Billing FAQ

 

On November 15th, the Birmingham Water Works launched our new online billing system.

This new system will allow the Birmingham Water Works to provide our customers with the most convenient user experience possible.

 

Q: Will I have a new account number?

A: Yes. All Birmingham Water Works customers will receive a new account number. Our online customers will receive an email with a temporary password and instructions to activate their account with the new billing system on our website.

 

Q: Will this new billing system affect non-online customers?

A: Customers who do not have an online account set up with the Birmingham Water Works will still be able to pay by phone or in-person at our call center using their new account number.

 

Q: What changes can I expect with the new billing system?

A:  Customers will now be able to schedule changes of service (move-ins, transfers or disconnects), review bill and consumption history, initiate installment plans, set up automatic drafts, report leaks, and more.

 

Q: Will the new online billing system enhance the Birmingham Water Works’ ability to serve our customers?

A: Yes!

With this new billing system, Birmingham Water Works call center representatives will now have access to real-time changes in a customer’s account information, allowing them to assist customers more easily. We will now be able to retrieve multiple accounts if needed and all of the required steps are on the main screen.   

The new system will also improve our First Call Resolution, which will enable us to deliver quicker information to all departments. Additionally, our process for customers requesting callbacks will be streamlined, as will our process for refunding customers.

 

What do I need to use this Service?

  • Your Birmingham Water Works account number and mailing street or PO Box number.
  • The balance owed on your bill.
  • Your credit card or check routing information.
  • Valid e-mail address for registration activation and confirmation receipts.

Why is there a Service Fee?

  • Paymentus charges a fee to use their service.
  • The fee covers credit card & debit card payment handling and processing charges.

 Is Birmingham Water Works getting any part of the fee?

  • Birmingham Water Works does not receive any part of the service fee.
  • Paymentus is an independent company providing a service for Birmingham Water Works.

 How will my payment be confirmed?

  • The Birmingham Water Works will receive instant notification of your payment and it will be posted to your account within 24 hours.
  • For each payment, you will receive a confirmation number.
  • You will also receive an email confirmation for your records.

How do I calculate my water bill?

Your meter has a number displayed similar to the one pictured here.

Read the number from left to right. Numbers with a black background are not used in the calculation of your monthly water consumption and should be disregarded. Subtract the previous meter reading (provided in your statement) from your current observation. The results will indicate the amount of water used (in hundred cubic feet). To convert this usage to gallons, multiply the amount by 748.1. 

How does the Birmingham Water Works know how much water I use?

Homes and businesses have a water meter that measures the amount of water used.  A person from the BWW reads the meter on a regular schedule (usually monthly). The previous reading is subtracted from the current reading to determine the amount of water used.

What if I do not receive a bill, do I still have to pay my monthly water bill?

Yes, if you do not receive a bill, you are still responsible for paying water charges. Please call (205) 244-4000 to request a bill.

What is the base service charge?

This charge is designed to recover certain fixed cost including: 1) meter reading, billing, collection and customer service costs;  2) a portion of fixed operational costs; and 3) a portion of debt service costs. In other words, it covers the cost to provide the basic facilities required to serve the customer (“readiness to serve cost”) whether the customer uses any water or not.


Service FAQ

What are Customer Service hours of operation?

Call center hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Payment center hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., drive-thru 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., main office 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What are Customer Service phone numbers?

(205) 244-4000 or (800) 248-0587

Who do I contact regarding sewer services?

The answer depends on your sewer services provider. The Birmingham Water Works serves as a collecting agent for Jefferson County, the City of Hoover, the City of Moody and the Southwest Water Company by including the sewer bill on the water bill. Sewer rates are set and determined by your sewer provider, Jefferson County Office of Sewer Services, Hoover Sewer Services, Alabama Utility Services (Moody) or the Southwest Water Company. 

For questions regarding the sewer portion of the bill or sewer rates, please call the appropriate sewer provider: 

Jefferson County 
Office of Sewer Services 
(205) 325-5138 or (205) 325-5390 

City of Hoover 
Hoover Sewer Services 
(205) 444-7523 

City of Moody 
Alabama Utility Services 
(205) 640-3829 

Southwest Water Company 
Sewer Services 
(205) 733-1672 

Birmingham Water Works 
Customer Service 
(205) 244-4000


Programs FAQ

What is the purpose of the Birmingham Water Works Capital Improvement Program?

Capital projects are driven by regulatory compliance, risk management growth/capacity, performance/cost efficiency and maintenance and rehabilitation.


Water Quality FAQ

How much fluoride does Birmingham Water Works water have in it? Why does fluoride need to be added?

The Birmingham Water Works adds one gallon of fluoride to every million gallons of water. More than 20 years ago, the state health officer asked the Birmingham Water Works to begin adding fluoride to its water supply. Fluoride is proven to help prevent tooth decay, and research by the American Dental Association indicates that fluoride is especially critical to the development of healthy teeth in children.

How much of the water used inside homes is actually for drinking?

Water-use studies reveal that only about 2 percent of water used inside homes in the U.S. each day is actually for drinking.

Why does water sometimes smell funny?

There is possibly an imbalance in the plumbing system of a person’s home. This is most likely a by-product of chlorination. Chlorine reacts with almost anything and attacks bacteria, viruses or parasites that might be present in water. The odor could be a reaction between the chlorine and the plumbing system. 

To fix this problem, turn on all cold-water faucets inside and outside your home. Run the faucets for about ten minutes. If water continues to smell funny, contact the Birmingham Water Works at (205) 244-4381. 

Why does water sometimes taste funny?

Most funny tastes can be attributed to a low amount of chlorine in the water. If there is an adequate amount of chlorine, the water should not have a funny taste. If water continues to taste funny, contact the Birmingham Water Works at (205) 244-4381.

Why is water from the tap sometimes cloudy or white?

To best understand why tap water is sometimes cloudy, think about a bottle of soda. When you open the bottle, it will bubble. This bubbling is carbon dioxide that has dissolved under pressure.  Air will dissolve under pressure in water as well, so there is possibly an air bubble in the water main. This is especially common if a person lives on top of a hill. To see if this is an air problem, fill a glass with water and let it sit. Within a few minutes, the water should begin clearing from the bottom up.