When can I contact Customer Service?
- Office Hours:
- Monday thru Friday
- 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Phone Hours:
- Monday thru Friday
- 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
How do I pay my sewer bill?
Pima County contracts with four different water providers to bill for sewer use. The City of Tucson Water Department is the billing provider for about 75% of our customers. Oro Valley Water, Metropolitan Water District and Town of Marana Water are the other providers. How to submit payment depends on which water provider you use.
If your monthly bill is on Utility Services Statement from Tucson Water, payments may be sent to:
||Information on other options
|P.O. Box 28804
||for payment are available on
|Tucson, AZ 85726-8804
||Tucson Water's webpage
If you are billed for sewer along with your water bill from Oro Valley Water, Metropolitan Water District or Town of Marana Water, you may make the payment with your water bill. Additional payment options for these billing providers may be found at their webpages: Oro Valley
, Metropolitan Water District
, and Town of Marana
How is my sewer bill calculated?
The sewer bill is based on an average water usage – also known as the ‘winter quarter average’ (WQA) – taken from the months of December, January and February. Each year, beginning on July 1, we generate new sewer fees based on the WQA (See next question also). If a WQA cannot be calculated for a customer due to the unavailability of direct metered wastewater flow data or metered water use data, then the sewer discharge is estimated using the average unit discharge associated with that user’s class (see Pima County Code
, Title 13, §13.24.030.C).
For some commercial and industrial users, an additional high strength factor may be in place for the sewer rate calculation. For additional information read the high strength factor calculation
Ordinance 2004-11, §13.24.030 A, B, and C Fee Calculation (Title 13 of the Pima County Code
What other ways can sewer bills be calculated?
Some sewer utilities charge the same fee to all residential users, no matter how much or how little water a household uses each month. This means a person living alone would pay the same as a large family.
Why isn't my bill based on exactly what goes down my drain each month?
Sewer meters that can measure the exact volume of wastewater you send down the drain would be extraordinarily expensive to install, maintain and monitor. Such meters are used only with industrial-strength wastewater dischargers. "Winter averaging" is a method that is used nationwide to calculate residential sewer bills.
Why are December, January, and February the months that are used as the basis for the sewer billing?
We use December, January, and February because they are traditionally the lowest months of water usage during the year. If those months are not the lowest months of usage for the customer then we allow for an appeal to be filed.
How can I appeal my sewer bill?
The sewer fees are recalculated every July. We send an insert with the July bill to remind our customers that there is a sixty-day period to apply for an appeal. If December, January, and February are not the three lowest consecutive months of water usage in the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) then submit an appeal using our online form
or contact Customer Service at the Pima County Finance and Risk Management Department (PCF&RMD) - (520) 724-6609.
Ordinance 2004-11, §13.24.120 A Protest and Review (Title 13 of the Pima County Code
Is there a low-income subsidy program for sewer bills?
Effective July 1, 2007, a low-income subsidy program was authorized by the Pima County Board of Supervisors in response to concerns about the ability of low-income residents to pay increasing sewer rates.
For more information, view the Sewer Outreach Subsidy (SOS) Program tab above.
Why is my sewer bill higher than my water bill?
In Pima County, potable (drinking) water delivered to homes and businesses comes from surface water provided by the Central Arizona Project or from ground water. These natural and relatively clean water resources require some treatment before they are delivered to customers. After the water is used, it becomes "wastewater," which requires a much higher and costly level of treatment. This water eventually is returned to the environment and must be cleaned so it doesn't harm plants, animals or people. Some of the highly cleaned water is used in the community's reclaimed water system for irrigation of street medians, golf courses, parks, school grounds, etc.
What do most people pay for the sewer?
Based on the yearly calculation of winter averages in a group or category, the average Pima County resident uses 5,984 gallons of water (8 ccf) per month at a cost of $40.81 per month (based on the rate in effect July 1, 2013).
Ordinance 2004-11, §13.24.030 A Fee Calculation (Title 13 of the Pima County Code
In addition to winter averaging rates an administrative fee of $12.63 is charged to each account monthly.
Do I have to pay for sewer when I am not in residence in Tucson for longer than a month?
No. If you are gone for longer than a month, as our winter visitors are, contact us with the dates of your absence at least 30 days in advance and we will bill for the Monthly Service Fee only. Use our online form
or call us.
For example, if you are gone from April to October, your bill will be $12.63 per month while you are gone (based on the rate in effect July 1, 2013). When you are in residence again, the bill will be based on your established winter usage.
Ordinance 2004-11, §13.24.120, D Protest and Review (Title 13 of the Pima County Code
I am a business - Can I reduce my sewer bill for water used in irrigation systems or cooling towers and not discharged into the sewer system?
Irrigation meters are addressed in the sewer ordinance under Protest and Review, and the same rules apply to cooling towers. A commercial user may install a secondary meter (similar in quality used by the Tucson water department) to measure water not returned to the public sanitary sewerage system, which shall be read and reported to the department by the user according to a monthly reporting schedule, verification procedures and other conditions of service required by the department. The department may charge a fee for these arrangements which shall not exceed the actual cost of administration and verification.
>Ordinance 2004-11, §13.24.120, F.1.B Protest and Review (Title 13 of the Pima County Code
Much of my water use is for irrigation or other outdoor needs. How can I save on water that does not go into the sewer?
Some people who use a lot of water outdoors invest in irrigation meters. These meters must be installed at the property owner's expense. For information about irrigation meters, please contact your water company.
How is RWRD funded?
Sewer user fees (sewer bills) and sewer connection fees are RWRD's only sources of revenue. Sewer connection fees are paid by those who construct new buildings that connect to the public sanitary sewer system or by those who increase the size of the water pipes that serve existing buildings. Sewer fees are paid by everyone whose home or business uses the sanitary sewer system. RWRD receives no funding from city, county, state or federal taxes.