for 1200 cubic feet of water. If you use more than 1200 cubic feet during that period, your next bill will show the minimum, plus the overage you used (i.e 1200 cubic feet, plus 300 cubic feet overage for June, July, and August equals 1500 cubic feet or $73.94.) These figures are based on rates for a 5/8” meter.

What are the minimum allowances and charges for the various meter sizes? Yarmouth Water District has one of the lowest water rates in Maine! As of January 1, 2022, the minimum quarterly allowances are as follows:

5/8” meter 1200 Cubic Feet Minimum Allowance $59.36 Charge
3/4” meter 2100 Cubic Feet Minimum Allowance $101.43 Charge
1” meter 3600 Cubic Feet $149.28 Charge

1 Cubic Foot of water is equal to 7.48 gallons of water

My bill seems much higher than normal- why?

Remember, your water bill reflects the water used in the past three months. For example, a bill issued on Sept 1 reflects the water used in June, July, and August as well as the minimum in advance for the next three months (i.e $59.36 for a 5/8 meter for Sept, Oct, & Nov.) It is not uncommon for customers to use 40—50% more water during the summer months. Another common problem we find when we investigate high water use is an internal toilet leak. These leaks are very hard to see or hear, but use and waste tremendous amounts of water. You can easily check your plumbing by watching the flow dial of your water meter when there is no water being used (i.e. no dishwashers, washing machines, etc.) If the dial moves, there is water being used somewhere in the home. Another way to check for a toilet leak is to put food coloring in the tank of your toilet. If the colored water appears in the bowl of the toilet, without the toilet being flushed, then you have a toilet leak. Your plumber can repair this. Also, make sure that inside and outside faucets are not dripping- this can also add up to many gallons a day. If you have had company during the billing period, extra showers and laundry will also add to your bill.

My bill shows two sets of meter readings with entirely different numbers. What does this mean?

Two last and two present meter readings indicate that your water meter has been changed out since your last billing. The first line shows the readings for water that passed through your new meter; the second line shows the readings for water that passed thru your new meter; the second line shows the readings for water used via your old meter. The District is required by the Public Utilities Commission to “swap” your water meter ever 8- 10 years. This update avoids any malfunctioning of the meter and assures that you are being properly charged for the water you use. There is no charge for charging out the meter.