Frequently Asked Questions

Utility Service

Contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131. For starting or transferring service, your account will be charged a nonrefundable new account fee. If you are renting the property, a deposit is required as well to establish service. The amount of the new account fee and deposit is set by City ordinance. The current deposit requirements can be viewed at /water-rates. All utility charges will remain your responsibility until you contact the Utility Billing Office and request to have service ended.

The Sioux Falls Utilities requires a deposit to ensure that the customer’s final bill will be paid. Deposits reduce the amount of bad debt expense, which in turn, saves all customers money by helping to keep utility rates lower. A deposit must be paid prior to having utility service established. The deposit will be applied to the customer’s final bill. Any balance remaining on the deposit after the final bill has been paid will be refunded to the customer by check.

Appointments are available weekdays (excluding holidays). Sometimes we are not able to accept appointments when requested because the schedule may already be filled. Appointments are scheduled in the a.m. or p.m. (8 to 12 or 12:30 to 4) in case the field technician would have an unforeseen problem at an earlier appointment. To assist in limiting wait time, if you provide us a contact phone number, the field technician can call you with a 15- to 20-minute lead time to meet them at the property.

Usually we do not, unless the water meter or meter reading equipment needs to be serviced at the same time. However, an adult MUST be home for us to turn the water on to prevent any liability for flooding or damage that could be caused by a faucet left on. If an adult cannot be home at the time you want your water turned on, you can sign a release of liability form which would authorize the Water Division to turn water on at your property without an adult present.

To schedule an appointment for water service to be turned on/off for inspection or nonemergency repairs, contact the Water Division directly at 605-367-8810, option 2.

Rates

Sioux Falls Utilities employs increasing block water rates to encourage water conservation. This means the per unit charge increases as the volume of water used increases. It would be beneficial for you to review usage habits and monitor your water system for leaks. Conservation rates may also have a significant impact on your bill when irrigating your lawn or installing a new lawn. Visit our website to view the current rates: Water Rates 

Sample Block Rate Structure

Tier Usage Bocks

Tier 1- 0 to 7 CCF 
Tier 2- 8 to 50 CCF
Tier 3- 51 to 150 CCF 
Tier 4- over 150 CCF 
Tier 1 $3.60 per CCF
Tier 2 $3.85 per CCF
Tier 3 $7.19 per CCF
Tier 4 $10.79 per CCF

Example of water charges on a bill using 158 units:

7 CCF x tier 1 rate of $3.60/CCF 
43 CCF x tier 2 rate of $3.85/CCF 
100 CCF x tier 3 rate of $719/CCF
8 CCF x tier 4 rate of $10.79/CCF
158 CCF – total water volume charge 
$ 25.20
$165.55
$719.00
$ 86.32
$996.07
The Sioux Falls Utilities established utility rates based on a “cash needs” approach and allocates the rates to the various customer classes based on a cost-of-service rate model. The Sioux Falls Utilities review their budgets, cash flows, and rate model annually to ensure they are providing safe and reliable utilities at the lowest possible rates.

Billing

Utilities are billed monthly. Water and sewer charges are calculated on the same bill. The automatic meter reading system reads your water meter on the same date each month. Sioux Falls Utilities attempts to bill your account the same date each month, but this may vary due to weekends and holidays.
The due date of your utility bill is established by City ordinance and it is due 21 days after the bill date. The billing date is determined by the geographic location of your property. Due dates cannot be changed with the exception that you can request to have your due date set to either the 10th or 30th of the month. If you request to have the due date of your bill changed to the 10th or 30th, your bill date will change as well.
No, the Sioux Falls Utilities does not offer any special billing programs such as budget billing or senior/low income discounts.
If the water remains on at the street, you will be billed for any usage and the monthly fixed charge for water and sewer. To stop billing charges, the water must be turned off at the street. There is no fee for this service.

The utility customer is responsible for paying for all water measured by the water meter. If a significant leak occurs resulting in water charges billed at a higher rate tier, or documentation can be provided that water did not discharge to the sanitary sewer system, an adjustment may be considered in some circumstances. Contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131.

If you cannot pay your bill on time, or can only make a partial payment, contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131 immediately. The Utility Billing Office will determine if you are eligible to set up payment arrangements. Eligibility to set up payment arrangements depends on payment history, status of the account, and other relevant circumstances. The Utility Billing Office will make every effort to work with responsible customers to avoid having their water service disconnected.
Failure to receive a utility bill does not relieve you of the responsibility for payment, assessment of late fees, or service disconnection. If you did not receive your bill, contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131 for a copy.
Occasionally, the automatic meter reading device at your property may fail or your water meter may stop. If this occurs, your meter reading will be estimated based on historical usage or an estimate prepared by the Utility Billing Office. There will be a message printed on your bill if the meter reading is estimated. Please contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131 to schedule an appointment to have your meter reading equipment repaired. There is no charge for repairing the automatic meter reading equipment.

Charges

Sioux Falls Utilities employs increasing block water rates to encourage water conservation. This means the per unit charge increases as the volume of water used increases. It would be beneficial for you to review usage habits and monitor your water system for leaks. Conservation rates may also have a significant impact on your bill when irrigating your lawn or installing a new lawn. Visit our website to view the current rates: Water Rates 

Sample Block Rate Structure

Tier Usage Bocks

Tier 1- 0 to 7 CCF 
Tier 2- 8 to 50 CCF
Tier 3- 51 to 150 CCF 
Tier 4- over 150 CCF 
Tier 1 $3.60 per CCF
Tier 2 $3.85 per CCF
Tier 3 $7.19 per CCF
Tier 4 $10.79 per CCF

Example of water charges on a bill using 158 units:

7 CCF x tier 1 rate of $3.60/CCF 
43 CCF x tier 2 rate of $3.85/CCF 
100 CCF x tier 3 rate of $719/CCF
8 CCF x tier 4 rate of $10.79/CCF
158 CCF – total water volume charge 
$ 25.20
$165.55
$719.00
$ 86.32
$996.07

There are two components to the monthly water charge—a fixed charge and a volume charge. The fixed charge remains the same each month and is based on the customer class and size of the water meter. The fixed charge relates to the cost of meter reading, servicing and billing accounts, and system maintenance. The water volume charge is a variable charge each month and is based on rates applied to the amount of water a customer uses during the month.

There are two components to the monthly sewer charge—a fixed charge and a volume charge. The fixed charge remains the same each month and is based on the customer class. The fixed charge relates to the cost of meter reading, servicing and billing accounts, and system maintenance. The sewer volume charge is a variable charge each month and is based on rates applied to the amount of water a customer discharges to the sanitary sewer during the month. The method to calculate sewer volume discharge is adjusted seasonally for residential and commercial domestic customers.

Sewer volume charges are for treatment of water that is discharged to the sanitary sewer system and for maintaining the system. The Sioux Falls Utilities recognizes that not all water used is discharged to the sanitary sewer system. The Sioux Falls Utilities bases the sewer volume charge on the actual water used during the winter months. During the spring, summer, and fall when water may be used outdoors for such activities as irrigation, washing cars, etc., the Sioux Falls Utilities calculates sewer volume based on a winter average. During the nonwinter months if actual water usage is less than the winter average, the sewer volume is based on the actual water used.

For residential and commercial domestic customers, the winter sewer average is based on the average water usage billed during the months of December through March. If service is not received for all four months, the winter average is based on the months that service was received during this period.

If a customer does not have winter usage to calculate the winter average sewer volume, the winter average will be set at 7 CCF (100 cubic feet) for a residential customer (which is based on average winter usage systemwide). Commercial domestic accounts will be set at 7 CCF or based on an estimate prepared by the Sioux Falls Utilities.

Payment Options

Customers may pay bills at the Sioux Falls Utilities Billing Office, 1201 North Western Avenue, during regular business hours. There is a drop box by the front door for after business hours. (Please do not put cash in the drop box.)

Sioux Falls Utilities provides a courtesy preaddressed envelope for mailing checks. (Please do not mail cash.)

Monthly payments can automatically be deducted from a checking or savings account on the due date of your bill. Call or stop into the Utility Billing Office to obtain an enrollment form, or download an enrollment form at /water-auto-pay.

Call 605-367-8131 (24 hours a day/7 days a week) to pay using our automated phone system. We accept Visa, MasterCard, or Discover debit or credit cards. Be sure to have your bill available to access your account and follow the simple phone prompts.

Visit utilities.siouxfalls.org to make a one-time online payment using a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover debit or credit card. You can also set up an online account to view account data and history, request e-bills, and pay by credit card.

If a past-due balance appears on your monthly bill, pay it immediately. The due date indicated on your bill is for current charges only; the past due balance is due immediately. If your past due balance moves to collection status, a "final notice prior to termination" is mailed approximately five days prior to the disconnection date. If you receive a final notice, you must pay the past due balance or contact the Utility Billing Office to make satisfactory payment arrangements prior to the termination date stated on the notice. You have the responsibility to contact the Utility Billing Office immediately with any billing or payment problems. The Utility Billing Office will make every effort to work with responsible customers to avoid having their water service disconnected.

If your service has been disconnected for nonpayment, contact the Utility Billing Office at 605-367-8131 to arrange to have your service restored. Your past due balance plus the reconnection charge will need to be paid at the Utility Billing Office before your service will be scheduled to be restored. Payment must be made prior to 5 p.m. to have service restored the same business day. For liability reasons, an adult must be present at the property for service to be restored. If you cannot be home at the time you want your water turned on, you can sign a release of liability form which would authorize the Water Division to turn water on at your property with no one present.

Water Meters

Your water meter has a leak detector on the face of the dial. It is a small, red triangular or diamond-shaped indicator that will turn as water passes through the meter. To check for leaks, look at the leak indicator when you know water is not being used at the property. If the leak indicator is turning, water is leaking somewhere. Check every plumbing fixture at the property (toilet, sink, washer, irrigation system . . . ). Shut off the valve for each fixture, one at a time, and check the leak indicator after each fixture is shut off. When closing a valve stops the leak indicator from moving, you have found the leak. Once the leak is repaired, double-check the leak indicator on the meter. The following link will provide more information on checking your property for leaks: /read-your-meter.

Water meters are located inside the property; otherwise, they would freeze in this area of the country. In most cases, the water meter is located in the basement where the water service enters the property. Usually the riser to move water to the upstairs area is near the meter. The following link will provide you detailed information about reading your water meter: /read-your-meter.

The Sioux Falls Utilities uses a wireless radio frequency meter transmission unit located at the property to send the customer’s meter readings to the Utility Billing Office on a daily basis. This eliminates the need to have a meter reader or field technician visit the property.

The Sioux Falls Utilities bills in units of 100 cubic feet (CCF). Each CCF is considered one consumption unit for your water or sewer volume charge. One CCF is equal to 748 gallons.

Conservation and Rebates

Sioux Falls Utilities employs increasing block water rates to encourage water conservation. This means the per unit charge increases as the volume of water used increases. It would be beneficial for you to review usage habits and monitor your water system for leaks. Conservation rates may also have a significant impact on your bill when irrigating your lawn or installing a new lawn. Visit our website to view the current rates: Water Rates 

Sample Block Rate Structure

Tier Usage Bocks

Tier 1- 0 to 7 CCF 
Tier 2- 8 to 50 CCF
Tier 3- 51 to 150 CCF 
Tier 4- over 150 CCF 
Tier 1 $3.60 per CCF
Tier 2 $3.85 per CCF
Tier 3 $7.19 per CCF
Tier 4 $10.79 per CCF

Example of water charges on a bill using 158 units:

7 CCF x tier 1 rate of $3.60/CCF 
43 CCF x tier 2 rate of $3.85/CCF 
100 CCF x tier 3 rate of $719/CCF
8 CCF x tier 4 rate of $10.79/CCF
158 CCF – total water volume charge 
$ 25.20
$165.55
$719.00
$ 86.32
$996.07

In an effort to promote the wise use of water, better manage our water infrastructure and resources, and extend the lifespan of our existing water supply, the City of Sioux Falls has implemented a year-round lawn watering schedule. Consumers are able to water lawns every other day based on property address. An address ending with an odd number is permitted to water on odd-numbered calendar days and even-numbered address may water on even-numbered calendar days. Lawn watering is not allowed any day between the hours of 12 noon and 5 p.m. This watering schedule may be adjusted if weather conditions warrant. Consumers will be notified through the local media outlets of any changes to the lawn watering schedule. The following link will provide detailed information of the City’s three-stage watering program: /watering-schedule.

Permits for newly installed lawns and lawn repair (does not include overseeding) will be issued to suspend watering restrictions for a four-week period. Please contact Public Works Administration at 605-367-8600 to learn more about lawn watering permits.

Public Works offers rebate programs for replacement irrigation timers, rain sensors, and toilets. New construction purchases for toilets, rain sensors, or irrigation timers are not included in the rebate programs. These programs are offered to Sioux Falls residents because replacing old, inefficient water-using devices can save thousands of gallons each year. Rebates are in the form of a credit to your Sioux Falls utility account. You must be a customer of Sioux Falls Utilities and purchases must be made from a Sioux Falls retailer. An original receipt must be submitted along with a completed rebate application form. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The following link will provide detailed information about the rebate programs: /water-rebates.