Frequently asked questions

Customers

If you want to mail a payment please use our payment mailing address:
P.O. Box 70002, Prescott, AZ 86304-7002

If you need to drop off a payment or visit us, please stop by our Corporate Offices at:
1355 Capital Blvd., Reno
Office Hours 8 a.m. – 5 p.m

For general correspondence, please use our Corporate office mailing address:
P.O. Box 30013, Reno, NV 89520-3013

For general inquiries please call us at:
(775) 834-8080, option 2

For general e-mail inquiries, please e-mail us at:
info@tmwa.com

For a complete listing of department contact information, please check out the contact us page.

TMWA’s corporate offices are located at 1355 Capital Blvd. in Reno. Our office hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 p.m. All payments that are mailed should be sent directly to P.O Box 70002, Prescott, AZ, 86304-7002.

The staff at Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) would like to remind you that if you are moving, it is your responsibility to notify us to terminate the water service at your current place of residence. Please give us five days notice in advance of your desired termination date. Customers are responsible for all charges to the account until service is terminated.

To request a transfer or termination of service, please contact us either via phone at 834-8080 and choose option 2 or visit My Account. At the time of the request, you must provide us with a mailing address to which the final bill will be mailed.

The staff of TMWA does not routinely contact its customers, either by telephone or in person, to make arrangements to test their water in either their home or business. In most of the cases reported to TMWA, these types of calls are actually sales calls regarding water filtration systems. Please be aware that these contacts for water testing in your home are not made by TMWA. In rare instances our employees in the field will ask if they may take a sample of your water.

How can you identify water company crews and staff who might be in your neighborhood? Our employees drive official vehicles clearly marked with our logo and all TMWA personnel wear security badges with photos, identifying them as an employee. Anyone claiming to be a water company employee will be happy to present the badge, with his or her name, when contacting customers in the field. In most cases, the badges will be easily seen on employees’ shirt pockets. If a badge is not openly visible, ask to see one. If the employee doesn’t have one, he or she is not a TMWA employee.

Meter readers, who you’ll probably see most often, will never ask to enter your home or request that you collect a water sample from your tap. Our employees will never request or collect payment at your home.

If you’re concerned about someone who has approached or called your home regarding your water service, please e-mail us or call us at 834-8080.

Yes, absolutely. TMWA has set up a number of channels for customer communication on specific issues like water quality, water pressure, leak reporting, etc. For TMWA contact information, please visit our contact us page.

In addition, TMWA’s Board of Directors encourages public comment in each board meeting. These meetings are held monthly. If you cannot make it to one of their meetings, you may send your comments to the Board via email. TMWA also has a Standing Advisory Committee, which meets the first Tuesday of each month. This oversight committee made up of individuals representing all customer classes, also accepts public comment. Visit our meeting center for a schedule of upcoming board and SAC meetings.

Please read our Topic Paper on why TMWA uses out-of-state vendors. For additional payment options, please check out the Billing and Payment Options section of our website.

Customers can help reduce the need for future rate increases. One of the best things customers can do is use water responsibly and, during the summer, water only on their assigned days. This allows the water system to be used more efficiently and helps TMWA avoid construction of costly new water facilities, which would have to be staffed and maintained. In addition, the more customers help themselves, the more TMWA saves. Fewer phone calls to our office, for example, can reduce our customer service costs and help keep rates lower. We certainly want customers to contact us when they need to, but to consider other options before they pick up the phone. Many questions can be answered with a visit to our website or by reading the inserts and messages that accompany our monthly billing statements.

Since TMWA is a not-for-profit organization, the timely payment of water bills is also critical. People who don’t pay their water bills only shift their responsibilities to customers that do pay their bills. Supporting TMWA’s ability to collect on delinquent bills will help us avoid raising rates to cover bad debt expenses in the future.

Please read more about water rates in our Topic Paper.

As long as you have acceptable credit history, payment arrangements can be made by calling 834-8080, option 2.

Yes. Like some of the other local utilities, we have contracted with Western Union to offer this service at local grocery stores and several convenience stores. Click here for a list of store locations. To make this service even more convenient for our customers, we have asked Western Union to continue actively pursuing other stores in our area. There is a $1.50 Western Union charge for this service. Please note that customers must have their bill with them in order to in order to make a payment.

Yes. With RapidPay Electronic Funds Transfer, we mail your water bill as usual and your payment amount will be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account on the day the bill is due. And, because TMWA’s handling costs are less, we credit your water bill 21 cents.

You can also pay online for FREE using your checking or savings account. Click here to set up your account. Once you have set up your account, click on “Payment Options” and then select the option to pay online by using checking or savings.

For more information on payment options, click here.

Yes! Click here for more information.

Yes, we do have a drive-thru drop box on the west side of our offices at 1355 Capital Blvd.

  • Customer Charge
    For metered customers, the monthly customer charge is the minimum amount a customer pays for water service. It includes a portion of the costs to maintain and replace the meter and TMWA-owned pipes to each property, and the cost of equipment and labor to read the meter, process the meter reading, process payments, and provide any customer billing assistance.
  • Tiered Water Charges
    For metered customers, this is the cost for the water you use each month; it is tiered to encourage conservation. The first tier reflects the average winter indoor use. The second and third tiers are higher rates for any monthly usage over-and-above that amount. The usage charge includes a portion of the costs TMWA incurred to build the size of pipes, treatment plants, wells, pumps, regulator stations, and all equipment required to produce and transport water. It also includes all the equipment and labor to produce potable water, such as chemicals, lab testing, pumping and maintaining the water treatment plants.
  • Regional Water Management Fee
    This fee is imposed by Washoe County to be expended solely for purposes of water planning. The fee is currently 1.5% of your total bill. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee — it is a charge collected by TMWA and passed on to the local government.
  • Right of Way Toll
    The Right of Way Toll (or franchise fee) is a fee charged to utilities and telecommunication companies for the right to use property owned by the government, for example, streets. For Reno and Sparks residents, the standard fee is 5% (as of September 1, 2012). If you are a Washoe County resident outside of the cities of Reno and Sparks, you will not have this fee. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee — it is a charge collected by TMWA and passed on to the local government.

Please refer to our webpage on understanding your bill for more information.

This fee is imposed by Washoe County on behalf of the Western Regional Water Commissionto be expended solely for purposes of water planning. The fee is currently 1.5 percent of your total bill. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee — it is a charge collected by TMWA and passed on to the local government.

The Right of Way Toll (or franchise fee) is a pass-through fee imposed by a local government entity on utility and cable television companies for the right to have utility infrastructure located within the entity’s streets, roads and alleys. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee. For Reno and Sparks customers, the fee is 5% of your water charge (as of September 1, 2012).

There are numerous reasons for an increased water bill. We have provided detailed information on the High Bill Help area in My Account . You can also view tips for lowering your water bill here. On this page you can also submit a request for TMWA personnel to contact you about this issue. Click here to learn more about water rates.

Our Meters & Meter Conversion page is the best place to read the latest with meter conversion, see the history of decisions on this issue, and link to more resources such as our Water Meters & Conversion Topic Paper.

The staff at Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) would like to remind you that if you are moving, it is your responsibility to notify us to terminate the water service at your current place of residence. Please give us five days notice in advance of your desired termination date. Customers are responsible for all charges to the account until service is terminated.

To request a transfer or termination of service, please contact us either via phone at 834-8080 and choose option 2 or visit My Account. At the time of the request, you must provide us with a mailing address to which the final bill will be mailed.

Find out if TMWA is your water provider by locating your street on our Service Territory maps. If you are located within the indicated boundary, you are a TMWA customer. If you are not located within the TMWA Service Territory, your water may be provided by one of the other local water agencies.

Since sewer charges may be significantly higher if separate services are not installed, it is to the benefit of the commercial customer to have separate domestic and irrigation services. For future operations at the site, there may be instances where shutting down an irrigation service does not interfere with the operation of the domestic service. Also, tariffs dictate & customers benefit from reduction on sewer use fees for irrigation services.

325,851 gallons. The quantity of water needed to cover 1 acre of land with 1 foot of water. One acre-foot is enough water to serve about 2 residences with water for a year.

There have been an increasing number of customer requests to access Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s (TMWA) facilities to turn on or off a property’s water supply when repairs are needed to customer’s plumbing systems, rather than waiting for TMWA staff to respond. After listening to our customers, we have changed our procedures to allow you or your plumber to turn off the water supply to your home or business for purposes of repairing your plumbing system, should you choose to do so. It’s important to note, however, that TMWA will charge the customer for repair or replacement if there is any damage to our equipment caused by this action. TMWA is still happy to provide this repair turn-off/turn-on service for you, with the charge of $25 during business hours and $50 during non-business hours.

Yes. If there are going to be water main improvements or other work done in your area and we know in advance that there will be a service disruption, we will notify affected customers in person by visiting your home or business at least one day prior to the disruption; if you are not home, we will leave a letter at your front door. We will inform you why there is a disruption and how long we estimate your water will be turned off.

A disruption to your water service, whether it is a planned outage or an emergency, is inconvenient. The staff at Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) understands and wants to provide you with resources and information on what to do in case there is a service disruption in your area. Service disruptions can occur because of water main breaks, someone inadvertently digging into a water line, or improvement work being completed on old water mains.

If you find the water to your home or business is shut off, please contact us so we can update you on the status of the situation, if we haven’t contacted you already. We suggest that you always have extra water on hand for drinking and cooking – either bottled water or water kept in your refrigerator.

Also, be sure that all faucets are turned off during a disruption. When water service is restored, be sure to let one of the faucets run for a minute or two and make sure that the water runs clear before cooking with or drinking the water, just in case there are particles in the lines.

In the case of an unplanned disruption or an emergency, we will do our best to notify affected customers as soon as possible. However, if you find your home or business is without water and you have not heard from us, please contact TMWA’s emergency line at 834-8090.

Water Quality

First, refer to our Water Quality section. The Water Quality Report describes what has been found in each water source as well as their concentrations. Typically, TMWA does not test the water from individual homes. We sample our water production wells and treatment facilities regularly and every month we take over 150 samples monthly scattered across our distribution system for microbial activity. We report these sampling results to the Washoe County Health Department as well as the State of Nevada. If you wish to sample your own water for your own information, you may contact the Nevada State Health Lab at 688-1335 or check your local yellow pages for analytical laboratories that test water. Make sure they are a state-certified water testing laboratory. Describe what you are interested in sampling and they will give you a price for analyzing your water as well as the sampling protocol.

At TMWA, providing you with excellent drinking water is not just our job, it’s our life. As northern Nevadans, we’re proud of the fact that our water quality is among the best in the country. However, it doesn’t happen by accident. The truth is, we go to amazing lengths to ensure that the water that flows from your tap is safe, cool, clear and refreshing. Your water at home meets and exceeds all federal drinking water standards and you do not need a system as your water is safe.

But if you are still interested, click here to read more about water filtration systems.

The staff at all the water agencies in the Truckee Meadows–Truckee Meadows Water Authority, Sun Vally General Improvement District, South Truckee Meadows General Improvement District and Washoe County–do not call their customers to make arrangements to test water. All of the afore mentioned water agencies have received inquiries from numerous customers who were confused about whether their water company was generating these calls, as they do not sound like sales calls. Please be aware that your water company, no matter which one it is, does not call customers to test water, either by telephone or by knocking on doors.

All drinking water contains some level of contaminants either man-made or naturally-occurring. However, these contaminants are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Nevada, and the Washoe County Health Department and kept at levels that are not considered a health risk. Many times a contaminant may be thought to be very dangerous, but typically it’s not conveyed that one would have to consume hundreds or thousands of gallons of drinking water a day to get sick. If you wish to get more information about contaminants or health risks regarding water, you may check the EPA’s Drinking Water homepage at http://water.epa.gov/drink/index.cfm or you may contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

All water quality data is available free of charge upon customer request. Truckee Meadows Water Authority sends this data to local and state health departments in a monthly report that is also available to customers upon request. Truckee Meadows Water Authority has an open door policy on all water quality issues, and customers are encouraged to view any aspect of our water purification system. Visit our Water Quality Page to download our latest water quality report.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority employs conventional water treatment that meets the federally mandated method of purification. We supply surface water via the Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant (located in northwest Reno) and Glendale Water Treatment Plant (located in Sparks).

Click here to read about the water treatment process.

TMWA typically does not test individual homes for hardness concentrations. Your water’s hardness varies considerably depending upon whether or not you live near a production well and what time of year it is. In the summer you could be getting a blend of surface and well water. In the fall and winter you’re receiving mostly treated surface water which would have a typical hardness between 3 to 4 grains (50 mg/L to 68 mg/L).

There were a number of hot water heater diptubes that were manufactured between August 1993 and October 1996 that were found to be defective which would cause the diptube to flake and fail. Over time, diptubes also fail from normal use and must be replaced. If a diptube has failed, typically a reduction in hot water volume is noticeable and a reduction of hot water pressure accompanies this problem. Occasionally, you will notice the diptube flakes blocking your sink aerator or you may see the diptube flakes when you run your hot water. You can either replace the diptube yourself or call a plumber to replace it for you.

All drinking water contains some level of contaminants either man-made or naturally-occurring. However, these contaminants are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Nevada, and the Washoe County Health Department and kept at levels that are not considered a health risk. Many times a contaminant may be thought of to be very dangerous, but typically it’s not conveyed that one would have to consume hundreds or thousands of gallons of drinking water a day to get sick. If you wish to get more information about contaminants or health risks regarding water, you may check the EPA’s Drinking Water homepage or you may contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

In the Water Quality section you can find the Water Quality Report that was mailed to you in June. In the report, you will find the highest arsenic concentrations reported for each source and where each source is located. We closely monitor arsenic results and are required by the State of Nevada to remove from service any water production well that meets or exceeds the current MCL of 10 parts per billion.

There are several reasons that may cause your water to turn brown or rust-colored. When the fire department flushes the fire hydrants, they test for sufficient pressure and flow to ensure fire protection. A large volume of water is blasted through the hydrant at very high speeds, scouring the water main. This scouring action disrupts the water main and any sediment that may have accumulated over the years becomes suspended in the water. The dirty water should go away soon after re-settling, and you will have to flush your cold water faucets for 15 to 20 minutes to evacuate the dirty water and bring fresh water into your water lines. Occasionally, changes in system pressure or operating valves in your area may cause discolored water until any sediment re-settles.

Sometimes, pressure changes or flushing may be going on in your area without your knowledge and it may cause a temporary change in the taste or odor of your water. It is best to flush the cold water line in your bathtub for 15 to 20 minutes to get fresh water from the water main into your house. If this does not take care of your taste or odor problem, a flush crew from TMWA may have to be called out to flush the entire water main, especially if you’re in a cul-de-sac or at a dead-end of the water main. House flushing should be attempted first since flushing the entire water main unnecessarily not only takes a lot of water but also may temporarily stir up the water main for others as well. However, flushing the water main will not fix any problems due to household plumbing issues or piping issues.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised people such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice from their health care providers about their drinking water.

The EPA/CDC has guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants. More information about these and other contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. We test for Cryptosporidium monthly in both our source water and treated water. Cryptosporidium can be present in the Truckee River, but has not been found in the treated water that goes to your tap.

Click here for TMWA’s instructions on disinfecting tap water in a water emergency.

Typically, in the event of a crisis, the Washoe County Health Department will provide direction upon preferred methods of disinfection or any action that is necessary.

Additional sources of information regarding emergency disinfection can be found through the EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

Before contacting the TMWA staff, please check our Water Quality section. Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked water quality questions. If your question is not answered in this section, please send a detailed mail about your water quality concerns to waterquality@tmwa.com. From here, your question or comment will be routed to the person best suited to answer or address your questions. This e-mail address is checked many times a day for messages.

Many of the water mains are very old and some are more than 50 years old. Over a period of time, particulates accumulate in the pipe and will get stirred up by flushing, pressure fluctuations, or valving. When dirty water is noticed and flushing any flushing in the area has been completed, it is best to run the cold water in your bathtub for 15 to 20 minutes to get fresh water into your house and to move the dirty water out of your pipes.

Business With Us

Backflow is not TMWA’s rule, but under the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) rules. State Health Requirements Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 445A & Washoe County Model Ordinance require all water agencies to have backflow prevention programs, and the regulations support TMWA’s current requirements. Additionally, the regulations do not distinguish between residential and commercial services.

Like other water agencies in the State of Nevada, TMWA has been required to implement a backflow prevention program consistent with the Nevada Administrative Code 445A(long). You may view excerpts from NAC 445A regarding backflow protection by clicking here.

All bids and information concerning bids, including advertisements, pre-bid attendees, plan holders lists, addenda, bid tabulation reports and contract awards are posted here. The Standard Agreement for Construction projects and the Standard Insurance Requirements are also posted.

Construction water applications must go through the New Business and Engineering department to determine the best delivery source for construction water. Flush valve assemblies are just one of the sources that can be used for construction water.

Hydrants can never be used for construction water. A $1,000 fine will be assessed to those who try to tap hydrants for construction water. All hydrants are flat rate and are to be utilized only by the jurisdictional fire agencies and TMWA representatives.

Water Rules and Rates

Please click here to view our fee schedule.

The Rules of the Authority govern how business is conducted by specifying:

  • Conditions under which water will be delivered.
  • Application requirements for people requesting to receive water from the Authority.
  • The procedure for a customer to discontinue receiving water.
  • Rights of the Authority to terminate delivery of water.
  • Circumstances and procedure to restore delivery of water.
  • Information to be furnished by the Authority regarding billing for payment for the delivery of water.
  • Procedures for estimation of bills and proration of bills.
  • Customer responsibility for payment of bill and procedures for adjustments.
  • Application process for developers or builders of projects that require new or modified water system facilities.
  • Cost responsibilities for new or modified facilities.
  • Definition of ownership and access to Authority facilities.
  • Water resources required to be dedicated to obtain a will-serve letter.
  • Dispute resolution procedure.
  • Retail and Wholesale service boundaries of the Authority.

Please click here for a complete list of Water Rules.

This fee is imposed by Washoe County on behalf of the Western Regional Water Commission to be expended solely for purposes of water planning. The fee is currently 1.5 percent of your total bill. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee — it is a charge collected by TMWA and passed on to the local government.

The Right of Way Toll (or franchise fee) is a pass-through fee imposed by a local government entity on utility and cable television companies for the right to have utility infrastructure located within the entity’s streets, roads and alleys. TMWA has no control or discretion over this fee. For Reno and Sparks customers, the fee is 5% of your water charge (as of September 1, 2012).

Fire is flat rate because this water service is to be utilized only for emergency response purposes in the event of fire. Fire protection is charged a rate per inch of the nominal diameter of the service pipe. The customer owns all of the service line and valve at the tap. Refer to Water Rates for more information including the fee schedule.

Responsible Water Use & Conservation

Assigned-Day Watering provides a benefit to us all. By conserving our water supplies we can keep water in storage for times of need. In addition, we can recharge our groundwater stores for use at a later date.

To learn more please visit the Assigned-Day watering page.

No. You can use your drip irrigation any day. We recommend paying attention to your drip system settings and checking your drip lines for problems to ensure no water is wasted.

Businesses and residences now water according to the last number of the address.

If your address is even (0,2,4,6,8), your watering days are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If your address is odd (1,3,5,7,9), your watering days are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Monday is a no-watering day. It gives our system a chance to recharge.
No watering between noon and 6:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Please visit our Assigned-Day watering page for more information.

The water evaporates, or doesn’t land on your lawn.

During the hottest parts of the day, most of the water applied on your lawn during those hours evaporates and doesn’t reach the plants’ root system. Please visit our Assigned-Day watering page for more information.

No. New developments must acquire water rights from a willing seller. In most cases, this water is being obtained by moving it from agricultural to municipal use; however, this does not increase or decrease the total amount of water used. The supply remains fixed.

The water saved through responsible water use does not go to serve growth. It is either saved in upstream reservoirs or diverted to underground storage for use by existing customers during dry periods, or it goes downstream for use by other water users who rely on the Truckee River for their water supplies. An added bonus to saving water is it reduces TMWA’s water production costs, which, in turn, can contribute to lower water rates.

In 2010, our average flat rate customer used over 240,000 gallons of water per year. In comparison, our average metered customer used only about 137,000 gallons.

Planning, designing, and maintaining your yard is easy with our interactive Water-Efficient Landscape Guide. To learn more about this and other tools TMWA offers to help you landscape your yard, visit our tips on responsible water use.

Please fill out our online water waste form or email us at conservation@tmwa.com. Or call TMWA’s 24-hour Conservation Hotline at 834-8005.

There are numerous reasons for an increased water bill. We have provided detailed information on the High Bill Help area in My Account . You can also view tips for lowering your water bill here. On this page you can also submit a request for TMWA personnel to contact you about this issue. Click here to learn more about water rates.

Water Rights

325,851 gallons. The quantity of water needed to cover 1 acre of land with 1 foot of water. One acre-foot is enough water to serve about 2 residences with water for a year.

Dedicated water rights provide TMWA with the legal ability to divert water from the Truckee River to serve customers. Upon dedicating water rights for a project to TMWA, a customer is guaranteed reliable water service with water that meets or exceeds federal drinking water standards. However, TMWA still needs to have the plant and equipment necessary to treat and distribute the water and operate its supply system. Customers pay a monthly bill to cover the cost of providing these services.

Please refer to our Water Rights Page.

No. Currently Nevada Statutes protect owners of Truckee River water rights from forfeiture due to non-use.

In most cases no because the ditch that once conveyed the water no longer exists to convey Truckee River water to your property.

Not at all. The sale of water rights is attached to your property in no way affects your current water service.

Yes. There are developers and water rights brokers in the community that buy water rights. However, by selling directly to TMWA the expenses associated with a “middle man” are diminished and you will receive top dollar for your water rights.

The water rights are held until new requests for water services are received.

A search of all Truckee River water rights that have been mapped by the Nevada State Engineer and independent research funded by TMWA.