Water Resources and ConservationDepartment Home

Utility Billing Utility “Water and Wastewater” Billing Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How often do I get a utility bill?

A. The City mails out utility bills every month.


Q. What utilities are included on my bill?

A. Water and wastewater (sewer) services.


Q. How is my water bill calculated?

A. Your water bill is comprised of two charges. A fixed service charge and a
consumption charge. The fixed service charge covers the “fixed” expenses of operating the water system. Click here to view an example of how the water rates are calculated.


Q. How is my wastewater bill calculated?

A. Your wastewater (sewer) bill is also comprised of two charges, a fixed
“Base Charge” and a “Use Charge”. The Base Charge covers the fixed
expenses of operating the wastewater system, expenses that are not affected by wastewater flow. Click here to view an example of how the wastewater bills are calculated.


Q. For residential customers, how is the “Use Charge” portion of the wastewater bill calculated?

A. The wastewater usage charge is established based on the average amount of water used at the property during the winter months. Depending on your billing cycle, these four months will be between November and March. For example, if your water usage during November/December is 14 hcf and during January/February is 16 hcf, your winter water use average would be 15 hcf. The averages are calculated and become effective each July, based on the most recent winter-time water use average.


Q. Why is winter water usage used to calculate my wastewater bill?

A. The winter water usage billing method is designed to more fairly distribute the costs of operating the wastewater system. Water consumed during the winter months approximates wastewater flow. This is because landscape irrigation is at a minimum, so most of the water consumed during this period is returned to the wastewater system.


Q. What is an “hcf”?

A. Hcf means “hundred cubic feet”. This is a common unit of measurement
for water use. Your water meter gauges water use in units of hundred cubic feet. One hcf = 748 gallons.

Q. I just moved into my house and didn't use any water this past winter. How will my sewer bill be determined?

A. If there is no water use history from the prior winter, a bi-monthly default value of 9 hcf will be used to determine the “Use Charge”. This default value will remain effective until a new winter water use average is established and determined.


Q. Where can I pay my City utility bill?

A. You can mail in your utility payment along with your statement; or pay in person at Petaluma City Hall, Finance Department, 11 English Street (Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm); or drop off your payment at one of the green drop boxes located in the parking lots at City Hall, 11 English Street and Lucchesi Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd (these payments are picked up Monday through Thursday mornings excluding holidays); or you can make a secure payment online.
Sign up for online bill pay at https://www.onlinebiller.com/petaluma to make a secure payment by debit card, credit card or bank account, or enroll in auto-pay.


Q. Does the City accept credit card payments?

A. The City of Petaluma will gladly accept payments by Visa or MasterCard. You may complete the credit card information on your statement and send it to the City in the return envelope enclosed in your bill, or make a credit card payment over the phone, or make a secure payment by credit or debit card through the City’s online bill pay system.


Q. How much time do I have to pay my utility bill?

A. Your utility bill is due 30 days after it is issued by the City.


Q. Does the City have an automatic payment program?

A. Yes, you can enroll in auto pay at https://www.onlinebiller.com/petaluma. Auto pay will automatically deduct the full amount of your bill from either a debit card, credit card or bank account prior to the bill due date.




Contact Information

Director, Public Works and Utilities
Dan St. John, F.ASCE
202 N. McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707-778-4546
Fax: 707.206.6034
Email: dstjohn@ci.petaluma.ca.us

Administrative Offices
202 North McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707.778.4546
Fax: 707.206.6034
Email: water@ci.petaluma.ca.us
Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Monday - Friday

Utility Billing
11 English Street
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone: 707.778.4350
Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Monday – Thursday

Water, Sewer, or Storm Water Emergency
Phone: 707.778.4546

Water Conservation
Phone: 707.778.4507
Email: conservation@ci.petaluma.ca.us

Report Water Waste

Field Office
202 N. McDowell
Petaluma, CA 94954
Phone: 707.776.3777