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Frequently Asked Questions

If the information below does not meet your needs, please contact LACWD at the Lancaster or Malibu Office (877) 637-3661, Alhambra Main Office (626) 300-3335 or (626) 300-3386.

 

Your Water Bill

How do I pay my bill?

Your water bill can be paid online using MyWAM, in person at your local District office, over the phone by calling 1-877-637-3661, or by mail.

If you wish to pay after regular business hours, drop your payment with the payment stub in the overnight deposit box located at the entrance of the District office.

Mailing your payment:
Enclose the detachable bottom portion of your bill, along with a check or money order for the amount due, in the envelope provided to ensure speed and efficiency in processing. Please do not include cash or coins. Please allow 7 to 10 business days for your payment to be received and posted on your account.

If the envelope provided is lost, please mail your payment to the following address:
Los Angeles County Treasurer
P.O. Box 512150
Los Angeles, CA 90051-0150

When is my bill due?

Your water bill is due and payable upon presentation. You have 25 days from the date the bill is prepared to make your payment before the bill is delinquent. Bills that are delinquent are subject to a $10.00 late fee. A $33.00 fee is charged to cover processing costs for all returned checks.

How many gallons of water are represented by each "unit" on the water bill?

Each billing unit is 100 cubic feet of water which is equal to 748 gallons.

What is my water rate?

Click here to view your water rate.

Why do the Districts not offer reduced rates to "low-income customers"?

LACWD established its water rates based on the fair distribution of the true cost of water which includes operational and maintenance costs, administrative expenses, and reserves for capital improvements and emergency. Rate reduction to certain customers based on income or age for the same amount of water used would unfairly require a rate increase on other customers to subsidize the reduced rates.

Are my water bills considered public record?

The LACWD confidentiality clause in the Rules and Regulations states that individual customer applications and billing and payment records are not public records and cannot be released. The only exceptions are released under a court order or written authorization of the account holder.

How can I put the water bill under a different name?

If you are the owner of the property and want to establish water service in your name, you must complete and sign an application for service. Also, as part of the application for service, you must provide proof of ownership. The most common proof is a copy of the recorded Grant Deed for the property to be serviced.

If you have already established water service in your name, and want the water bill to go to a tenant or another payer, a new application for water service must be completed and jointly signed by both the owner and tenant. The water bill can be prorated to the date of occupancy. The owner of the property to be serviced is ultimately responsible for the account, even if the bills are sent to another payer. The owner will receive "owner bill" copies of all bills and notices that go to the service address.

Please contact your local District office for additional information, or if you would like to have the forms faxed or mailed to you.

How do I read my water meter?

The register on the meter has numbers and a sweep hand and is read in units of hundred cubic feet (1 HCF = 748 gallons). In the center of the register are dials with numbers similar to the odometer on an automobile. Only the first four numbers are read for 3/4” or 1” meters and the first five numbers are read for 1 1/2” or 2” meters, and they are read from left to right. The last two numbers to the extreme right in black are not used for reading purposes.

How do I read my water bill?

Click here to learn more about your water bill.
 

MyWAM - Online Bill Pay

How do I register for MyWAM?

Click here for a step by step guide on how to register for MyWAM.

Can I set up my account to be paid automatically, and can I pay by credit card?

The new My Waterworks Account Manager (MyWAM) allows you to easily access and manage your LACWD account online and view billing policies and rate information anytime, anywhere. Register for MyWAM to securely view your account balance, pay your bill and monitor your water consumption—you’ll even be able to compare your water use to your region. After completing the MyWAM online registration process you will have several payment options to choose from including eCheck, credit card, quick pay, which allows you to make a one-time payment using your credit card or checking account, and auto pay, which allows you to set up automatic payments using your credit card or checking account.

How to update credit card expiration date that is used for Auto Pay?

To update your credit card expiration date you will first need to remove the credit card stored payment profile. Go to 'Make a Payment' and 'Remove' the previous stored credit card. Once you remove the stored credit card information, this will automatically stop your Auto Pay. Now you will need to make a onetime credit card payment for any amount, say $0.01. Click on 'I want to pay with a new Credit Card'. You must make a payment in order for your new credit card information to be stored. Then click on next, enter your payment amount and credit card information. You will be prompted if you want to store your information for future use; select Yes. Next, you will need to go back to the main page and select 'Auto Pay'. You will need to follow the prompts; first click on 'I would like to enroll in Auto Pay', you will now see your stored credit card information. Next, click on 'Enroll in Auto Pay'. You have successfully changed your credit card information and re-enrolled in Auto Pay.

What email address should I set my junk email filter to allow incoming emails from MyWAM?

Email sent from MyWAM are addressed as follows:

donotreply@dpw.lacounty.gov and mywam@dpw.lacounty.gov

If our email was sent to your junk mail, you can choose our email from the junk list and select the 'junk' button and choose Never Block Sender's Domain (@dpw.lacounty.gov).

Please configure your junk mail filter to allow Email with this address.

How do I sign up for paperless billing or eBill?

During the registration process there is the option to select 'yes' for eBill. You can also select eBill through the 'Change Profile' button. If you sign up for eBill then you will receive an email notification that includes your current water bill amount and due date each time your bill is generated. You will then be able to log into MyWAM and ‘view’ a pdf version of your bill under 'Billing History'.

I want to enroll in Auto Pay, but your website won't let me.

Thank you for your inquiry. You are only getting the how to apply for Auto Pay, and no "continue" or "register" or "enroll" button. To enable Auto Pay enrollment you must first make a single payment (any amount) and select to "store your payment" information. If you are using a stored "credit card" payment profile, you may immediately enroll in Auto Pay. However, if you are using a stored "checking account" payment profile, you must wait 24 hours after making the initial payment to begin to enroll in Auto Pay. This provides enough time for processing the initial check payment and storing your checking account payment profile for future use. Thank you.
 

Leaks, Hardware Fixes and Emergencies

How can I tell if I have a leaks?

First, make sure the washing machine, dishwasher, faucets, hoses, sprinklers and other water fixtures are all turned off. Then, check the water meter register located inside the meter box. You will see either a red sweep hand or a red triangle to use as a 'leak indicator.' If there is no leak, the red indicator will be stationary because no water is passing through the meter. If the red indicator is rotating, water is passing through the meter, which could indicate a leak on the property.

How can I turn off the water in case of a leak or emergency?

Most water meters are equipped with a customer valve right at the water meter. The customer valve typically looks like a brass handle located on the houseline side of the water meter. Often this handle is painted blue or has an arrow stamped on top indicating the direction of flow. To turn off the water, turn the handle a quarter or half of a turn. You can check to make sure that the water is off by operating a faucet or hose bib. To restore the water supply to your home, simply turn the handle back to the position you found it.

We have very low water pressure. For example, if we run the sprinklers or washing machine, then we have just a trickle coming from the kitchen faucet. Is this normal? Can we fix it?

There could be several reasons for your low pressure.
  • First, you should check your faucet aerators. These aerators can become clogged over time and may need periodic cleaning.
  • If you have an older house you may have a galvanized steel house line, instead of a copper line, which is commonly installed in newer houses. With age, a galvanized line will deteriorate and corrode inside which may cause a decrease in pressure.
  • If your house line is very small (i.e. less than one inch), your line may simply not be able to handle simultaneous water flows.
  • Some houses have pressure regulators. Over time pressure regulators can fail, resulting in decreased pressure. Have the pressure regulator checked to make sure it is operating properly.
  • A blockage in a water line or a valve somewhere in your plumbing that is not completely open.
  • A leak in the onsite plumbing.

If your low pressure continues to be a problem and you would like our help diagnosing your problem, you can arrange to have one of our customer service representatives meet with you for a field investigation, free of charge. Contact your local District office for more details.

What can I do to prevent my water pipes from freezing during winter?

During winter, your pipes may freeze and you may experience no water when turning on your faucets. Your pipes may also burst as a result of the freeze. To prevent this from happening, you can take a few simple precautions:

  • Disconnect outdoor hoses and allow water to drain from the pipe
  • Insulate outdoor pipes and faucets
  • Insulate pipes and faucets in unheated areas
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations

If your pipe freezes, and you think you know where the freeze occurred, you can use a hair dryer with a low heat setting to thaw it. DO NOT, under any circumstances, use an open flame. Using the hair dryer, wave warm air back and forth along the pipe. DO NOT heat only one spot on the pipe, as this can cause it to burst. If your pipe bursts, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber.

 

Water Supply

Where does LACWD get the potable (drinkable) water that it supplies to its customers?

District 29: District 29 purchases its water from the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) for its customers. WBMWD gets its water from the Metropolitan Water District. The source of water is the Sacramento River-San Joaquin Delta via the State Water Project (SWP), the 444 mile-long California Aqueduct that transports water to Southern California SWP contractors for use as agricultural or urban supply. District 29 also has emergency connections with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

Districts 40 and 37: Antelope Valley and Acton customers served by District 40 and 37 receive drinking water from multiple sources including local groundwater and imported water purchased from the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency (AVEK). AVEK’s water primarily comes from the State Water Project. The surface water in your region comes from one of AVEK’s facilities, Quartz Hill Water Treatment Plant or Eastside Water Treatment Plant. For details on the percentages of groundwater versus imported water, please view your Districts’ Water Quality Report.

District 21: For the customers of Kagel Canyon, District 21 purchases its water from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). LADWP water comes from the Eastern Sierras in the Owens Valley via the Los Angeles Aqueduct, local groundwater and Metropolitan Water District.

District 36: Customers of District 36 in Val Verde receive drinking water from multiple sources including local groundwater pumped by a well owned by the District and imported water purchased from the Castaic Lake Water Agency.

City of Lomita: The City of Lomita purchases its water supply from West Basin Municipal Water District which gets its water from the Metropolitan Water District via the State Water Project. The City also maintains a standby well for emergency only.

Peter Pitchess Wayside Honor Rancho: Peter Pitchess Wayside Honor Rancho (PPWHR) is supplied with drinking water sourced entirely from groundwater. The groundwater is extracted from the underlying basin by wells that are owned and operated by PPWHR. PPWHR also maintains an interconnection with the Castaic Lake Water Agency which gets its water through the State Water Project.

 

Water Quality

Is water safe to drink right from my faucet?

The water delivered to your water meter meets all State and Federal drinking water standards and is safe to use without further treatment. However, the District is not responsible for plumbing and treatment devices installed on private property. Sub-standard, illegal, old, improperly installed and/or improperly maintained plumbing or water treatment devices may adversely affect the water quality coming from the taps inside your home or business. NSF International is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides guidance for public health standards and product certification that help protect the world's food, water, health and consumer products. A list of NSF certified drinking water products is available on their website.

Is tap water regularly tested?

The District is required by state and federal law to regularly test the water. The water is tested for over 200 different constituents in a State-certified laboratory. The amount of each constituent allowed in the water and the frequency with which we test for each constituent varies greatly and is regulated by the State of California Department of Public Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The results of the water testing are found in our annual water quality reports. The reports can be viewed or downloaded from our website.

How can I have my water tested?

Services for water testing are available from commercial and environmental laboratories for a fee. You can obtain references for qualified laboratories by contacting the State of California Department of Public Health at (818) 551-2004 or by visiting their website.

Why does the water sometimes appear cloudy or milky?

Cloudy water is caused by air bubbles in the water. It is completely harmless and will disappear after a few minutes.

Why does the water sometimes have a brownish color?

Brown, red, orange, or yellow water are all caused by rust in the water. The rust is a compound of iron and oxygen that is harmless in drinking water but can stain clothes and porcelain fixtures. The rusty water comes from either the District water mains or the water pipes in your home or business. Some rusting color is most noticeable during periods of low water use or after pipe repairs. To determine the source of rust, let the water run from a faucet in your home. If the water clears after a few minutes, the rust may be coming from household water pipes. If the water clears only after a long period of time, the rust may be coming from the District water mains. In that instance, please call your local Waterworks District office at (877) 637-3661 to speak to a customer service representative.

Do I need to treat the water before I use it for my fish?

Your drinking water contains disinfectants to inhibit bacterial growth. These disinfectants can kill fish. Depending on the location, the water contains either chlorine or chloramines. Both disinfectants can be neutralized by adding the appropriate chemicals which are available at most pet stores. Both disinfectants can also be removed with a granular activated carbon water filter. Chlorine, but not chloramines, can be removed from the water by letting the water sit uncovered for at least 48 hours. Some fish are also sensitive to changes in the temperature and pH of the water. If you are going to add a significant amount of new water, consult an experienced fish care expert for tips on how to accomplish this without harming your fish.
 

Watering Times

What is the best time to water my lawn?

The best time for irrigation is at night or the early morning as the cooler temperatures reduce evaporation.

Watering Times
City of Lancaster: 10 p.m. - 10 a.m.
City of Palmdale: 8 p.m. - 10 a.m.
Los Angeles County: 4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
Malibu: 8 p.m. - 8 a.m.
Marina del Rey: 4 p.m. - 9 a.m.
 

Water Services

Do water standby direct assessments apply to developed as well as undeveloped properties?

Water standby charges apply to all parcels, developed or not, and vary by District and location of property. State law does, however, provide for limited exemptions.

Does the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works provide water and power services?

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works does not provide electric power service. Most County residents receive electric power from Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The cities of Los Angeles, Azusa, Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale have their own water and power service.

I am considering purchasing property that does not currently receive water service. What is required to establish water service? What are the permit and connection fees?

There are a number of steps required to obtain water service connection to one of our Districts. Typically, the property to receive service needs to be located within the boundaries of one of the Districts. We have five Districts which are located at or near Malibu, Marina Del Rey, Kagel Canyon, Val Verde, Acton, Lancaster, Palmdale, and other parts of the Antelope Valley.

If your property is not within one of our Districts boundaries, it may be within the jurisdiction of another water purveyor and you should contact them for more information. You can find this information at the closest city or town hall to your property. There are more than 200 water purveyors in Los Angeles County.

If the property is very close to one of our Districts but not located within our boundaries, it may be necessary to annex the property into the District prior to receiving service. For annexation into LACWD, please contact the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO). The next step will be to fill out a meter application to request new water service. The fees will vary depending on the size of the meter, the size of the property, the frontage dimension, and the required fire flow protection. Due to these variances, fees are determined on a case by case basis. Any party, property owner, or developer requesting new service will be responsible for all capital improvements needed to provide a service connection to their property.

Improvements could include construction of new water mains, and/or construction of additional water storage facilities at existing LACWD property sites, and/or acquisition of new property along with construction of new storage facilities. All improvements need to meet fire department and LACWD standards and will be entirely funded by the owner/developer. If you believe that your property for which you would like a connection is located at or near one of our Districts please contact our main office or closest field office to obtain further information.

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