Customer Billing Services

Customer billing representative smiling at desk.
  1. Late Payment FAQs 
  2. Customer Portal FAQs
  3. Pay By Phone FAQs
  4. Back Billing FAQs

We have resumed regular billing practices. This includes disconnection for nonpayment. We are working with customers who need financial assistance. We can offer grants from the Water Hardship Fund to qualified account holders, and we can help arrange payment plans. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about late payments and disconnects.

Several Ways to Pay

There are several ways to pay your bill:

  • Utility payments can be made online at the City’s customer billing and account portal.
  • Pay by phone - call 919-560-1200, Option 1.
  • Pay by cash at the cashiering counter at Mist Lake, 1600 Mist Lake Drive, or at City Hall.
  • Western Union. In addition to existing methods of payment online, by phone, and in person, we've teamed with Western Union to set up Authorized Cash Payment Locations near where you live and work. Now you can go any one of Western Union's 40 Durham locations to pay your water bill. They're open seven days a week and in the evenings, which should be more convenient for residents who like to pay with cash but without the trip to City Hall. (You will be asked to provide account details the first time you use this service.) 
    Each time you pay at an Authorized Payment Location:
    • State that you want to pay via "Quick Collect".
    • Use "City of Durham Department of Water Management" as the Company name.
    • Use the Last Name and Account Number which are printed on your utility bill.
    • Bring your bill or payment stub with you.
    • Make your payment with cash only.
    • There is no fee for customers.
    • The store clerk will receive your funds and enter the payment information. The payment is visible to staff within minutes and applied to your account the next business day.
    • You will receive a validated payment receipt as proof of payment, keep the receipt for your records.
    • To ensure your payment is received safely, use only an Authorized Western Union Payment Location.
  • Mail your payment by check or money order with payment stub to:
    City of Durham
    P.O. Box 580520
    Charlotte, NC 28258-0520

Reading Your Water Bill

We can show you a sample water bill with diagrams (pdf) that describe and explain each section of your bill.

How Your Bill Is Processed

Bills are processed on a monthly basis the next business day after the water meter is read. Unusually high readings are double checked before bills are mailed. If after reviewing your bill, you feel it is incorrect, you may call a customer service representative for assistance.

Due Dates

Payment is due 21 days after the billing date on your statement. If the amount due is not paid within 21 days, a late charges 1 percent will accrue on the unpaid balance.

After approximately 30 days, you will receive a notice with a disconnect date instructing you of the amount which must be paid by 5 p.m. the day PRIOR to the disconnect date. If charges are not paid by the disconnect date, your service will be disconnected for non-payment and a penalty charge will be added to your account. Water service will not be restored until all charges are paid. 


In 2021 the City of Durham received a grant from the National League of Cities (NLC) to study and address inequitable outcomes that are created by fines and fees. In addition to receiving this grant, Durham is part of a six-city cohort called CAFFE, Cities Addressing Fines and Fees Equitably. The cohort receives technical assistance from NLC, works to address fines and fees in our respective municipalities with the help of community partners, and shares key learnings and insights. Durham’s Office of Performance and Innovation is collaborating with the Water Department to study cutoff and late fees and their impact on Durham residents. The CAFFE project has three primary objectives.

  1. Assess their fines and fees structures within at least one of their municipal collections entities.
  2. Learn new ways to reduce inequities in how fines and fees are imposed. 
  3. Make program or policy changes that lead to a new collections model for the city, connecting residents in debt with services that improve their financial health. 
  4. In order to complete these objectives Durham mobilized a collaborative team from various city departments and community partners. The project work was split into three primary phases, understanding, solution brainstorming, and solution implementation.

In order to complete these objectives Durham mobilized a collaborative team from various city departments and community partners. The project work was split into three primary phases, understanding, solution brainstorming, and solution implementation. 

Click here for a presentation on The CAFFE Project and its findings.

Water Into Trees

You can help the City of Durham plant more trees by making a donation to the Water Into Trees program through your water bill. Your donation through this optional program will be used exclusively by Durham’s urban forestry program to purchase additional trees for streets, parks, and green spaces. Trees provide Durham residents with clean water and air, healthy places for outdoor activities and exercise, energy conservation, and increased property values.