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Account Portal FAQ - Added 09/01/2021

Why is the Board of Water Supply (BWS) notifying customers about changes to its online payment site?

Starting September 2021, the BWS has a new account portal. New features give customers control over their account information.

We are notifying existing online users that they need to reregister to use the new account portal. We also want to assure our customers that the new site is legitimate and not a scam.  

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 contact our Customer Service call center at (808) 748-5000 or they may register to use the BWS account portal. Once registered, customers will be able to submit changes to their account information online. To register, go to

What are the new features on the new account portal?

The new account portal provides customers with control over their BWS account.

  • Update your account profile (new feature)
  • Start/stop service (new feature).
  • Go “green” with paperless billing.
  • Communicate with BWS via secure messaging to report billing issues and concerns (new feature).

Additional features are available for single-family residential accounts only:

  • Online bill payment using Visa, MasterCard, and Discover card with no card processing fee.
  • Allow for guest payments on an account (new feature).

How do I register to use the new account portal?

To register, you will need your account number. Find your account number on your bill or call the BWS at 748-5030 to request for it, then go to and click on “View or Pay Bills Online” or “Account” to be directed to the site.

I am an existing online payment user. Do I need to re-register to use the new account portal?

Yes, you will need to register on the new account portal to use it for the first time. After you register:

  • check to make sure your account profile is up-to-date,
  • re-enroll for paperless billing, and
  • update your bookmark for future use.

Can I arrange for automatic online bill payment via my credit card?

We do not offer this service currently. It may become available in a future upgrade.

How secure is my account information and payment on the new account portal?

The BWS has safeguards in place to ensure safe transactions and protection of customers’ personal information with security questions and a CAPTCHA challenge.

If I experience problems with registering for the new account portal, who can I call for help?

For questions or assistance with registering, please contact the BWS Customer Care staff during office hours 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM, Mondays through Fridays:

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.

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.

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

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

Backflow Prevention FAQ

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 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 "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

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.

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.

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

BWS only accepts Visa or MasterCard credit card payments for single-family residential accounts.

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

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.

General 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 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.

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? (Updated 03/02/2022)


Refer to your bill for your BWS account number

Register for our online billing system to access bills and make payments

Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card
Credit or debit card

BWS only accepts credit card payments for single-family residential accounts

Board of Water Supply
P.O. Box 135037
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801-5037

Payment Drop Box

Board of Water Supply
630 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96843

payment drop box
Check or Cash



(808) 204-4234

Pay bill from a touch-tone phone (24/7)
Read news release (January 6, 2021)

Visa, MasterCard
Credit or debit card

BWS only accepts credit card payments for single-family residential accounts
Automatic Bill Payment (ABP)

ABP Enrollment Form (PDF)

ABP Frequently Asked Questions

Automatic Deduction
Checking or Savings Account

Please allow one billing cycle for your enrollment and initial automatic payment to occur
In Person


Board of Water Supply
630 South Beretania Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96843

BWS to temporarily close lobby effective Monday, August 30, 2021.

Other Locations:
- Satellite City Halls: Locations & Hours

Check or Cash
Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card

Credit or debit card

BWS only accepts credit card payments for single-family residential accounts

No appointment necessary for water/sewer bill payments.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Text message scams

Scammers now are trying to steal your personal information by sending out fake service disconnection notices by text and demanding payment under threat of immediate disconnection. This is a scam! Should you receive a text from someone claiming to represent the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS), DON’T respond or dial any phone number provided in the text message. BWS will never send out notifications of this importance via text.

The BWS does not send out disconnection notices by text, email or phone. BWS sends a field collector to the customer’s location about 2 weeks prior to the anticipated service disconnection date and instructs customers to direct dial 748-5030 regarding any questions or concerns.

If you are ever concerned about your account status, call the BWS Customer Care division at 748-5030.

Top tips on how to avoid a scam

If you receive a suspicious visit, call, email or text:

  • DO NOT make payment
  • DO NOT share personal information
  • Call BWS at (808) 748-5000 x2 to confirm your account balance
  • Report the scam to BWS at (808) 748-5041 or

Water Rates & Charges [PDF Version]

Why does the BWS need to raise rates?

  • We need to gradually ramp up pipeline replacement over the next decade, increasing from 6 miles every year to 21 miles. This, over time, will work to significantly reduce main breaks from the current 300-350 per year to about 250 per year.
  • Projects will be launched to renew or replace higher risk pumps and reservoirs. Pumps are the “heart” of the water system and are critical for reliable water delivery.
  • Oahu’s water supply must be made more sustainable by establishing new fresh-water wells, expanding water recycling facilities, building the island’s first seawater desalination plant, and developing a sharpened focus on conservation and watershed protection. Partnerships on-island and throughout the water industry will ensure we employ the best water-management practices as well as research and development.

What benefits can I expect as a result of these rate increases?

  • Reliability and resiliency of our water system will increase.
  • The number of main breaks will decrease over time.
  • Increased investments in conservation will preserve existing supplies and defer the need for new ones.
  • Targeted funding for watershed protection will help us adapt to a changing climate.

When will the rate increase take effect?

The rate increase takes effect on July 1, 2019.  Customers will see these effects on their bill once their billing period begins on July 1, 2019, or later. The BWS is reminding customers in advance of the rate changes.

What changes has the BWS made to the water rate structure?

Changes to the rate structure are designed to encourage water conservation and more equitably recover the cost to provide water service for each type of customer, e.g. single-family residential, multi-unit residential, non-residential, etc. Rate changes vary by customer type, with the goal of everyone paying closer to their fair share of the cost to deliver water to them.

  • A monthly customer charge based on the size of the meter replaces the flat rate billing charge. Most single-family residences have a 5/8-inch or ¾-inch meter. Multi-unit residential complexes have meters that vary from 3 to 8 inches. A monthly customer charge based on meter size distributes costs for service more fairly, with those with larger meters paying more, as larger meters require more resources for maintenance and repair. The monthly charge covers the costs of servicing and replacing meters, reading meters, billing, and related customer and administrative services.
  • A NEW Essential Needs Tier to support affordability and reward conservation. ALL residential customers will get a below-cost rate for their first 2,000 gallons of water used. 10% of all BWS single-family residential customers use less than 2,000 gallons per month. The Essential Needs Tier will benefit those on fixed and/or low incomes and reward those customers who use water very efficiently.
  • Single family residential customers will see the highest increase in their water rates (stand-alone households and duplexes). As a group, these customers currently pay less than 90% of the cost to serve them. Other customer classes subsidize the rest of the costs by paying more than their fair share.
  • Multi-unit residential customers will see smaller increases as rates are adjusted over time to eliminate the subsidy to single family residential customers.
  • Customers with private fire protection systems will no longer pay for incidental water use, but instead will pay a monthly fire meter standby charge, reflecting the “readiness to serve” cost to provide water for private fire service 24/7, 365 days a year.

How will the new rates affect my water bill?

Effective July 1, 2019, your rates will change. Depending on the amount of water you use, your water charges may decrease slightly or increase. See calculations for single-family residences below or, for more details on how to read your bill, view a copy of the Summer 2019 edition of Water Matters.
rates and charges tablesample single-family residential water bill calculations

How are BWS rate increases approved?

The BWS Board of Directors conducted an extensive analysis of proposed rate changes, including holding a rates workshop in January 2018, receiving monthly updates from the BWS staff on the rates setting process, and holding five public hearings throughout the island for public input. Public input was given full consideration during the Board’s deliberations prior to their approval of the rates.

At its August 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors adopted the new 5-year schedule of rates to take effect in September 2018, with actual rate increases and tier changes starting in July 1, 2019.

When did BWS last increase its rates?

BWS’s last rate increase took effect July 1, 2015, when the system-wide rate was increased by approximately 9.65 percent.

Will the water rate increases go to fund sewer projects?

No, the funds generated by water rates are dedicated to funding BWS’s capital and operational costs for the drinking water system only.  Sewer services are provided by Wastewater Management under the City Department of Environmental Services, ph. no. (808) 768-3330.

What is BWS doing to keep our rates down?

The BWS is committed to cost-efficient operations, and 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 ways 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.

In the past two fiscal years, the BWS has reduced its operating expenses by 2 percent each year.

An important factor for keeping rates down, the BWS will use a balance of both cash and bonds to pay for capital costs.

How will BWS’s increased 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 BWS is doing to manage the impacts of construction include:

  • Coordinating timing of our construction projects with other agencies so we can schedule projects to minimize long-term disruptions in construction areas.
  • 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. 

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

For more information on the BWS and water rates, please visit our website at or contact the BWS Communications Office, at (808) 748-5041.

Updated: 09/01/2021

Procurement FAQ

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