Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions?

Get answers to our most asked questions. In addition to the questions below, the Help section of eBill Service Center offers details about registering, making payments, eBills email notices and more.

For credit/debit card payment issues with Value Payment Systems, call 1-888-877-0450.

Billing Inquiries

Interactive Pay-By-Phone

Contacting SAWS

Other Service Issues

Affordability Programs

Billing Inquiries

  • Where can I pay my water bill?
    Payments can be made in person at any of the SAWS customer center locations listed on the back of your bill summary. SAWS has also teamed up with select local businesses to collect payments on SAWS' behalf. You can also pay by mail, phone, via automatic bank debit or online. Contact SAWS Customer Service at 210-704-SAWS (704-7297) for details.

  • How do I sign up for service, transfer service and/or disconnect service?
    Contact our Customer Service by phone, mail, in person or by fax at 210-233-4160.

  • Who do I contact if I have a question/concern/problem regarding my water bill?
    Questions on billing, transfers, and service turn-ons and turn-offs should be directed to our Customer Service Department at 210-704-SAWS (704-7297).

  • Can I receive my SAWS bill electronically?
    Yes! Register to receive your monthly water bill via e-mail by registering here. Now any SAWS customer can view current and past bills online. Just verify your SAWS account number, choose a user name and password, and you're all set to view your bill any time without obligation to use any of our other services.

  • How do I sign up for automatic payments?
    SAWS offers automatic bill payment through the Easy Pay Plan. The SAWS Easy Pay Plan works by electronically transferring funds from your bank each month.

  • I have multiple SAWS accounts; may I consolidate them into one bill?
    At this time, we cannot consolidate your account statements into one bill.

  • What happens if I do not pay my bill on time?
    A late fee will be assessed to your unpaid balance.

  • I can't afford to pay my bill right now. Can I get an extension?
    If you are experiencing financial difficulties which temporarily prevent you from paying on time, please let us know. In many cases we can work out a payment plan to allow you to continue receiving service. Call SAWS Customer Service at 210-704-SAWS (704-7297).

  • How is my water bill calculated?

    Your residential water service bill is calculated using the following criteria:

    • Water consumption
    • Standard or seasonal rate type
    • Meter size
    • Inside or outside city limits

    A residential rate calculator is available online. Be sure to have a copy of your bill with you to key in the information.

    For general class water and sewer accounts
    (including apartment, commercial, industrial and municipal)
    For business classes, a four-step base-excess use structure has been developed. The monthly base amount for business class customers is equal to 100 percent of a customer's monthly average usage. Increased unit rates will apply as usage exceeds each customer's base amount.

    Monthly Service Availability and Volume Charge
    A portion of your statement includes a minimum bill (Monthly Service Availability Charge), based on your meter size, and the Monthly Volume Charge, which reflects your water consumption measured per 100 gallons of water usage during a billing period.

  • How is the sewer portion of the bill calculated?

    For residential accounts
    SAWS bases residential sewer billing on the average monthly use of water during three complete consecutive billing periods from mid-November through mid-March.

    Since water is mostly used indoors during the cooler months and likely ends up processed at SAWS treatment plants through the sewer system, this amount serves as the basis for winter averaging.

    Customers who do not have a winter record of water usage or an interim average will be billed an unaveraged or unmetered residential charge.

    For general accounts
    Sewer service charges are computed from water usage schedules for all metered connections.

  • What other charges are reflected on my bill?
    Other fees included on your bill are the water supply fee, stormwater fee and the Edwards Aquifer Authority fee.

  • What is the meter trip fee?
    If you request that SAWS either turn on or turn off water service and this requires a personal visit from a SAWS professional, a meter trip fee of $10 will be assessed. The meter trip fee was approved as a new charge by the City of San Antonio City Council in January 2008. The fee is $5 for those customers who qualify for participation in the SAWS Affordability Programs.

    Currently, our billing system is unable to itemize the meter trip fee charge on the bill, so it appears in the “Previous Balance” line. We are working to rectify this issue and appreciate your patience.

    A range of other fees for special services also were approved by City Council at the same time. Many of these fees are industrial and commercial in nature and meant to make sure SAWS ratepayers do not subsidize the cost of services they do not use. The meter trip fee and account deposit fee directly affect some residential customers as well.

  • Who should I speak to regarding billing discrepancies?
    Please contact us at 210-704-SAWS (7297) or by email.

  • What is the process to have a name changed on my account?
    Name change due to death requires a copy of the death certificate and valid identification. If a spouse requests a name change, they will need to show a copy of the marriage certificate to indicate the deceased person was their spouse.

    Name change due to divorce requires a copy of the divorce decree or legal papers or marriage certificate indicating that the customer who is on the account was the spouse. Also, update their identification.

Interactive Pay-By-Phone

  • What is the Pay-By-Phone system? It's a new telephone payment channel for our SAWS customers.

  • How can I access the Pay-By-Phone system?  From any dial 210-704-SAWS (7297).

  • What's needed to sign up? To use the Pay-By-Phone, you will need your SAWS account number, service zip code and telephone number. You'll also be asked for a pin code up to 8 digits long in lieu of a password.

  • Is my transaction secure?  The Pay-By-Phone system, like our other payment systems, uses a secure and encrypted channel for communication. All transport of financial data between SAWS and bank processors uses above-standard encryption techniques to ensure a safe and protected transaction. After your check payment has been approved, your financial information is never stored permanently in our system.

  • When will my payment post to my SAWS account?  All payments made Monday through Friday before 5 p.m. will post the same day. Payments made after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday will post the next business day. Payments made on weekends or holidays will post the next business day.

  • I made a mistake, can I delete my payment?  No. Please be certain that you intend to make a payment before doing so and that the amount entered is correct.

  • Is there a payment limit?  There is no limit. Partial payments are accepted as well.

  • Can I register more than one SAWS account?  Yes, you can register as many SAWS accounts as you like. When making a payment, the system will ask you which SAWS account you'd like to pay.

  • What types of payments are taken?  Payments from your checking/savings account only are allowed.

  • Is there a fee for my payment? No, SAWS does not charge a fee.

  • Do I need to speak with anyone to sign up?  No. The Pay-By-Phone system provides the ultimate convenience to customers wanting to avoid long lines or waiting on hold. Since all functionality is built into the system, human interaction is not required.

  • What if I need to speak to an operator?  From the main menu, you can opt out of the system, and transfer to a Customer Service agent, by pressing “0”.

  • Besides taking payments, what else can the system do? Customers can check their account balance, verify their last payment, and confirm the most recent amount billed.

Contacting SAWS

  • Why am I being asked for identification because I don't have my bill or account number?
    For security reasons, we ask for identification so that we will not provide information to someone other than the person who is signed up for the account.

Other Service Issues

  • Who do I call for help in an emergency?
    In general, plumbing problems that occur on private property are the responsibility of the owner. However, emergencies such as water main or sewer line leaks or breaks should be reported to SAWS immediately, 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
    • Water and Sewer Emergencies: 210-704-SAWS (704-7297)

  • How do I determine if I have a leak on my property?
    To check for leaks, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets and then watch your water meter. If the fine flow indicator (usually a small triangle or diamond on the face of the meter) is turning, you have a leak. Watch your meter for 5 or 10 minutes to see if the fine flow indicator moves. If it continues to move, then a leak exists on your property and needs to be located. For information on checking for leaks, click here.

  • Who should I contact to report a leak?
    Please contact us at 210-704-SAWS (7297) or by email.

Affordability Programs

  • What is SAWS doing to help ratepayers in financial need, seniors and the disabled pay their water bills?
    In an effort to help manage rising utility bills, SAWS offers the Affordability Discount to low-income residential customers who meet certain income eligibility requirements. To receive the discount, a customer must apply with the City of San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives (DCI) by calling 210-207-7830 for details.

    Project Agua provides assistance to customers having difficulty paying their water bill. Available funds are used to help low-income SAWS residential ratepayers who are elderly, disabled or who have young children. Program qualifications include being a SAWS residential customer and qualifying through DCI for participation.

    SAWS' Senior Citizen Billing Program offers residential customers 60 years of age and older an exemption of late payment penalties for both water and sewer service charges.

    Plumbers to People is a service that provides free plumbing repairs to low-income SAWS customers. Water waste caused by leaks can greatly increase water bills, and for many low-income families that increase may prohibit them from being able to pay a plumber to repair their faucet or toilet.