- Why is there a 'service charge' on my bill?
The ‘service charge’ covers the cost of collecting meter reads, maintaining and replacing your water meter, conducting the consumer accounting, rendering the bill, and a small portion to cover the fixed costs.
- Policy for Late Charges and Shut-Offs
California Senate Bill 998, effective February 1, 2020, set new requirements for residential water service termination for non-payment of a water utility bill. North Marin Water District has created a policy to comply with these requirements. The North Marin Water District “Late Charge and Shut-off” Policy establishes the termination of Water Service for non-payment and is effective on February 1, 2020.
This policy is available to read in the languages listed below:
- Can I pay my bill automatically?
You can sign up for autopay by visiting nmwd.com and enrolling in the Online Bill Pay and WaterSmart portal You will continue to receive bi-monthly statements and will have 23 days to review your bill before the payment is automatically deducted.
- How is the late charge calculated?
Late charges are assessed if your water bill is not paid within 60 days of the bill date.
Only one Reminder Notice will be issued 30 days after the regular bill is mailed. All charges are due, in full, by the due date.
Charges: (Late and Turn-Off)
A letter is sent to the customer stating that we did not receive payment within 60 days of original bill date. A $25.00 Late Payment Charge is then added to their account. To avoid additional charges or service disconnection, payment must be received in the NMWD office within 10 days.
A service representative will go to the consumer’s service location and water service will be shut off. Service will not be resumed until payment is received or arrangements made with office staff in the office. A “Notice to Consumer” tag will be left stating water has been shut off.
Turn On Charges:
$35.00 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.)
$60.00 (evenings, weekends, and holidays)
This information is passed on to the consumer by the answering service.
- Can I get an adjustment on my bill?
In order to be considered for an adjustment, the consumer must take corrective action within 48 hours of discovering a leak. Water loss adjustments are limited to one adjustment every two years. Please submit the bill adjustment form here.
- When is my bill due?
NMWD bills for service shall be due and payable upon receipt. A bill is delinquent if payment is not received at NMWD’s office within 30 days of the original bill date.
- Can I get an extension on my past due bill?
In special circumstances, NMWD can work out payment arrangements for customers.
Please call (415) 897-4133 during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). A Customer Services Representative can help you.
- Where can I pay my bill?
You can pay your water bill at the NMWD office at 999 Rush Creek Place, Novato (there is a drop box available for payments made after hours).
You can mail your payment to:
North Marin Water District Payment Center P.O. Box 511529 Los Angeles, CA 90051-8084
You can pay on-line by going to www.onlinebiller.com/nmwd/
You can pay by phone by calling 415-897-4133.
- What are your office hours?
North Marin Water District’s office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Office is closed on weekends and holidays.
- Do you accept credit card payments?
Yes, the District currently accepts payments by either Visa or MasterCard, AMEX and Discover.
- What if I disagree with the charges on my bill?
Customers who have complaints concerning their water bill may appeal to the supervisor of the customer services department. Any request for investigation of a disputed bill must be made to NMWD in writing.
A disputed account will not be accepted as justification for nonpayment of a water bill, and payment in full shall be made pending settlement of the dispute.
- How often do you read my meter?
Meters are read electronically every 59-63 days. Most of the meters are read electronically from our office for Novato customers.
In the rare occasion that a meter read does not come into the office electronically, field staff is dispatched to make the read using a drive by unit or performs a visual read of the meter.
For West Marin customers and a few Novato customers that still have analog meters, NMWD field staff performs a visual read of the meter on a bi monthly schedule.
- How can I fill my swimming pool without using my garden hose?
During this current drought, Emergency Conservation Ordinance No. 41 prohibits refilling a drained pool or filling new pool after July 1, 2021 using water supplied by NMWD (including from your hose). For more information on Emergency Water Conservation Ordinance No. 41, click Here. Customers are allowed to “top off” your pool as evaporation occurs to maintain the proper level, and we strongly recommend covering your pool when not in use (rebates are offered for pool covers).
In normal years, NMWD has “hydrant” meters that can be rented. A hydrant meter is simply a large water meter that is attached to a fire hydrant. A greater volume of water can be delivered through a hydrant meter than through most household meters. There is a rental fee for the meter in addition to the cost of water used.
- Why are you changing my meter?
Nothing lasts forever, and meters, like most things in life, tend to slow down with age. Based on sample tests, we have determined that water meters are accurate for about 20 years. The meter manufacturer certifies the accuracy of your new water meter.
- My meter is buried with dirt. How do you read the meter?
NMWD’s AMI Meters transmit reads to our office via radio automatically. The radio antenna is usually placed through the lid of the meter box. If the meter itself is buried, it will have no effect on the read or transmission of data.
For customers with existing manually read meters, we dig out the meter box just enough to expose the register cap, wipe off the face of the register above the numerical dial to get the reading.
- Can water meters over-register or record more water than is actually used?
All of our residential water meters (meters 1″ in size and smaller) are positive displacement meters. The manufacturer certifies the accuracy of the meters when they are new. With age and extended usage, they either maintain their accuracy or they slow down.
- Where does my water service begin?
Your water service begins at your water meter. A service lateral, or pipe, runs from the water main in your street to your water meter. The service lateral and water meter is owned and maintained by NMWD. The pipe that runs from the water meter to your home belongs to you and is your responsibility to maintain and replace as required.
- Why are you testing my water meter?
We periodically test water meters in the field to verify their accuracy and to develop replacement and maintenance criteria. With accurate meters, we know that consumers are charged for the water they actually use.
- How do I locate my water meter?
The meter is usually located near the curb in front of your house and in a direct line with the outside main faucet or house valve (where you turn your water off to your house or business). The meter is usually housed in a concrete or plastic meter box marked ”NMWD” or “Water”. Records are kept on the location of each water meter, with measurements to other prominent objects so that the meter can be found if it becomes buried. NMWD also maintains records on the age of the service, size and type of piping and if the meter has ever been moved, upsized or replaced. If you need to locate your meter, call NMWD at (415) 897-4133.
To check the meter, put on gloves, and insert a tool such as a screwdriver in the hole and pry open the concrete or plastic lid. A concrete lid is heavy, so be careful when handling it. (Do not use your fingers.) Set the lid aside and check carefully inside the meter box to avoid contact with insects or rodents. To read the meter, lift the cover. (Always replace the cover on your water meter after you are finished.) This is a good opportunity to make sure your meter box is accessible by clearing out vegetation or debris that may be blocking access to the meter.
- How do I read my water meter?
To read your Neptune E-Coder® register, expose the solar panel to sunlight or shine a bright light (i.e. flashlight or cell phone flashlight), and the display will activate. When activated, the LCD display will first show a segment test:
This screen will be followed by the display of the E-Coder® manufacturing configuration, followed by two (2) reading screens:
Reading – Shows the current read with comma separators and decimal place, after initial activation this screen displays for 20 seconds before toggling to Rate Screen. Each additional Read Screen displays for 8 seconds. The below image shows a reading value of 179.21 (one hundred, seventy-nine) US gallons.
Flow Rate – When the screen toggles, the rate of flow is visible and is shown in gallons per minute for four seconds. Then it toggles back to the read screen. The image below shows a flow rate of 50.7 (fifty) gpm.
- How do I use my water meter to check for leaks?
Your water meter is an important water conservation tool. In addition to providing you with information about how much water you are using, reading your meter can also help you detect leaks in your household plumbing. To check for leaks you must first turn off all faucets inside and outside your house.
Be certain the toilet is not flushed and the automatic ice cube maker is not operating when performing this task. On our digital AMI meter, you need either have direct sunlight or a bright flashlight to activate the register. Once the register is activated it will show total gallons used since the meter was installed, the second screen will be an eight-digit hyphenated number.
This is a manufacture number that can be disregarded. The screen will go back to the full read for 12 seconds, and then change again to a three- or four-digit flow rate screen. If all water is off then it should read 0.00. If water is off and there is flow on the meter this indicates that there is water being used in the system and it could be a leak.
For more information on how to manually read your AMI meter, click here. Customers with an AMI meter can register on water smart at nmwd.watersmart.com – here you can view your water use, set up automatic use and leak notifications. If you want live data you will still need to look at the meter in the field.
Customers with analog meters (West Marin and a few in Novato), the flow indicator should not move. A circular motion by the indicator (either a blue triable or a red star) suggests a leak.
- I have a high bill. How do I determine if I have a leak?
Reading your meter can help you detect leaks in your household plumbing.
- How big is my meter?
Most single family residential customers have 5/8 inch or one inch meters.
- How do I check my toilet for a leak?
Follow these simple instructions to find out if a leaky toilet is robbing you of precious gallons and dollars. You can detect a leak by removing the toilet tank lid and placing leak detection dye tablets, a few drops of food coloring, or some laundry-bluing agent in the toilet tank.
Do not flush the toilet. If you see color in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes, you have a leak. Two common toilet leak locations are at the overflow pipe or the flapper valve. To determine if the leak is at the overflow pipe, look for water flowing over the top of the overflow pipe. If it is overflowing, the water level is too high.
If you have a toilet manufactured before 1982 that uses 5-7 gallons per flush, you can adjust the water level by gently bending the float arm down so that the valve shuts off when the water level is a half-inch below the top of the overflow pipe. Many 3.5-gallon toilets (manufactured after 1982) can also be adjusted the same way.
Some 3.5-gallon toilets, or ultra low flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons or less per flush, may have an adjustment screw on the float arm to lower the water level. Sometimes the ballcock assembly itself is worn, causing water to run continuously into the tank. If the ballcock assembly is worn, it needs to be replaced.
If the leak is not at the overflow pipe, check the flapper valve. If it appears to be deteriorated or does not seal completely, it should be replaced. You can find a replacement flapper valve at your local hardware store.
If your toilet still leaks, you may need the assistance of a plumber or handyman.
- What is the WaterSmart portal?
- How do I view my water use?
To view your water use, sign in to your account on the WaterSmart Portal here.