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Billing FAQs

A basic explanation of your bill is available to download here:

How to read your bill                    Información para leer su factura

In addition, this page answers many common questions about the charges found on your bill and how they are determined, as well as other common questions.  This information is broken down into several sections:

Common Abbreviations

The following abbreviations are found on your bill and/or this webpage.

 Ccf  100 cubic feet 1 Ccf = 748 gallons
 CDPH California Department of Public Health
 WQ Water Quantity  
 UMS Utility Management Services

Defining Rates

1.      What are my current rates?

Your current rates are always listed on this website, on your Company's page. Simply go to your company's website to see your current rates.  In addition, potential future rates may be available, depending on what your Board of Directors has chosen to post on the website.

2.      Who determines my basic rates?

Rates for individual companies are determined by the Board of Directors of each company. Procedures vary among different companies. For more information, contact your company's Board of Directors at the address/phone number found on the back of your bill.

3.      Sewer: What is the “Sewer Fee”?

The “Sewer Fee” is your charge for being connected to the sewer system during the current month. In most cases, this fee is adjusted once a year. Specific sewer fees and any applicable resolutions instituting or changing them are available on your company's page.

4.      Water: What is the “Monthly Service Charge” or "Flat Rate Charge"?

The “Monthly Service Charge” is a percentage of the total cost to run the water system, and is your basic fixed monthly service fee, which is determined by the size of the water meter serving your property.  This charge applies even if you used no water during the billing period.

If your property is in an unmetered area, your Monthly Service Charge may be called a "Flat Rate Charge", or simply "Flat Rate", and is designed to cover the full cost of operating the company.

5.      Water: What is the “Water Quantity Charge”?

The “Water Quantity Charge” (WQ) is determined by how much water you use during the billing period. It is calculated as follows:
           Current Meter Reading
        - Previous Meter Reading
           Current Water Use (Ccf/1000g)      X      WQ Rate ($ per Ccf/1000g)      =     Water Quantity Charge ($)

Water use is measured in units of 100 cubic feet (Ccf) for most companies; 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons. Some companies use 1000 gallons (g). Another possible unit of measure is acre feet, but this is usually only used for agricultural irrigation as 1 acre foot = 43,560 Cubic Feet = 325,851 gallons.

If there are no special factors involved (such as heavy seasonal water use), WQ is often approximately 50% of the total basic rate. It covers the remaining costs not paid for by the Monthly Service Charge.

6.      Why are there additional charges on my bill? What are they?

Information about specific additional charges is posted online on your company's page. Notification is also included on your bill, under "Important Customer Message", whenever a new rate is added to your bill.

Due Dates & Service Fees

7.  My due date keeps changing. Why?

Utility Management Services bills according to the established billing cycles of each company, which are described below.  All due dates and shut offs dates are calculated based on the day your bill is mailed.  For companies that Utility Management Services always mails on Wednesdays, your actual due date will vary slightly each month.

Ducor Community Services District: Bills are mailed on the first business day of every month and due by the last business day of the month.

City of Marysville: Bills are mailed on the second wednesday of every month and due 30 days later, which is always a Friday.

The due date is found on the bottom right of your bill below the heading Payment Details.

On the business day immediately following the due date, a late fee will be applied to unpaid accounts and a 10 Day Notice will be mailed, followed by a 48 Hour Notice just prior to shut offs (if applicable). If the account is not paid within 14 days after the due date, water service may be shut off or lien procedures implemented, according to the policies set by your company.

8.   Can I change my due date?

Unfortunately, our billing system does not allow us to change due dates for individual customers. Every person in a given company is billed and due on the same day. If you cannot pay by the due date because of an unusual circumstance, please call the Customer Care Center to see if you qualify for an extension.

9.  How much is the late fee?

Please refer to your company's page for information about fees specific to your company.

10.  I mailed my payment on time. Why was I charged a late fee?

Payments must be recieved at the corporate accounting office on or before the due date. UMS does NOT go by the postmark date. All payments that are received in the mail on the afternoon of the due date are applied the next morning, before late fees are charged.

11.  I paid using my bank's online billpay system. Why was I charged a late fee?

Payments made via your personal bank’s online billpay (NOT paid via may take up to ten days to reach UMS. Bank payments are not instant; the banks print physical checks and mail them to UMS. Many of the banks only print those checks once a week.  If using your bank's online billpay, we recommend scheduling your payments to arrive a few days early, just in case it takes longer than expected for the payment to reach UMS.

12.  I've been shut off for non-payment. How much will it cost to turn my service back on?

Once your account has been shut off for non-payment, you will need to pay the past due balance plus the Reconnect Fee specified on your company's page to have the service turned back on. 

If you request that service be turned on after hours, an additional $15 After Hours Fee will apply.  An additional $20 Collection Fee may also apply if paying your field representative directly, provided your company allows field representatives to hand collect.  If requesting an after hours turn on, UMS recommends paying online on UMS's website ( to avoid the Collection Fee. When paying online, save or print your payment confirmation to show the field representative prior to turn on.

If service has been shut off for non-payment for more than one week, a new deposit may also be required in order to reinstate service.

aCan I turn my service back on by myself?

No.  The water meter and/or service valve are company property and can only be turned on and off by UMS or your company's staff.  Once payment has been made, UMS or your company's staff will return to turn your service on as soon as possible. Further, if you attempt to turn service back on and cause any damage, including cutting locks, you will be charged for the damage. 

13.  Is there a fee to pay by phone? Is there a fee to pay online at or

Utility Management Services does not charge a fee to pay online at our websites, or over the phone by calling our Customer Care Center. However, banking fees such as credit card processing fees, may be charged to you according to the policy of your Company. Applicable fees are listed on your company's page.

14.  Are there any other fees I should know about?

Utility Management Services' courtesy services, such as checking for leaks and emergency water shut off, are free of charge, provided customers due not abuse this courtesy.  If special work is performed that is not part of Utility Management Services' or your company's responsibility, such as customer-requested repairs to the customer's water lines, a charge may be applicable and will be reviewed with the customer prior to the work being performed.

Returned Checks and Automatic Payments that are refused by the bank will result in a fee that is payable immediately.  See your company's page for the amount of this fee. Accounts are subject to shut off if these fees are not paid promptly.

Damage to any Utility Management Services or company property, beyond the usual wear-and-tear, may incur a charge, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. If this is the case, you will be contacted directly.

If a new mainline must be added in order to serve a property that was not previously connected to your company's water distribution or sewer system, installation costs may apply.


15.  Is my company audited?

Most companies are required to be audited annually by an independent accounting firm. For more information, contact your company's Board of Directors.

16.  Are my company's records available to the public?

For water service customers, a Consumer Confidence Report is published and mailed to customers annually no later than June, per CDPH requirements.  Additional records may be available from your company's Board of Directors.

17.  How do I know my water meter is working correctly?

Meter readers alternate monthly, providing a system of continuous audit.  Also, UMS office staff regularly audit all meter reads and dispatch field representatives to test any questionable meters. Further, any customer may request a free test of their meter once a year. Information on reading your meter and testing for leaks is available here.

18.  What are my payment options?

UMS accepts checks, money orders, cashiers checks, credit cards, and ACH (see Auto Payment below).

  • Mail – Payments may be mailed to Utility Management Services in the envelope provided with your bill, or by mailing to: Utility Management Services, Inc., [Your company], Drawer 5173, Chico, CA 95927-5173.
  • Phone – Customer Service Representatives are available from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, at (530) 717-2600 to process payments by Debit Card, Credit Card, or E-check.
  • Website – Utility Management Services’s website at and and our payment portal at all accept payments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Auto Payment – Utility Management Services is pleased to offer an automatic payment option. If you choose to enroll, automatic payments will be deducted directly from your checking account or credit card once a month.  Enroll by filling out the form found on the back of your payment stub, or via the online form found under "Billing Options" and then "edit" when logged in to your account.
         Ducor Community Services District (DU) accounts will be deducted on the 5th of every month.
         City of Marysville Sewer accounts will be deducted on the 21st of every month.

19.  How can I contact UMS?

  • Phone:  UMS may be reached by phone Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8am to 4:30pm by calling 1-866-912-3692 or your company's direct phone number. Your company's number is shown on your bill and also on your company's page. After hours, messages can be left and staff will respond the next business day. For after hours emergencies, you will have the option of speaking to UMS's emergency operator, who will dispatch a field representative if required.
  • E-mail:  UMS can be reached by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mail:  Correspondence may be mailed to:

Utility Management Services
[Your company name]
Drawer 5173
Chico, CA 95927-5173

20.  Where can I get the most up-to-date information regarding rates and other matters concerning my company?

 The most current information about your company is always available online at; simply select go to "Companies" on the menu and select your company. In addition, customers regularly receive notices on their bills as well as inserts about potential rate changes, public meetings, water quality, and more.

21. I have a concern or complaint. Who do I contact?

We would strongly encourage you to contact UMS's Customer Care Center prior to contacting your company's Board of Directors so that you may receive the quickest satisfactory resolution. We will do everything within our power to address your concerns.  If your concern or complaint is beyond UMS' purview, we may need you to submit in writing so that it can be referred to your company's Board of Directors. The contact information for your Board of Directors is also printed on the back of your monthly statement.

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