Monthly Billing Frequently Asked Questions

My new monthly water utility bill seems too high. Why could that be?
There are a few reasons why your new monthly water bill may seem high:

  1. You could have a leak in your property causing unusually high water usage. Check your plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, water spigots, etc.) for leaks.
  2. During the transition from quarterly to monthly billing, your bill may reflect more than one month of usage until you get into your new regular monthly cycle. Check the number of days in your billing cycle, found on your bill in the “Days” column. Bill totals should normalize as accounts shift from quarterly to monthly billing.


Are water utility customers charged for actual usage or estimated usage?

Water utility customers are charged for actual water usage.


Did water rates increase with the change to monthly billing?

No, water rates did not change. Rates remain the same as they were prior to the change to monthly billing. Rates for inside City customers were last changed on January 9, 2023; and outside City customers on June 29, 2022. Click here to view all current water and sewer rates.


Why doesn’t my bill display my actual water usage? How can I view my actual water usage?

Your water bill shows your actual previous and current meter reading. You can subtract your previous reading from your current reading to see your actual water usage.


What is the “Consumption” figure and why is it a whole number?

Water is billed in 1,000-gallon increments. Usage is rounded to the nearest whole 1,000-gallon increment for billing.


How does the City know how much water I use?

The City bills water based on actual usage. Over the last several years, water meters throughout the distribution system have been updated/replaced to enable more frequent and remote readings.


If your bill reflects a meter read code of “W”, the City cannot remotely obtain a meter reading and will need access to your property to diagnose the problem. Please contact the Water Meter Shop at (717) 291-4820.


How many days are in a monthly billing cycle?

On average, there are 30­-35 days in each monthly billing cycle. The total number of days in your billing cycle can vary based on weekends, holidays, etc.

Online Billing Frequently Asked Questions

Note:  Online billing is optional. It is offered as a convenience to customers, but customers who wish to still receive/pay bills through the mail can continue to do so.


Why does the City charge a fee for online payments?
Online payment providers charge a fee to process payments. Customers who choose to pay online are responsible for paying these processing fees. The City of Lancaster does not profit from these payment processing fees. Online processing fees have been in place since the City began offering online payments in 2017. Learn more about Payment Processing Fees.


Do I need to create an account to view or pay my bill online?
Yes, an account is now required to view or pay your bill online. You can find step by step instructions for creating a Citizen Self Service (CSS) account here, and instructions for linking your utility account to your CSS account here.


Do I have to sign up for Paperless Billing?
No, you do not have to sign up for paperless billing. However, paperless billing does save resources, lower costs, and reduce our impact on the environment.


How does Paperless Billing work?
When you opt into paperless billing, we will send you your monthly bill by email instead of through the mail. You can then pay your bill the way you normally would, online, in-person, or through the mail.


What information do I need to create an account or sign up for paperless billing?
After you create a Citizen Self Service account, you will need your account number and customer number (also known as a CID) to sign up.


Where can I find my Account Number and Customer Number/CID?
You can find both of these numbers on your bill, circled in red below.