Frequently Asked Questions - Homepage
Customer Service, Billing, and Payments
Q: What are the payment options for my water bill?
A: Medford Water accepts payment by most major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard and Discover) online, at the front counter and over the telephone. You also may continue to pay by cash (in person only), check, money order, or online payments through your bank. We also offer an Automatic Payment Plan that deducts the payment from your checking account. Please find out more here, or call 541-774-2430 for information about signing up for this plan.
Q: What is the minimum number of days that I can be billed for water service?
A: There is a service billing minimum of five days. This means that if you only have water service for one day you will still be billed for five days of service.
Q: Why was the water shut off at my rental property?
A: Medford Water discontinues service on the day requested by the tenant. A landlord would need to contact us and request that the property continue to receive service before the tenant moves out, otherwise the water will be shut off.
Q: How do I open a new water service account?
A: You can come into or call the office during business hours: 541-774-2430. Office hours are Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm. A deposit of $90 is required for rental accounts.
Q: How much is the deposit on water accounts?
A: On rental accounts, a $90.00 deposit is required for residential customers; deposits on commercial accounts are evaluated individually. Any deposit will be credited to the account after twelve months of prompt payments. If you move in less than a year's time, the deposit will be applied to your closing bill. If there is a credit balance, a refund check will be issued to you.
Q: How do I sign up for service after working hours?
A: If the water service is off, call our after-hours number: 541-779-7611. A service person will be dispatched. A $110.00 after-hours service fee in addition to the $90.00 deposit will be required.
Q: When are water bills due?
A: Bills are due 15 days after the date of billing.
Q: What charges are included in the water bill?
A: The water bill includes:
Additional charges, depending on your location in the system:
- Volume charges, based on usage
- Monthly meter charge
- Residential backflow prevention charge
- High elevation service charge
For information regarding water charges call: 541-774-2430
Q: Single family residential accounts also show Volume charges in tiers. What does this mean?
A: While the “meter charge” shown remains the same each month, a portion of the water charge varies according to the amount of water used during the billing period (the “volume charges.”) For our single family residential customers, the volume charge is based on tiers that are less at lower water usage levels than at higher levels.
Tiered rate structures are quite common, as they enable water for basic household necessities to be priced particularly affordably, while providing customers greater ability to influence their overall water charges through management of the more optional water uses associated with higher usage levels. As our costs increase substantially at higher water usage levels, under this structure those customers with higher demands also pay more for the system costs that result from their high usage.
To provide a frame of reference, most residential customers remain within the lowest tier (of 5,000 gallons) during the winter months. If your use exceeds this amount in the winter, it may be beneficial for you to look for possible leaks or consider replacing old plumbing fixtures with new efficient options. Note that we have rebates for replacing old toilets.
The second tier extends to an average usage level for residential customers during typical summer months (25,000 gallons). This is a much more generous allowance under a second tier than most utilities utilize. If your usage goes into the highest tier, you might consider changes to your landscape or irrigation to reduce your water use. We offer services to assist you. These include suggested sprinkler scheduling times based on current weather, which you can access by calling our automated Lawn Watering Infoline at 541-774-2460. We also offer free sprinkler system evaluations that many customers find very beneficial; call us at 541-774-2435 if you’d like to schedule one.
Q: What is a High Elevation Charge?
A: In order to serve customers whose property is located in higher elevation zones, water needs to be pumped into these areas and stored in large tanks. There are additional expenses associated with operation of such facilities, including power and maintenance costs. High elevation charges reflect these additional expenses, which are charged to those customers who benefit from the necessary pumping and storage facilities.
Q: Is electronic billing for water payments available?
A: Yes. You can now view billing and consumption histories, view rate information, receive ebills and pay online- visit our Services Website (My Account). With these services, your payment will post to your account the next business day. For more details about our payment options, click here.
Q: Who is responsible for my home's plumbing and water fixtures?
A: For a quick-reference guide to utility and customer responsibility with regards to water piping components, see the graphic below. If you are not a Medford Water customer, contact your local jurisdictions to learn more about the pipe materials in your local water system.
Q: Where are the Drop Boxes for bill payments located?
A: You may drop your payment -- CHECKS ONLY, no cash -- with your payment stub in an envelope into any of the drop boxes listed below. Your payment will be forwarded to us by mail on the same day; however, processing through the post office may cause a delay of from three to four days.
- Medford Water, in the City Hall Lausmann Annex, 200 S. Ivy Street, Room 177, or the collection box outside the parking lot entrance to the building
- Albertsons, 910 N. Phoenix Rd., Medford
- Albertsons, 113 N. Ross Ln., Medford
- Avista Utilities, 580 Business Park Dr., Medford
Q: If I pay online through my bank how many days will it take to reach Medford Water?
A: It may take five or more days to receive your payment; this is important to keep in mind if you're paying a bill that is already delinquent.
Q: What is the Backflow Prevention Charge that is shown on bills for single family residences?
A: Protection from potential backflow contamination is an important safeguard for water quality, and all water utilities in Oregon are required to operate backflow prevention programs. This includes assurance that certain backflow prevention devices are tested each year. Several years ago, the Medford Water determined that it was easier and more effective, both for customers and our utility, for us to undertake this task on behalf of its single family residential customers. A small monthly charge provides the funding for this program. This benefits those single family residences with backflow prevention devices, as well as providing assurance to nearby properties that their neighbor’s backflow device(s) are providing the intended protection. We are continuing to expand this program to assure that all such devices are receiving annual testing, and customers with backflow prevention devices not already registered with our program are encouraged to notify us at 541-774-2430 to enroll their devices in our testing program.