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18500 Murdock Circle
Port Charlotte, FL 33948

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Utilities Department FAQ

Account Information

Can I change my address online?
At this time, the Utilities Department does not have the capability of allowing customers to change their address online. Please mark the box on the front of your bill stub (fill out the back of the coupon) with the change of address information or write, fax or telephone your address change to our office.

Can I change my name online?
At this time, the Utilities Department does not have the capability of allowing customers to change their name online. Proof of name change, such as a copy of a marriage certificate, death certificate or divorce decree, must accompany the change of name request. This can either be emailed to us at; faxed to our office at 941.764.4557 or mailed to our office at P.O. Box 516000, Punta Gorda, FL 33951.

Why didn't I receive a return envelope with my bill?
Due to budget constraints, we have discontinued return envelopes.

Can my monthly bill be sent by email?
​Yes, you must enroll in our eBill service.

How do I cancel or update my automatic payments?
You can cancel or update your automatic payment by logging into the eBill service. Once you are logged in, select Setup and then Automatic Payments to make your changes. Please contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300 for assistance.

Billing Information

My bill seems high. What are the rates for water and sewer?
For utility billing and rates, please view our current rate schedule.

Why is there a $45 charge on my first bill?
The $45 charge is a one-time charge to have the account set up, have a Utilities Department representative come to your home to turn on the water or read the meter and generate the first bill.

Can I have a payment deadline extension?
Yes, provided you telephone our office before your “Urgent Notice” has expired. When financial hardships occur, we can offer the owner a payment extension. This will not, however, make the account exempt from late fee penalties or a lien on the property. Please contact our the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300.

Why does my paper bill list multiple Residential Water Service charges?
​We bill on a tiered rate to encourage water conservation. The first rate tier is applied to water usage up to 5,999 gallons. Additional water usage is billed at higher rates, thus, if you use 6,000 gallons or more in a given month, your bill will reflect multiple residential water service charges, one for each applicable rate tier.

Why must I pay monthly charges even when I’m not using any water?
​​The Utilities Department’s rates are structured so that each customer pays a fair share of the fixed and non-variable costs incurred to provide water and wastewater collection service. Many of those costs continue even when the water is not being used. These and other fixed operating costs are covered by the Base Facility Charge. Variable costs associated with actual water usage cease when water and wastewater collection services are not used.

Why is my usage the same month after month?
​Your meter is read and billed in thousands of gallons. If the household activity does not change from month to month, it is not unusual for the usage to be the same. You are billed for the actual usage in thousands of gallons and not the hundreds.

New Service (Residential)

How do I transfer residential service from one address to another?
Transfers for existing residential properties may be completed over the telephone, fax, email. Please provide the following information:
  • Current address/account number
  • Account holder’s name
  • Address of new property
  • Telephone number where you can be contacted during regular business hours
  • Mailing address for final bill
  • Copy of Warranty Deed
  • Name of new owner
  • Closing date on property

Please contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300.

I am renting a home and need the water turned on. What do I do?
Accounts must remain in the name of the homeowner. We will need to hear from the owner of the property or the rental agent. Please contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300.

I have sold my home. What information do you need?
​The Utilities Department needs the closing date on the home; the name and address of the new owner; a copy of the Warranty Deed after closing and your final billing address. A meter reading is taken on the date of transfer of ownership if ​the Utilities Department is notified in advance, or on the next business day.

I just purchased a property and need the water turned on.
Please help us by providing the following information:
  • Address of the property
  • Date property transferred ownership
  • Copy of the Warranty Deed
  • Have you ever had service with us before
  • Home telephone number
  • Business telephone number
  • Mailing address for billing

When should I notify you of a change in ownership?
​The owner of residential property is responsible for the Utilities Department's bills effective the date of ownership. Whether the owner notifies ​the Utilities Department of the change, or as soon as ​the Utilities Department is aware of a change in ownership, we will transfer the account to the new owner's name and monthly bills will begin. ​The Utilities Department's bills base charges monthly whether services are used or not. Timely notification of a change in ownership and payment of bill will reduce the probability of penalties and miscellaneous fees.

What documentation is needed for a change in ownership to occur?
​Either the buyer and/or seller must inform ​the Utilities Department of:
  • The closing date on the home,
  • The name and address of the new owner,
  • If the new owner ever had service with us,
  • A telephone number for the new owner,
  • An email address of the new owner,
  • A copy of the Warranty Deed or signed settlement agreement after closing,
  • The final billing address of the seller.

Rental Property

How do I put the tenant on the account?
Charlotte County Utilities only recognizes the owner on a bill. The owner is responsible for the utility bill regardless of who is living at the premise. One paper bill maximum per account and the owner must be billed either electronically or through the mail. However, if the owner elects to receive their bills electronically we will send out a copy of the owner’s bill to a tenant. The owner must request that the bill be sent by completing a courtesy copy bill request to the Utilities Department. Authorized agents will be able to request an electronic copy only. Rental Account Agreement form

System Maintenance & Repairs

My meter lid is broken. Who do I contact?
​Please contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300. To expedite your request, please have the following information available:
  • The address
  • The account number
  • Your name and telephone number

Who is responsible for damaged water meter boxes and meters?
Utilities Department field personnel repair or replace boxes, lids and meters. However, any willful damage to the Utilities Department's meters or appurtenances is handled in accordance with Florida Statute 812.14.

I’m having a pool installed. Do I have to pay for the wastewater as well as water?
​In the interest of creating a favorable business climate in Charlotte County and promoting good community relations, Charlotte County Utilities will permit customers one waive each calendar year for high use. The owner, or their authorized representative, must complete an Owner Adjustment Request form in order to receive an adjustment. For additional information regarding our Adjustment Policy, please contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300.

Can I rent a meter to attach to a fire hydrant so I can fill my pool?
​No. Hydrants are primarily for the purpose of providing fire protection. Hydrant meters are utilized at construction sites for providing water on a temporary basis to avoid the expense of tapping the water main for temporary water service. The contractor is billed for all water usage in this situation.

Why do I see fire hydrants flowing from time to time?
​This is part of our line-flushing program. Particularly in areas of sparse population, we must flush the distribution system periodically to freshen water in the transmission lines and maintain appropriate levels of disinfection in your drinking water.

Water Quality

Where does my drinking water come from?
​Approximately 95 percent of the drinking water the Utilities Department provides its customers is purchased from the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority (PR/MRWSA). The PR/MRWSA draws surface water from the Peace River and treats it at a water treatment facility located on Kings Highway in DeSoto County. The plant is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by state-licensed operators.

The Utilities Department customers in the Burnt Store area are served by the Charlotte County Utilities Burnt Store Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Facility, located on Burnt Store Road near the Charlotte/Lee County line. At the Burnt Store facility, groundwater is drawn from brackish wells and treated with reverse osmosis technology.

Should I flush my water lines after being away from my home for an extended period of time? 
​Yes. It is recommended that you flush each water fixture (including showers) in your home for approximately five minutes before using. Stagnant water in your home is likely to contain higher levels of Legionella and other pathogens. 

How safe is my drinking water?
​Charlotte County Utilities routinely monitors for constituents in your drinking water, according to Federal and State laws. The employees of the Utilities Department work hard, seven days a week and 24 hours per day, to provide your family with clean, reliable, drinking water, each and every day. For information on the content and quality of your drinking water, refer to the Utilities Department’s annual Water Quality Reports.

Do you disinfect my drinking water? How?
​Yes. If you are serviced from the PR/MRWSA, we use a mixture of chlorine and ammonia (Chloramines). If you are serviced from the Burnt Store Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Facility (WTF) we use chlorine. Both disinfectants are widely used methods and are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

What do I do when my water pressure is low?
​Before calling our office, please check to see if any of the following apply:
  • Check to see if the house valve is partially closed
  • If water pressure is isolated to one section of the house, it may be a problem at the house.
  • If you have a water softener, try turning on the bypass
  • Check the screens in your faucets
  • See if your neighbors are also experiencing low pressure

Why does my water taste or smell funny?
There are regional differences in water taste, depending on the water source. New customers may find that the Utilities Department water tastes different than the tap water to which they are accustomed. Certain medications may also alter the taste of water. At times, you may detect a slight musty odor in the water caused by occasional algae blooms in the Peace River, but the water is safe to drink. Laboratory analyses are conducted daily to ensure the safety of your drinking water. For more information, please refer to our annual Water Quality Reports.

Odors can also be caused by sediment in your household plumbing, particularly in fixtures that are used only infrequently. Draw a glass of water and take it outside, away from the source, before smelling it. If the glass has no odor, the problem is likely coming from the drain. Try pouring a capful of chlorine bleach down the drain. Wait a few minutes and run the water briefly to flush the drain.

If you still have taste or odor any concerns, contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300

Why is my water coming out of the tap warm?
​Water temperature at the tap is affected by environmental factors, such as climate, thus, tap water in Florida can never be as cold as tap water in northern climates. If you prefer your water cold, you can refrigerate containers of water.

Why does my water appear cloudy?
​Sudden problems with water clarity may be caused by line breaks or routine system flushing. If only the hot water is affected, your water heater may be the cause. To relieve the situation, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for flushing your water heater. If needed, a Utilities Department technician can check the water at your property. Contact the Utilities Department at 941.764.4300.

Is there fluoride in my drinking water?
​Whether you’re serviced by the Burnt Store RO WTF or receiving water we purchased from the PR/MRWSA, the Utilities Department does not add fluoride to your drinking water. However, Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical found in acceptable levels in Peace River and Burnt Store water from the breakdown of rocks and soils. For more information, please refer to our annual Water Quality Reports.

What causes water spots on my glassware and silverware?
​Water spots are caused by calcium carbonate, which is naturally occurring in water. This is what contributes to water "hardness."

What is the average hardness of Charlotte County's water?
Charlotte County's water is moderately hard.

Typical water hardness classifications are:
  • Soft water less than 17mg/l
  • Slightly hard 17- 60 mg/l
  • Moderately hard 60-120 mg/l
  • Hard 120-180 mg/l
  • Very hard 180 + mg/l

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