How do I read my bill?

Water & Sewer Billing Explained  Short Video Here

Please read this document carefully if you have questions about your water & sewer bill, if you have questions about how water & sewer rates are calculated, or how/when, we read the water meters.

If you would like to see your past or current water & sewer usage please log-on to WaterSmart.  WaterSmart is a free web based portal where you can view your past and current water usage and billing history.  Visit to log-on.  You will need your water & sewer account number to access your information.

Basic Information about how Water & Sewer bill your usage:

Water usage is billed in units. On the water bill, it says “water use:” then a number.  That number is the number of units you are being billed for.

One unit is 100 Cubic Feet of water, which is equal to 748 gallons.  Therefore, one billing unit is 748 gallons.

Sewer usage is calculated from the water meter usage.  Water use and sewer use are based upon the same reading.  Sewer is billed, per unit, higher than water.  Natick’s sewer is transported and treated by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA).  The costs are substantially higher to clean and treat wastewater than cleaning and treating Natick’s potable water.

Natick uses a tiered billing system.  The more water you use, the more per unit the water & sewer will cost.  If you use more water during warmer months (i.e. water your lawn) your water bill could be substantially higher because the higher usage is billed at a higher per unit cost.

Billing Frequency:

Natick issues  water/sewer bills quarterly.  Natick reads water meters monthly.  If you would like to view your monthly usage log-on to WaterSmart, (see above).  The bill you received is for the preceding three months usage.  In addition, it takes about three weeks to calculate and mail the bills.  The bill you receive will be for a three-month period, starting about 4 months ago. For example if we read usage for June, July, and August your will not receive your bill until October.

Irrigation Meter Program:

Natick does allow the use of irrigation meters.  Irrigation meter are separate meters, installed by a licensed plumber, that do not add sewer charges for the water used.  As the name infers, this is for water that does not enter the municipal sewer system.  Irrigation water rates are higher than domestic use rates, but the rates are lower than the combined water & sewer rates.  Details on the irrigation meter program may be found at

Irrigation meter use will not show as separate line item on the bill, the “Water Use:” on the bill is the total for the domestic (inside) use and irrigation use.

What to do next?

Steps to take if you think something is wrong:

First, think back.  Did you water your lawn and gardens?  Was it an exceptionally dry summer?  Have you had a running toilet?  Did someone leave a hose running or faucet running?  As explained, if your water usage moves into the next rate tier the water and sewer per unit increases causing high than expected water & sewer bills.

Second, check the leak detection dial on the water meter.  Locate your water meter, on the meter is a red dial or a red triangle.  These dials detect small or low flows.  If all the water-using devices in your home are off then this dial should not be moving.  If the dial is moving, it is possible you have a leak.  If you suspect you have a leak please contact a licensed plumber to check the plumbing systems.

Third, if you have specific questions about the bill, how it was calculated, past payments, amount due: check WaterSmart (see above) first.  This will show your current and past bills.  If you still have questions please contact the Collector’s Office at Town Hall: or (508)647-6425.

Fourth, if you have specific questions about water meter reads or water use history: check WaterSmart (see above) first.  This will show your current usage and historical usage.  If you still have questions please contact the Natick DPW Water/Sewer Division at 508-647-6557.

Finally, if you feel you have been billed incorrectly or you feel you should not be responsible for the charges you could file for an abatement.  The abatement process starts with the Collector’s Office at Town Hall.  Please contact the office at or (508)647-6425 to start the process.

Revised: October 5, 2020

Show All Answers

1. How do I read my bill?
2. Who sets the rates?
3. When can rate payers raise or voice concerns to the Water & Sewer Commissioners?
4. Who can I call if I have a question with my bill?
5. Who can I call if I have a problem with my water or sewer service?
6. What is the rate setting philosophy for the Town of Natick?
7. Broken Water Meter?