Common Billing Questions

Have questions about your bill? We have answers.

All of our customers receive a bill quarterly, which outlines your usage, service and disposal charges and payment information.

Below are answers to some common questions about billing, however if you require more help do not hesitate to contact our friendly customer support team on 131 691.

Is your bill higher than normal? You might have a leak!

Try our one hour leak test to find out if you have an undiscovered leak on your property.

Billing FAQs

Billing delivery methods

How can I receive my bills via email?

To receive your bills via email, residential customers can register for eBilling. If you are a business customer, call 131 691 to see if you’re eligible.

How can I go back to receiving paper bills via post instead of emails?

Residential customers can switch to paper bills at any stage. Please note that switching to paper bills only cancels your eBilling registration, if you want to cancel your BPAY View, you will need to contact your bank.

Why can’t I receive my bills via both post and email at the same time?

To prevent any confusion or mix-up, we will only send bills via one delivery channel.

How do I update my postal address?

If you are an eBilling customer (receiving your bills via email), to change your postal address for future postal mail to reach you please call 131 691.

If you receive paper bills via post, you can update your postal address in MyAccount.

 Learn about MyAccount Already registered? Login to MyAccount instead. 

How can I get copies of my previous bills?

When you register for eBilling, your quarterly bills arrive in your nominated personal email inbox, so they will always be in the one place where you can find them.

Or alternatively, eligible residential customers can download previous bills and view upcoming payments in MyAccount.

 Learn about MyAccount Already registered? Login to MyAccount instead. 

Or, to request a new copy of your bill call us on 131 691.

I am vision impaired. In what formats can I receive my bill?

We offer our vision impaired customers the option of receiving their bills in a format to suit their needs, including in braille and large print. Visit out Accounts for Vision Impaired page for more details.

eBilling

How do I register for eBilling?

Residential customers can register for eBilling by submitting our online eBilling form. Once you have submitted the form you will receive a confirmation email and your next water bill will be sent directly to your email.

If you are a business customer, call 131 691 to see if you’re eligible.

Please note: Registering for eBilling does not automatically register you for MyAccount. To get access to your account online, learn more about how to register for MyAccount.

My eBill has not arrived, what do I do?

If you have not received your water bill via email please check your Junk/Spam folder. You can also view previous and current bills in your online account with MyAccount. Learn more about how to register for MyAccount.

How did I become registered for eBilling when I didn't register myself?

When a new residential account is created, tenants and owner-occupiers will receive their bills via email (see eBilling Terms and Conditions). If you are receiving paper bills and would like to switch to receive your bills via email, you can register for eBilling. You can switch back to paper bills any time.

Can I use electronic bills for tax purposes?

Yes, eBilling also makes tax time easier, because all your bills can be found in one location in your email inbox.

Where do I login to my ebills?

eBilling is simply your quarterly bills delivered to your email. Once registered your bills will be emailed to your nominated email address. That way, they will always conveniently be in one place to make them easier to find.

You can also access your previous bills through your online account – MyAccount. Learn more about how to register for MyAccount.

Bill charges

Why is my bill higher than normal?

There are many reasons why your bill may seem higher than normal, some common causes are:

  •  Your bill may include the annual Parks Charge, usually billed in the July to September period.  
  • You may have used more water.  
  • There may be a leak on your property.

An easy place to start is to check your meter reading to confirm that you have been charged for the right amount of water. To learn how to read your meter visit the My Water Meter page.

Please note: your meter reading should be higher than the one shown on the back of your bill.

If you have confirmed that the meter reading is correct and believe that the amount of water is too much for your circumstance, visit the Water Saving Tips page and complete a two-minute leak test.

What charges appear on my bill?

Your bill may include fixed charges for water and sewerage, as well as variable charges for water and sewerage based on the amount of water used.

Need a breakdown of your bill? Visit our How to Read Your Bill page.

Why do I pay a water network charge?

The water network charge (formerly 'water service charge') contributes to maintenance of the water supply network. This includes City West Water's water mains, pumping stations and meters, as well as Melbourne Water's water mains, treatment plants, dams and the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant. This ensures we are able to provide high quality and reliable supply of water to our customers.

Why do I pay a sewerage network charge?

The sewerage network charge (formerly 'sewerage service charge') contributes to the maintenance of the sewerage network. This includes City West Water's sewer mains, pumping stations and emergency relief structures, as well as Melbourne Water's trunk sewer mains and the operating of the Western Treatment Plant. Your contribution ensures we can reliably transport sewage from our customers to a treatment plant for treatment and disposal.

How do you calculate the sewage disposal charge?

The sewage disposal charge is for the water you discharge to the sewer, including water that goes down any inside drains, sinks, toilets and any other drains that connect to the sewer.

We estimate the volume of waste water you discharge to the sewer based on the amount of water recorded through your meter.

For residential customers your sewage disposal estimate depends on your type of residence (house or unit) and what season we are in. Given these variables the percentage of water used that is estimated to have entered the sewer can vary from 62 to 90 percent during the year.

For non-residential customers the sewage disposal estimate is set at 90% and this does not fluctuate with the season.

For more details refer to our Pricing handbook which describes the estimation methodology and how they are applied.

How do you calculate the water usage step charges?

The amount of water you are charged for using is calculated from water meter readings approximately once every 90 days. The amount of water recorded is divided by the number of days in the reading period to work out, on average, how much water is used every day.

The first 440 litres per day are charged at the lowest step, water used between 440 and 880 litres per day is charged at the middle step and any water used over 880 litres per day is charged at the highest step.

For example, if you used 91 kL of water in the June quarter (91 days), this equates to an average daily use of 1000 L/day. In addition to the standard quarterly service fee, the water usage fee applied for the June quarter would reflect (an average of) 440 L / day charged at the lowest step, 440 L / day charged at the middle step and the remaining 120 L / day charged at the highest step.

What is the Melbourne Water Waterways and Drainage Charge?

We collect the Waterways and Drainage Charge on behalf of Melbourne Water. This charge contributes to the management of waterways, drainage assets and floodplains in our region.

Visit Charges explained page for Melbourne Water waterways and drainage charge.

What is the Parks Victoria Parks Charge?

We collect the annual Parks Charge on behalf of Parks Victoria. This charge helps fund the purchase, development and maintenance of Melbourne's major parks, gardens and waterways.

Visit Charges explained page for Parks Victoria charge.

When do prices change?

Prices for water and sewerage services and consumption change on 1 July each year. Our prices are regulated by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The ESC's 2013-2018 Price Determination for City West Water sets out the process we use to update our prices annually.

Visit the ESC website for more information.

How do I read my meter?

You can watch the video on reading your meter or follow the instructions outlined below.

There should be a row of up to eight or nine figures on a white background behind glass on your meter. Some numbers will be in black, some in red. The red numbers show your water consumption in litres, while the black numbers record the kilolitres.

The black numbers (kilolitres) are the ones that will be shown on the back of your bill. Compare the black numbers on your meter to the reading on the back of your bill.

The reading shown on the meter should be higher than the latest reading shown on your bill. If the reading is lower, you may have been charged incorrectly. Please call us on 131 691 to assist.

Paying bills

How can I pay my bill?

You can easily and securely pay online using your credit card, visit our Pay online page.

We offer various payment options, visit our payment options page.

For those customers experiencing genuine financial difficulties we offer a range of payment support options, visit our help with your bill page.

How can I apply for a concession rebate?

If you hold an eligible concession card you can apply for a rebate on your water bill. For more information, visit our concessions page.

How can I apply for a payment extension?

If you need more time to pay, you can request a payment extension by completing our payment extension form.

How can I apply for a payment plan?

EasyWay payment plans help you make weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment instalments throughout the year, to reduce the impact of receiving a larger bill every quarter. For more information visit our payment plans page.

How can I set up/change my Direct Debit with my credit card?

To set up a Direct Debit from a credit card or if you have an existing Direct Debit set up using your credit card and you want to make changes to your arrangement, for example:

  • update credit card details (eg, the expiry date of an existing credit card currently set up on Direct Debit)
  • change your Direct Debit arrangement from credit card to debit from a bank account,

Call us on 131 691 between (8.30am – 5.00pm Mon-Fri), to ensure your privacy.

Please note it takes 4 business days to cancel or change a Direct Debit arrangement, this will ensure your arrangement is updated before the next scheduled deduction.

You can still make manual credit card payments in the following ways:

  • via our secure payments page
  • through an Easyway Plan (however, you will need to call 131 691 first to confirm instalment amounts and frequency).
What happens if my Direct Debit payment is unsuccessful?

When a Direct Debit payment is unsuccessful, for example, funds were unable to be debited from your credit card or bank account, your arrangement is cancelled automatically. If your arrangement is cancelled due to any of the reasons outlined below, please contact us on 131 691 to reinstate it.

Here are the cancellation circumstances for Direct Debit arrangements:

Direct Debit with a credit card
Your arrangement will be cancelled immediately when payments debited from a credit card are unsuccessful, for example, due to an issue with the card.

Bank account Direct Debit
Your arrangement will be cancelled in the following ways when payments debited from a bank account are unsuccessful, for example, due to insufficient funds:

  • Full payment arrangements (debiting the full due amount) will be cancelled immediately with a $0.50 dishonour fee.
  • Instalment payment arrangements (debiting in instalment amounts) will attempt to debit 3 times. If on the 3rd attempt the payment is still unsuccessful the arrangement will be cancelled with a $0.50 dishonour fee.

Please note: some arrangements are cancelled immediately, for example, invalid bank accounts or deceased accounts, regardless of either full or instalment arrangement.

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