Customer Service FAQ

I am new to the islands and need to put the combined water and wastewater bill under my name. What do I need to do?

We will need the address for water service, your effective/start date, employment information, home/business/cell telephone numbers, and your mailing address. Also indicate whether you are the dwelling owner or renter. If you are a renter, we'll need your landlord or property manager's information. Please submit a start service customer service request form or call our Customer Service Section at (808) 748-5030 to set up your new account.

Is there a deposit or hook up fee?

A deposit fee may be charged.

How often do I get billed?

Beginning January 2013, all residential and non-residential customers will be billed monthly.

Why did I receive an estimated bill?

We try to have your meter read each billing period. However, if for some reason we are unable to do so, we will estimate your consumption based on your recent average water usage.

I am an existing customer who wants to update my customer account information. What do I need to do?

Existing customers who are interested in updating their account service holder name or advising the BWS of a new contact phone number, mailing address, change of employment, or automatic bill payment termination may complete and submit a Customer Service Request Form. Please call our Customer Service Section at (808) 748-5030 with any questions.

I am moving out and would like to make closing arrangements.

Closing date must be current or future dates. The account service holder must complete and submit a stop service form or call us at (808) 748-5030. We will issue you a closing receipt number when you call, which serves as proof that services will be/have been terminated.

All water and sewer charges will continue to be your responsibility until you notify us to terminate service in your name.

I would like to apply for agricultural rate. What do I need to do?

Submit the agricultural application along with a copy of your general excise license. (See Sample Request for Water Service for Agricultural Purposes.) You must be farming on a commercial basis. Upon receipt of the application, we will then field investigation. We will make a decision on your application and notify you when we complete the investigation.

I received a high bill. How can I check for leaks?

To check your property for leaks, please refer to the leak detection section of the BWS website.

I have questions about the sewer portion of my bill. Who do I contact?

If you have questions regarding the sewer portion of your bill, or have questions about adjustments, please contact the Department of Environmental Services (ENV) at (808) 768-3330.

I recently put in a new lawn. Will I be able to get an adjustment?

There is no adjustment on the water usage, it is billed as read, however, you can make contact with Department of Environmental Service at (808) 768-3330 regarding a possible new lawn adjustment.

I will be/am refilling my swimming pool. Can I get an adjustment?

There is no adjustment on the water used to refill/fill the swimming pool, however, you can make contact with Department of Environmental Service at (808) 768-3330 for any programs they may have regarding refilling/filling the swimming pool.

I would like to have a copy of the water quality report.

We can mail you a copy or you may get a copy of the Water Quality Report from the Water Quality section of the BWS website.

Credit Card Acceptance Policy FAQ

When will the change in credit card acceptance policy begin?

Effective January 1, 2017, the BWS will accept credit card payments from residential single-family accounts only.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

Why is the BWS only accepting credit card payments from single-family residential customers?

The BWS has been absorbing the fees the bank charges for the processing of credit card transactions. Unfortunately, due to the renewed terms of the BWS’s contract with the bank, the BWS can no longer afford to include non-residential customers (customers who are not billed at the single-family residential water rate) in this payment option.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

Which customer classes are affected by this change?

Customers who are not billed at the single-family residential water rate are affected by this change. This includes multi-family residential, agricultural, non-residential, and non-potable water customer accounts.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

Does this change affect both the water bill and sewer bill?

Yes as payments for both are handled by the Board of Water Supply. The credit card acceptance policy applies to all bills for accounts that do not pay the single-family residential rate either for water or sewers.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

What payment options remain available for customers affected by the change in the payment acceptance policy?

Customers affected by this change may still use alternative methods of payment such as cash, check, or automatic deductions from their checking or savings account.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?

For more information about the change or any questions regarding your account, please call the BWS Customer Care Division at (808) 748-5030.

View all the new credit card acceptance policy FAQ in PDF format.

Automatic Bill Payment FAQ

What is Automatic Bill Payment (ABP)?

Through the Automatic Bill Payment (ABP) service, your participating bank, savings and loan, or credit union can pay your water (and sewer) bill by automatically deducting the amount due from your financial account.

How can I sign up for Automatic Bill Payment?

Mail a completed Automatic Bill Payment (ABP) Authorization Form to:

Board of Water Supply
Customer Care Division - Collection and Credit
630 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96843

What happens when I sign up for an Automatic Bill Payment?

Your financial institution automatically deducts the amount due for your water (and sewer) bill from your checking or savings account.

When will the Financial Institution deduct it from my account?

Deductions will be made ten (10) days after your water bill is mailed, giving you enough time to review the bill and, if necessary, call the Board of Water Supply (BWS).

How much does this ABP service cost?

It's free.

May I stop payment at any time?

You may stop any automatic payment by contacting your financial institution three (3) or more business days before the payment is scheduled to be made. The stop payment may be subject to a charge by your financial institution.

What happens if there are insufficient funds in my account?

The returned payment will be subject to established charges for a returned check. If two (2) payments are returned during a 12-month period, your Automatic Bill Payment will be terminated.

Who may I call if I have any questions about Automatic Bill Payment?

Call the Customer Care Division of the Board of Water Supply at (808) 748-5020. Or contact us via e-mail at customerservice@hbws.org.

Paying My Bill FAQ

I have a question regarding my wastewater bill.

Please call the Department of Environmental Service at (808) 768-3330. Please be advised of sewer service charge increases.

What are my bill payment options?

  • Check or Money Order. You may mail a check or money order in the envelope enclosed with your bill. Or, you may visit one of the Satellite City Hall stations or Bank of Hawaii branches (excluding in-store) located throughout Oahu or stop by our Main Office located at 630 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96843.
  • Automatic Bill Payment. For your convenience, BWS offers automatic bill payment through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), which automatically deducts money from your checking or savings account. To enroll, mail the completed the ABP authorization form to the BWS. If questions, please call (808) 748-5020.
  • Pay By Phone. You may make a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) or debit card payment for your water bill by phone. Call (808) 748-5020, Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Pay Online. If you have registered with the BWS to view your water and sewer bill online, you have the option to make a credit card payment online using your Visa, MasterCard or Discover card. At this time, debit cards are not accepted online. You may make a debit card payment by calling (808) 748-5020 to pay by phone.  

**NOTE: Effective January 1, 2017, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply will accept credit card payments for single-family residential accounts only. Learn more.**

To what address do I mail my bill payment?

Please mail your bill payment to:

Board of Water Supply
City and County of Honolulu
P.O. Box 135037
Honolulu, HI 96801-5037

When can I expect my bill?

Beginning January 2013, all residential and non-residential customers will be billed monthly.

What if I don't pay my bill on time?

  • If payment is not received and posted by the Payment Must Reach Us By on your bill, then the amount is past due and a Final Notice will be issued.
  • If you received a Final Notice, the full past due amount must be received and posted by the deadline date or water may be discontinued.
  • If your water is turned off for nonpayment, you will be required to pay the full amount of your bill plus a turn-on charge before water can be restored.

Online Billing Services FAQ

Can I view and pay my water and wastewater bill online?

Currently, Board of Water Supply (BWS) and City Department of Environmental Services (ENV) customers have the option to view and pay their combined water and wastewater bills online. These features are being offered as an initial step towards enhancing our customer service options, offering convenient online access to view account information and make timely bill payments. Should you have any questions about the ePay service, review some commonly asked questions, email contactus@hbws.org, or call BWS Customer Care at (808) 748-5000.

Is there a fee to use the Board of Water Supply (BWS) ePay service?

There are no additional fees for customers to use this service.

Does the Board of Water Supply (BWS) ePay service require any special software?

There is no special software required to use BWS ePay. All you need is a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari and Adobe Acrobat Reader to view bills in PDF format.

Mac users: some navigation functions of the BWS ePay service may not work as well in Safari as they do in other web browsers. Should you encounter issues, please try another web browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox.

Which credit cards are accepted online to make a payment? What about debit cards?

You may use your Visa, MasterCard or Discover card to make a credit card payment online.

Debit cards are not accepted online. To make a debit card payment over the phone, please call (808) 748-5020, Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

**NOTE: Effective January 1, 2017, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply will accept credit card payments for single-family residential accounts only. Learn more.**

Does the ePay service accept partial bill payments?

Customers must pay their full bill amount by the "Payment Must Reach Us By" date. However, customers have the option to pay their bill in multiple transactions, or they may use more than one credit card to pay their bill. To do this, customers can enter a specific payment amount and the required credit card information for online transactions.

**NOTE: Effective January 1, 2017, the Honolulu Board of Water Supply will accept credit card payments for single-family residential accounts only. Learn more.**

I am a customer who has a delinquent bill (haven't paid for at least two months and/or received a Final Notice). Can I use BWS ePay to make payment?

Since payment through BWS ePay is not recorded in real time, customers should not use this option for payment if they are delinquent or have received a Final Notice and are at risk of water service being discontinued.

Can I sign up for bill notification via email and also receive paper statements in the mail?

Yes. All BWS ePay users will enjoy the courtesy of an email alert when a new bill is ready. If you have not signed up for Paperless Billing, you will continue to receive a paper bill in the mail.

Does BWS ePay have a feature for automatic payment each month?

Storage of credit card information for recurring payment is not available for BWS ePay at this time. This feature may be implemented in the future.

How do I sign up for online bill viewing or BWS ePay?

The BWS provides several links on its website to ePay.

Option #1: To sign up now, click on the "My Account" button in the upper right corner of this page. See image below for reference.

Option #2: If you choose not to register right now and return to the BWS website at a later date, you may either click on the "My Account" button in the upper right corner of the homepage, or click on the "View Now" button under the "View or Pay Bills Online" heading on the left side homepage. See image below for reference.

bill pay on home page

Option #3: You may also access the ePay website directly at https://hbws.mysecuredservices.com. For reference, the homepage for the ePay website looks like this:

How to Register

New users are required to input their account number and verify their service address. You will be prompted to select a unique username, case-sensitive password, preferred email address, and security question for the user account. Once your information has been submitted, you will receive an email from no-reply@notify.boardofwatersupply.com with information on how to verify your email address. Once you have verified your email address, you will have convenient online access to your current account information, bill history, and online bill payment.

I have not received my confirmation email for my ePay user account. What could be the problem?

All confirmation emails are sent from the recipient email address no-reply@notify.boardofwatersupply.com. Please add this to your email address book or contacts to ensure that they are not routed to your junk mail folder.

How will my payment through BWS ePay be confirmed?

Once payment is made online, please do not attempt to pay again. Payment will be posted to your water service account within 1-2 business days. Your online account balance will automatically update once the electronic payment is received. Payments made through ePay will be confirmed via email from noreply@mail.authorize.net. Please add this to your email address book or contacts to ensure that they are not routed to your junk mail folder.

How do I access online bill payment through BWS ePay?

Click the "Pay Now" button in the Account Overview section.

How do I sign up for paperless billing? What if I want to go back to a paper bill?

Click the "Go Green" button to opt for paperless billing and receive bill notification via email.

To revert back to paper bill status, you can click the "Cancel Paperless Billing" button at any time.

How do I access my bill history?

Click the "Billing History" tab at the top of the page to view your past dozen bill statements.

How can I change my email address, password, or security question information?

Click the "Manage Profile" tab at the top of the page. If any changes are made, please remember to click the "Save Changes" button to ensure your user account information is updated.

What do I do if I forgot my username or password?

If you have forgotten your account username, please retrieve your username. If you forgot your password, please reset your password. If you have forgotten your username and password, please email contactus@hbws.org for assistance.

How can I cancel my online user account?

Please email contactus@hbws.org to have your account cancelled.

I am ready to make my online payment but I don't see a button to submit it. What do I do?

The online payment form may look a little different depending on what platform and web browser are being used. For most, there will be a scroll bar to the immediate right of the form. Use the scroll bar in order to see the "Pay Now" button at the bottom of the form. Or, place your cursor into one of the fields and hit the tab button to move through the form to the "Pay Now" button.

Mac/Safari users: If you are unable to scroll down or tab through the form to use the "Pay Now" button, please exit the ePay system and log back into your account. Starting a new session should allow you to see and use the scroll bar or to tab through the form. If the issue persists, please consider using another web browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox. Both will display the scroll bar for the form and allow users to tab through the form on a Mac.

I tried clicking on noreply@mail.authorize.net and nothing happened.

This email address is only used for sending an automated notice once a payment has been confirmed. Do not use this email address for sending inquiries about a payment or about the ePay system. Please send questions to contactus@hbws.org or contact the BWS Customer Service team for assistance.

Protecting Yourself Against Fraud

Employee Impersonator Scams

In recent years, there have been reports of individuals claiming to be utility employees in order to gain access to the homes of customers under the guise of a service-related visit. Here are some tips to help protect yourself against fraud.

  • The BWS will not show up unannounced at your property to conduct leak detection, high meter readings, or to assess water quality.
  • The BWS does not schedule appointments outside its regular business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
  • BWS personnel will be properly credentialed and will present their City and County of Honolulu identification badge when asked. The badge will list the agency as BWS.
  • BWS staff will wear official work attire bearing the the agency logo and will drive BWS vehicles when they are in the field. For photos of official BWS attire or official BWS vehicles, see our Consumer Alert page.

Reminder:

When in doubt, either call the BWS at 748-5000 to confirm the validity of an individual claiming to be a BWS employee, or call the Honolulu Police Department at 9-1-1. You may also call the BWS Communications Office at 748-5041 to file an additional report about suspicious encounters.

Phone Scams

In recent years, there have been reports of aggressive and fraudulent telephone calls by individuals claiming to be BWS employees and demanding water bill payments be made under threat of immediate disconnection of water service. When the BWS needs to collect past due payments for water service:

  • The BWS does not call customers outside its regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The BWS does not call customers, demand payment, and collect payment all in the same phone call.
  • If a customer is contacted regarding overdue payment, he or she will be asked to call the BWS at 748-5030 to make a credit card or debit card payment.

Reminder:

If you receive unexpected and/or aggressive phone calls from individuals demanding water bill payment, ask for the individual's name and phone number, and say you will call them back. Do not provide them with any information about your account. Then call the BWS at 748-5030 to confirm your account status.

Water Rate FAQ

What does the water rate cover?

The Board of Water Supply’s mission is to provide a safe, dependable, and affordable water supply now and into the future for the island of Oahu. The water rate funds the maintenance and replacement of the island’s aging water infrastructure to meet the BWS’s operational requirements and to ensure system reliability. 

The funding will facilitate proactive pipeline replacement to minimize water main breaks and also will be used to renew the BWS's pumps, reservoirs, and treatment plants. The BWS maintains nearly 2,100 miles of pipeline servicing nearly every community on Oahu. More than 40 percent of these pipelines are between 30 and 60 years old. Other components essential to the water delivery system are also in need of proactive maintenance. This includes 194 potable water sources, 192 booster pump stations, and 171 potable reservoirs.

What is the Billing or Customer Charge that appears on my bill?

The BWS’s Billing or Customer Charge is designed to recover fixed or uniform costs that are associated with furnishing water service, whether or not any water is used. The charge recovers costs such as meter reading, billing, collection and other costs that BWS incurs equally per customer or account. The billing charge is applied monthly in conjunction with the generation of each water and sewer bill. Currently, each customer is charged $9.26 for each bill rendered.

When did Board of Water Supply (BWS) last increase its rates?

To support the BWS mission to provide a safe and dependable water supply amid rising costs of providing service, the BWS raised water rates in 2012. The rate increase was spread over several years to reduce the impacts on customers. 

The first installment of a multi-year rate increase took effect on January 1, 2012. The BWS timed this rate increase to take effect in the winter season when residential customers are normally using less water. The fifth installment took effect July 1, 2015, where the monthly Billing Charge increased from $8.44 to $9.26; a difference of $0.82 per month. The water Quantity Charge also increased from $4.03 to $4.42 for 1,000 gallons of water for the average residential customer.

While the BWS recognizes the impact of the rate increase on its customers, the core components to Oahu's water system need to be restored and replaced to minimize water loss and service disruptions. Additionally, the cost for day-to-day operation of the BWS system, such as electric power, fuel, materials, and labor, continues to rise beyond its control.

Prior to 2012, the last rate increase for the Board of Water Supply took effect July 1, 2010, when the system-wide rate was increased by approximately 5 percent.

How did the last rate increase affect my water bill?

Effective July 1, 2015, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) increased the system-wide water rates by 9.68 percent. The monthly water bill for the average BWS customer using 13,000 gallons per month will be $66.72 (Fiscal Year 2015). Water rates were not increased in 2016.

How was the last rate increase approved?

In 2011, a public notice was issued to announce the new rate schedule and the date of a public hearing. Public comment and testimony were received at a public hearing on Monday, August 22, 2011, at the BWS board room. The public comments received were considered by the BWS Board Members as part of the public hearing process in its subsequent decision on the rate increase.

Do water rate increases go to fund sewer projects?

No, the funds generated by water rates are dedicated to funding capital and operation costs for the water system only. Sewer services are provided by Wastewater Management under the City Department of Environmental Services.

What is the Board of Water Supply doing to keep costs down?

The BWS is committed to cost-efficient operations, and it is doing many things to keep costs down.  Every year, the BWS carefully reviews its operating budget exploring opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce costs in every aspect of our operations. This includes exploring opportunities to optimize energy management and facility operations. It also includes controlling the size of its workforce by balancing staffing levels to provide the services needed to maintain, repair, and replace its facilities.

How will the Board of Water Supply's construction activities affect the community?

Oahu's water system was built along roadways and public areas throughout the island. As the BWS continues to work to renew our aging system, it recognizes that residents and businesses will be inconvenienced by construction activities. The BWS is committed to work with residents and businesses to manage those impacts as well as we possibly can. Some of the things the BWS is doing to manage the impacts of construction include:

  • Providing information to neighborhood boards and elected officials in affected areas in advance of construction, so they know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
  • Sending letters to affected residents of water system improvement projects in their neighborhood.
  • Stopping all construction work, except any required emergency repairs, around major holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas).

By keeping our system in good working order through planned replacement and repairs, the BWS is helping to avoid unplanned repairs that can mean greater inconveniences and higher costs.

Power Cost Adjustment FAQ

What is the Power Cost Adjustment?

The Power Cost Adjustment provides the Board of Water Supply (BWS) with the ability to recover any electrical cost overages above and beyond what was used to calculate the rate increases. Per the Power Cost Adjustment provision, which was approved in the 2006 rate schedule, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) may charge $0.01 per 1,000 gallons of water used for every $600,000 incremental overage. The BWS will annually review and modify the Power Cost Adjustment so that the adjustment only recovers unanticipated energy cost overages from the prior fiscal year.

What is the current Power Cost Adjustment Rate?

From July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, the Power Cost Adjustment with be 0.0 cents for every 1,000 gallons of water you use.

How was the current Power Cost Adjustment Rate calculated?

The Power Cost Adjustment provides the Board of Water Supply (BWS) the ability to recover any electrical cost overages above and beyond what was used to calculate the rate increases. Per the Power Cost Adjustment provision, which was approved in the 2006 rate schedule, the BWS may charge $0.01 per 1,000 gallons of water used for every $600,000 incremental overage.

Calculation:
$1.7 million (FY09 electrical cost overage)
/$600,000
2.8 cents per 1,000 gallons (Power Cost Adjustment 7/1/2010 to 6/30/2011)

The BWS will annually review and modify the Power Cost Adjustment so that the adjustment only recovers unanticipated energy cost overages from the prior fiscal year.

How long will I see this new Power Cost Adjustment on my bill?

The Power Cost Adjustment charge will change annually so that the adjustment only recovers unanticipated energy cost overages from the prior fiscal year.

When did the Power Cost Adjustment first take effect?

The first Power Cost Adjustment took effect in fiscal year 2009 (7/1/08 - 6/30/09). While the approved annual rate increases implemented beginning in 2006 accounted for some projected electrical cost escalations, unexpected and dramatic increases in fuel prices caused the actual electrical costs to far exceed our projections. The Power Cost Adjustment simply provides the Board of Water Supply (BWS) the ability to recover any electrical cost overages above and beyond what was projected.

How was this Power Cost Adjustment approved?

After a public hearing, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) Board of Directors adopted a schedule of rates and charges its May 2006 meeting, which included a Power Cost Adjustment provision.

What is the Board of Water Supply (BWS) doing to manage its electricity costs?

The BWS is committed to cost-efficient operations, and we're doing many things to keep our electricity costs down. This includes running our pumps, when possible, during non-peak hours and upgrading our equipment to more energy efficient models. Additionally, we continuously explore ways to optimize and manage our energy consumption.

Do other utilities have similar Power Cost Adjustment charges?

Yes.

Other county water utilities in the state have similar charges:

  • Hawaii County - Power Cost Charge is $1.91 per 1,000 gallons of water used (as of July 1, 2010).
  • Kauai County - Projected Power Adjustment Charge is 29 cents per 1,000 gallons (as of July 1, 2010).

Other businesses also have similar charges:

  • Hawaiian Electric Company - In June 2010, the Energy Cost Adjustment was at 17.1896 cents per kilowatt-hour. This means the average Oahu homeowner (using 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month) paid a $103.14 surcharge.
  • Matson Navigation Company - Fuel Surcharge as of February 2010 is 27.5%.
  • United Airlines - In April 2008, added Fuel Surcharge of 5% on all domestic flights.

Backflow Prevention FAQ

What is a "cross-connection"?

A cross-connection is a connection between a public water system or consumer's potable (i.e., drinking) water system and any source or system containing nonpotable water or other substances.

What is the Cross-Connection Control Section?

The Cross-Connection Control Section (CCCS) is part of the Board of Water Supply's (BWS's) Customer Care Division. It reviews constructions plans for cross-connection control (CCC), conducts field inspections of backflow prevention assembly (BFPA) installations tests the Board's own backflow prevention assemblies, conducts customer education on the importance of cross-connection control and manages the Board's Annual Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing Program.

What is "backflow"?

Backflow is the flow of nonpotable water or other substances through a cross-connection and into the piping of a public water system or consumer's potable water system.

What is a backflow prevention assembly?

A backflow prevention assembly is a mechanical device installed in your private property after the water meter. It prevents water already in your property pipes from "backflowing" into the City water system, possibly contaminating the City's potable water system.

Are there different types of backflow preventers?

Yes, there are several different types of backflow preventers available:

  • Air Gap (AG)
  • Reduced Pressure Backflow Prevention Assembly (RP)
  • Double Check Backflow Prevention Assembly (DC)
  • Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
  • Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB)
  • Spill-Proof Pressure Vacuum Breaker (SVB)

The Board of Water Supply recognizes all of these - except the AVB - as acceptable forms of cross-connection control because they can be tested and repaired in-line.

My backflow preventer is installed. Now what?

A Certified Backflow Prevention Assembly Tester must test the device. The certified tester will test your new backflow prevention assembly to ensure that it works and will then fill out a Backflow Prevention Installation and Test form. This form should have been given to you that you when construction plans were being processed for a building permit. The Installation and Test form will be given to you from the Certified Tester. You must sign the bottom portion of the form (Assembly Owner Signature), make a copy for your records and mail, fax or email the completed form to:

Board of Water Supply
Cross-Connection Control Section
630 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, HI 96843
Fax: (808) 550-5550
Email: cccs@hbws.org

What kinds of hazards do appropriate backflow assemblies prevent?

Backflow prevention controls two types of hazards: pollution and contamination of your drinking water supply. A pollutant is any substance which affects the color or odor of the water, but does not pose a health hazard. A contaminant causes illness or death when ingested.

Why do I have to test my backflow preventer every year?

To ensure that the device is functioning properly. With the exception of the air gap, BFPAs are mechanical units that have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that are subject to fouling, wear, or fatigue. The annual test ensures a properly functioning BFPA, and certifies that the BFPA has not been removed or had a by-pass line installed around it. Air gaps may be tested by conducting a visual inspection.

Does my backflow preventer have to be installed immediately behind my meter?

No, but that is the preferred location. The backflow prevention assembly must be installed on "private property." If the backflow prevention assembly cannot be installed immediately behind the meter, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) will allow the BFPA to be installed somewhere more convenient within the property, but the location must be approved by the CCCS. There can be no connections to the water line between the meter and the BFPA. If the water line passes through a landscaped area, the BWS requires the water line to be concrete jacketed.

Can my backflow preventer be installed in an underground box or vault?

No, because this allows the assembly to become submerged in the underground box or vault. It also poses safety hazards to the individual testing and maintaining the BFPA.

What happens if I don't install a required backflow preventer?

Failure to install the required type of BFPA could result in termination of water service as indicated in the Board of Water Supply (BWS) Rules and Regulations Section 2-213. The BWS will work with you to have the required BFPA installed.

I lost my current Backflow Prevention Assembly Test Form. How do I get another?

Call the Cross-Connection Control Section at (808) 748-5470 and request that a copy be emailed, faxed or mailed to you. You will need your water bill account number or the backflow preventer ID number so the correct test form can be sent to you.

I'm a farmer and I want to apply for Agricultural Water Rates, what are the backflow requirements for my situation?

The Board of Water Supply (BWS) requires a Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Prevention Assembly (PR) to be installed immediately behind your meter and in front of any trees or branches. The installation of the RP must be verified by one of the CCCS technicians prior to conversion to Agricultural Water Rate.

I have an irrigation system installed at my home; do I need to install a backflow preventer?

Cross-connection control requirements for irrigation systems serving single-family detached dwellings are under the jurisdiction of the City's Department of Planning and Permitting.

We need to install a large backflow prevention assembly, but it's ugly and we want to hide it from view. Is this allowed?

Yes. The CCCS will work with you and try to find the best location or solution for your particular place of business.

How do I know when my device needs to be checked?

The Board of Water Supply (BWS) maintains a database containing all of the permitted backflow devices on Oahu. When your device is due to be tested, the BWS will notify you and provide you with a list of certified backflow prevention assembly testers. It is the customer's responsibility to schedule the test. The customer will also be provided with a backflow prevention device test form.

Project Review FAQ

Is there water for a property that I want to build on/develop/subdivide?

Submit a written request indicating the Tax Map Key (TMK), proposed development, and the name of a contact person. We try to reply within two weeks.

What is the water pressure at my house?

Please send us a written request with your address or the location of the nearest fire hydrant. We will send flow and pressure data within two weeks.

What is the water allocation for my lot? I want to build more homes for my family to live in.

If you currently have water service, we will credit your lot with the existing fixture units or water meter. If your future plans require additional fixture units or a larger meter, submit a written request indicating the Tax Map Key (TMK), proposed development and the name of a contact person. We try to reply within two weeks.

Procurement FAQ

To see Frequently Asked Questions regarding Board of Water Supply Procurement, please go to the Bids and Proposals section of the website.