Check here for answers to some of the most common questions we receive from our customers:
When is My Bill Due and When to Pay My Bill?
To avoid a late fee, your utility bill is due by 5 p.m. on the due date. Your bill is always due three weeks after billed on a Friday. To avoid service disconnection, past due balances are due one week from the current bill date.
Can I Pay My Bill With a Third Party?
Please be aware payments made through your online banking bill pay and Third-party vendors are not affiliated with the City of Winter Haven and may require additional processing time. Utility accounts will not be credited with payment until funds are received by City of Winter Haven.
What should I Expect When I Forget to Pay and My Account is Past Due?
A work order will be issued for your services to go inactive. To have service reactivated, any past due balance and required deposit increase must be paid; and you will be billed a delinquent account reactivation fee on your next bill. Please do not use our online payment portal to reactivate your service. Instead, pay by phone or in person. Your service will be restored the next business day unless requirements are met for same-day reactivation.
My Water Was Supposed to Be Back on Today But I Received a Tag on My Door Instead.
The tag is just letting you know that we turned on the water and water was running so we had to shut it back off at the meter. When this happens just Call (863) 291-5678 to reschedule your turn on.
Why Does the City Require a Deposit Increase If My Service is Interrupted?
The city will restore the customer’s water service only after the delinquent bill is paid and the customer’s deposit has been adjusted to the current year’s rate schedule by the customer. See ordinance Sec 19-6 for more details.
How do I Pay My Bill Online?
You will need your utility account number and password. First-time users will need their account number and billing zip code to establish an account, or pay as a guest. Click here to watch a tutorial video on how to make a guest payment.
Have a Question About a Previous Payment?
You can login to your account, or give us a call at (863) 291-5688.
I Want to Talk About My Bill.
Give us a call at (863) 291-5678 one of our account representatives will be happy to assist you.
I Need a Copy of a Bill?
You can login to your account to view and print previous statements or contact our Account Services division by email, phone (863) 291-5678, or stop by our office. See Map of where we are located.
Need to Change Your Name due to a Marriage, Divorce or Legal name change? Click Here
Have a Question About Water Quality?
See our water quality reports here.
Think I Have a Pool Leak?
Here is great way to see if you have a leak or if the Florida sun is evaporating all that water.
- Fill bucket with water.
- Set it on the first step of the pool.
- Measure the distance between the lip of the bucket and the water level. Then, do the same with the pool. The water should evaporate about even in both pool and bucket.
- If the pool water is much lower than the bucket after a few days, there may be a leak.
Is My Toilet Running or Leaking?
- Take the lid off of your toilet tank.
- Put in a few drops of food coloring or a few dye tablets.
- Stir the water with a long spoon or stick.
- Wait 25-30 minutes.
- Do not flush or use toilet.
- Look in bowl, if the coloring has seeped into the bowl, your flapper is not sealing properly and is causing the water to leak.
There are two types of fill valves that your toilet may have. See the diagrams below to determine what type you may have.
I Think I May Have A Leak, How Could This Effect My Bill?
This chart shows how much water could be wasted in a thirty day cycle if left in disrepair.
How Do I Qualify for Same Day Service?
In order to qualify for same day service on a new account, the required deposit must be paid in full, someone must be present on the property during the specified time frame, and the same day turn-on fee must be paid in advance.
Qualifications required for same-day service re-connection include: entire past due balance paid, deposit increase paid, someone must be present on the property during the specified time frame given, and same day turn-on fee paid in advance.
Moving? I Need to Transfer Service or Close My Account?
To transfer home service or close your account go to our Start, Stop, or Move services Page for more information.
Need Your Water Off to Make a Repair?
Give our Maintenance Division a call at (863) 291-5853.
How Do I Shut Off My Water in an Emergency?
If you do not have a Main shut off valve for your home give us a call. During normal business hours call (863) 291-5853. If your emergency happens on a night or weekend call our after hours line at (863) 291-5767.
What Days Can I Irrigate?
Lawn watering days are limited to twice per week, see schedule below. If you want to water by hand, you can at anytime.
|numeric Address||Days allowed||time allowed|
|Even addresses||Thursdays, Sundays||4pm – 10am|
|Odd addresses||Wednesdays, Saturdays||4pm – 10am|
Need to Report Watering Violations?
Call (800) 848-0499
How to Read My Water Meter:
Reading your own meter on a regular basis allows you to detect increased water use before you unexpectedly receive a high utility bill. High water bills are often caused by leaking faucets, toilets, pools, irrigation systems, or pipes that need immediate repair. To read your meter, open the lid to the meter box, then flip open the cover displaying the glass. You may have to shine a light on the meter to activate it. The read will then be displayed on the screen. See diagram for more information.
How and When is My Meter Read?
All Meters are read once a month. They are read by a city meter reading vehicle that sends out a radio signal to each individual meter that then pings your meter to send back the read to the computer.
How Can I Identify a City of Winter Haven Employee?
All City of Winter Haven Utility Department employees can be identified by their florescent, yellow shirt or vest, a city marked vehicle, and a City of Winter Haven issued name tag.
What do I do if I need to Fill My Pool?
If you are you on City sewer we can offer to remove the excess sewer charges when doing a pool fill, see instructions below for how to request an adjustment. If you are not on City sewer we do not offer any credits to your bill when filling your pool. All customers are still responsible to pay for the water used when filling a pool.
To start, take a meter reading before you start filling your pool and after. Then write us a letter stating your name, address, and account number, and include the before and after readings for filling your pool fill, along with the dates it took to fill. Be sure to write down the full 9 digits off of the display for both readings.
Where Does our Water Come From?
The City of Winter Haven’s water comes from 22 wells that pump water from the Floridan Aquifer, which is about 800 feet under the ground. These wells are spread around the community and pump approximately 9.4 million gallons per day to 9 water treatment plants before it is pumped to homes and businesses. The water we use from the Floridan Aquifer comes from rainfall just north of Winter Haven and needs little treatment because it is so pure.
Why Does Winter Haven Need to Start Looking for Alternative Sources of Water?
The Floridan Aquifer, from which Winter Haven gets its water, is connected to lakes, rivers and springs. Across Florida, overpumping of the aquifer has reduced stream flow, lake levels and spring flow. Faced with significant population growth and the need to increase water supplies, sources such as surface water, Lower Floridian Aquifer water (which is saltier), treated wastewater (reuse water) and seawater are the sources of water that can produce the quantities needed. The problem is, these sources of water are more expensive than traditional sources and will cost more to pump and treat.
What Can We do to Keep From Paying Higher Costs for Alternative Water Supplies?
The simple answer is to conserve more water. Areas in Texas and California that are experiencing severe water shortages are using approximately 60-70 gallons per person per day. In Winter Haven, we are using an average of 115 gallons per person per day. Approximately half of the water we pump from the pure Floridan Aquifer is used for irrigation, which could use a lesser quality and less expensive source. Conserving water we use for irrigation and treating water as a precious resource are the first steps.
Why Can’t We Use Treated Wastewater (reuse) as a Water Supply Supplement?
The primary way that reuse water can supplement the City’s water supply is by using reuse water for irrigation. The City currently has two wastewater treatment plants that treat approximately 5 million gallons per day. The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 2 on the north side of town uses almost all of its 1 million gallon per day flow for beneficial purposes. This water irrigates Willowbrook Golf Course, subdivisions and parks. Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 3 however, has just finished construction of improvements to make the 4 million gallons per day of flow available for irrigation. The City just signed a grant agreement with the Southwest Florida Water Management District to begin construction of a 23,000 foot transmission main that will service a new development and agriculture uses. This pipe will also connect to the transmission main extending from Wastewater Treatment Plant No. 2 to make more reuse water available to the north side of town. A draft 15 year master plan has been developed which also recommends extending a reuse pipeline around the east side of town to service golf courses and new development.
What is The Polk Regional Water Cooperative, and What Role do They Play in Alternative Water Supplies?
Construction of alternative water supply projects is expensive. The Polk Regional Water Cooperative (PRWC) was formed by communities in Polk County with the recognition that individual communities need to work together to fund and construct future projects. The PRWC has approved of 3 projects for further investigation: Southeast Polk Lower Floridan Wellfield; West Polk Lower Floridan Wellfield; and the Peace Creek Integrated Water Supply Plan. An agreement was signed in February, 2017 to spend $23 million on data collection and preliminary design to determine which projects are the most feasible.
What is The Peace Creek Integrated Water Supply Plan?
The two Lower Floridan Aquifer Projects are somewhat self-explanatory. They would pump water from a deeper, less pure aquifer and provide more extensive treatment before pumping the water up to 30 miles. The Peace Creek Integrated Water Supply Plan would look at local water management practices, including aquifer recharge, flooding and water quality to determine if water can be managed more efficiently to restore lake levels and river flows as well as produce a future water supply. In this manner, communities will not only develop future water supplies, but reduce costs for existing and future problems related to flooding and water quality. One of the key features of this project is called ‘natural infrastructure’, which uses nature to help do the work for people. As an example, instead of creating man-made reservoirs, wetlands could be restored as storage sites. This is a relatively new concept, but one that has been adopted by the City of Winter Haven through the Sustainable Water Resource Management Plan.
Will Utility Bills Go Up In The Future?
No doubt that the cost of providing water, treating wastewater, managing storm-water and handling garbage will go up in the future. The higher cost of doing business will have to be passed along to the customers, but the community has considerable control over how fast this happens. No doubt that alternative water supplies will be more expensive, but the better we are at conserving water, the longer we postpone more costly projects. The better we are about using electronic billing and payments, the more time and money it saves staff. The better we are about recycling, the lower the cost for garbage disposal. Winter Haven is working towards being a sustainable community, and in the long term, this will save residents money.
Why Do Residents Pay More For Wastewater Treatment Than Water Supply?
Winter Haven obtains water from the Floridan Aquifer, which is a very pure source of water. It takes little treatment and maintenance to pump the water from the ground and sent it to homes and businesses. Once the water goes down a toilet or drain, it begins its journey to the wastewater treatment plan. On its way to the treatment plant, the water might have to travel up to 6 miles and go through 3-4 lift stations to reach one of two wastewater treatment plants. Once it reaches the plant, it goes through a somewhat complex process to take raw sewage water and turn it into almost drinkable reuse water. The cost of maintaining this system is much more than the cost of maintaining the drinking water system.
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