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Water/Sewer Billing
When should I receive my bill?
         Meters are read four times a year in January, April, July and October. Bills are mailed in February, May, August and December.

What is a Cross Connection fee?
         A cross connection fee pays for the inspection of pipe cross connections required by the Department of Environmental Protection to protect the municipal water supply from contamination due to backflow of water from a non-potable water supply including but not limited to waste pipe, soil pipe, sewer, drain, irrigation or other unapproved source.
         Fiscal 2014 -  $50.00

How do you calculate my sewer charges?
         Sewer charges are based on water usage. If you use 1,000 gallons of water, you will be billed for 1,000 gallons of sewer usage.

Are the water and sewer rates the same for all users?
       Water usage rates are the same for all users and change with respect to volume of water used:  Fiscal 2014 rates shown below

        0 - 25,000 gallons                      $ 2.68 per 1,000 gallons
        25,001 – 50,000 gallons         $ 4.26 per 1,000 gallons
        Over 50,000 gallons                     $ 6.81 per 1,000 gallons
                             

        Water base rates depend on the size of the pipe monitored by a meter. Most residential properties have 5/8” meters. Most commercial properties have meters sized 1” or higher.

        5/8”    $   17.03               ¾” $   22.57            1” $    36.11                           
        1.5"    $   66.21               2”  $ 105.34            3” $ 156.50
        4”      $ 207.66                6”  $ 276.40

        Sewer usage rates are the same for all users  and change with respect to volume of water used:

        0-25,000 gallons                        $  5.57
        Over 25,000 gallons             $  7.99
        50,0001 and up                  $10.78


        Sewer base rates are the same for all meter sizes.

        $ 37.31


What is the Capital Paine Assessment?
        The Capital Paine Assessment is a charge that is applied to every water bill to        
pay for loans that were approved at Town Meeting for infrastructure improvements to the water and sewer system. The amount applied changes each fiscal year as the loan amount and interest rates change.

For Fiscal 2014 the Capital Paine Assessment is $ 31.13.

What do I do if I think my bill is wrong?       
        Contact the Treasurer/Collectors office at 508-376-7048 if you think your bill is inaccurate. Please have the current meter reading from your inside meter when you call. Depending on the situation, an appointment may be needed for a DPW technician to check the meter.            

What do I do if I want to challenge my bill further, after the DPW determines there is nothing wrong with my readings?
If you think your circumstances warrant review by the Board of Selectmen, you may file for an Abatement of your water/sewer charges with the Board of Selectmen’s office.  Forms may be found online or picked up at the office or at the Treasurer/Collector. Abatement requests must be filed by the due date of the bill in question and the bill must be paid in full before an abatement request will be considered.

Can I have the water bill sent to the tenant living at my rental property since they will be paying the bill?
         It is the property owners responsibility to pay for water/sewer usage.  By town policy, we do not mail bills to tenants as tenants may come and go.  If your tenant has agreed to pay the bills, it is the property owners responsibility to get the bills to them and to make sure that the bills are being paid.

Is there a charge for getting my water turned off?
        Yes. If you need to have your water turned off at the street, please call the DPW at 508-376-5424. A fee will be charged to your account which will vary depending on the time of day or night during which the water is turned off:

Fiscal 2014     During normal working hours:                            $  35.00
                        Off Hours (3:30pm to 12:00am):                          $  95.00
                        After Midnight & Holidays:                                      $185.00

What will happen if I don't pay my water bill?  
         After the bill due date, interest will begin to accrue daily at the rate of 14% a year.  Periodically, the Board of Selectmen conduct Water Shutoff hearings that you would be invited to attend.  In any event, once a year in December, outstanding water/sewer bills that are one year delinquent or older are liened to your real estate bill.  This means that the delinquent bill is taken off the water account and moved to the associated real estate account.  This could ultimately result in a tax taking whereby a real estate lien is put on the property and recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.

         Some taxpayers intentionally neglect to pay their water/sewer bills intending for these amounts to be moved to their real estate tax account.  At that point, they pay the liened amount.  They then include this amount in the real estate tax deduction that they declare on their tax returns.  The IRS has informed us that this is an ill advised and evasive attempt to increase a deduction and would be subject to penalties if detected.

If I am selling my property, how do I notify you?       
         When the ownership of a property is going to change, a final water reading must be taken and a final water bill produced and paid before the closing to insure that the outgoing owner has paid for water/sewer usage in full.

         Please call the Treasurer/Collectors office at 508-376-7091 two weeks to one month prior to your closing date to set up the final read appointment, which may be set for a weekday within a two-hour window of either 11am-1pm or 1pm -3pm.  Someone must be present at the residence to let the technician into the basement to read the meter.
        
         Once the reading is submitted to our office, a final water bill will be produced within 24 to 48 hours of the read.  At your request, we will contact you with the amount of the final bill, including any past due amounts on your account. Otherwise, please call our office at 508-376-7091 24 to 48 hours after the reading is taken for the final amount due.

All final bills are to be paid for with cash, bank check or money order. No personal checks will be accepted. At the time of payment, please bring the name(s) of the new owner(s) to our office so that future utility bills will be mailed to the new owner(s), otherwise the post office will forward them to you at your new address.

How do I obtain a final water/sewer bill?
         As soon as a homeowner or business owner knows the closing date for the property being sold, they should call the Treasurer/Collector’s office at 508-376-7048 to set up an appointment for a final read.  Final reads are scheduled in 2 hour windows, usually 11AM-1pm or 1pm-3pm, Monday through Friday. Someone must be at the property to meet the meter reader who must read the inside meter.

         When you call, please provide the new owners name(s) if available and address if different from the property being sold.  Final bills are usually available for pick up and payment the day after the reading and will include a $15 charge for this service. Final bills must be paid for with cash, money order or bank check. Call 508-376-7048 for the final amount due.

What happens if a property is foreclosed and there will be no funds to pay the bill until the closing?  
         We request that the procedures above be adhered to even in the event of a foreclosure or short-sale. This means you must call the office to set up the final water read as soon as you know a closing is definite, even if the closing date is not yet set.  Frequently, law offices or real estate agents call a few days before the closing to set up the final read appointment, making scheduling difficult.  

If water/sewer balances must be paid from the funds at closing, a letter from the closing attorney to the Treasurer must be received in advance stating the intention to pay outstanding balances for said property out of the closing funds. A letter should be faxed or emailed to the Treasurer and a hard copy mailed to the following:

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Fax: 508-376-7055
Address: Treasurer/Collector
900 Main St.
Millis, MA 02054

All questions related to collection/treasury functions may be mailed / emailed to the same address above.


Town of Millis • 900 Main Street • Millis, MA 02054 • (508) 376-7040
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