Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current residential City utility rates?

Please see our Rates page.

How has the City changed utility rates for 2023?

The City of Spokane adopted updated utility rates for 2021 through 2023 that are designed to provide customers with predictable and affordable rates for their water, wastewater, and solid waste services. We continue to work on limiting costs and make decisions that will help our residents financially, while maintaining excellent service by adhering to a long-standing commitment made by the City's elected leaders to limit utility rate increases to 2.9 percent yearly. Update the residential water use tier structure that rewards low users of water and include capital fees that pay for infrastructure construction projects for customers who only have water service and who have not been paying for such improvements. These customers will pay 40 percent of the combined capital rate for water and wastewater.

How Can I Pay My Utility Bill?

Please see our Payment Options page. Options include payments online, by phone, and through electronic transfer

Who do I contact for a Water Emergency?

Please call the City at 3-1-1 (or 509.755.CITY if calling from outside the City limits).

Who do I contact for a Wastewater Emergency?

Please call the City at 3-1-1 (or 509.755.CITY if calling from outside the City limits).

Who do I contact for questions about Refuse and Recycling (including garbage pickup questions)?


  • Solid Waste department: call 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489).
  • Recycling hotline: 509.625.6800
  • Solid Waste website
How often will I receive my residential City of Spokane utility bill?

You will receive a monthly bill for water, sewer and refuse.

What does my utility bill include?

City utility bills includes charges for water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste collection. We work to make our bills understandable and predictable. We list separate line items on our utility bills to allow our customers to check the accuracy of their service levels. Customers can lower their utility bills by reducing their use of water or by recycling more so they can use a smaller garbage cart.

Are there taxes included in the City's utility bills?

Yes. The amount billed includes a tax of 20 percent that’s calculated on the gross revenues of the City of Spokane's water, wastewater and solid waste utilities. Those taxes are paid to the City's General Fund, which pays for general City services.

The City's General Fund's largest funding sources include sales, property, and utility taxes. The General Fund services include police, fire, streets, libraries, parks, neighborhood services, and more.

Utility tax is charged on the gross revenues of both public utilities, like the City's, and private utilities, like Avista and cable and telecommunications companies. Like other taxes, they are a cost of doing business for these utilities.

What are the items on my bill?

Solid Waste

Most residential properties have a single City-provided refuse cart and may also have a yard waste cart. Your service is listed on the bill with the number of carts, followed by the cart size.

  • 30 Gal Refuse Cart: Smallest normal cart
  • 60 Gal Refuse Cart: Most popular size cart
  • 90 Gal Refuse Cart: Largest cart
  • Yard Waste Recycle Cart: Optional large green cart for yard and food waste
  • Single Stream Recycle Cart: Big blue cart, provided at no additional cost for residential customers


Sewer Residential Collect: Money covers the cost of maintaining existing infrastructure (the pipes in the ground) and the cost of operating the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility.

Stormwater: Money is used for projects to manage stormwater runoff.


Water Service Charge: Money is used for the operation of the Water Department. Consumption charges are added when the meter is read.

Water Usage: The amount is based on the actual amount of water used at the property.

Water Wastewater Capital

Money is used for capital infrastructure projects related to water, wastewater, and stormwater.

Does the City of Spokane offer Budget Billing?

Yes. Simply contact the Utilities Billing office at 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489) and consult with a service representative.

  • Your account needs to be paid to a zero balance before budget billing can be started.
  • The owner or renter will need to have occupied the service location for at least twelve months.
  • Budget Billing averages the past twelve months and the bill will stay at that amount for twelve months before re-averaging.
  • Budget Billing does not include extra refuse charges and those must be paid additionally.
  • Residential accounts only.
My water bill has always been consistent. Now it is suddenly very high. Why?

Feel free to contact the Utilities Billing office at 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489) with any utility bill inquiries. A sudden rise in your water bill may be due to a number of reasons including:

  • Plumbing leaks in toilets and/or taps
  • Consecutive estimated readings followed by an accurate reading (if your water usage was under estimated and your consumption for previous billing periods was higher, you may see an increase in your current water bill)
  • An increase in the number of people living in the house resulting in greater water usage
  • A dry, hot summer, resulting in higher consumption
Where is the water meter located in my house?

Most water meters are located in the basement. Typical basement locations are along the front wall and near the floor. Other common places include basement washrooms and laundry rooms. Many meters are located in meter boxes. Most meter boxes are concrete boxes purchased from and installed by the City, but there are some that were installed privately, often with wooden lids. The City of Spokane does not recommend you enter any meter box due to potential safety hazards. Contact the water department at 509.625.7800.

Contact Information

Utility Billing
Spokane City Hall
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201

Hours: Monday-Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 311, or for outside city limits, 509.755.CITY (2489)
7 a.m. - 6 p.m.