Old City Hall Clock Tower

Sewer Maximum (a.k.a. Lawn Credit)

A sewer max allows the City of Tampa Utilities to calculate your wastewater consumption charge (that is, how much wastewater your household generates). Most single-family residential homes have a sewer max.

A good rule of thumb: If it goes down a drain inside your home, then it’s entering the wastewater collection system so it can be cleaned and disinfected.

  • Typical indoor water uses: Taking showers, flushing toilets, doing laundry, washing dishes, or running the dishwasher.
  • Typical outdoor water uses: Watering lawns and landscapes, car washing, recreational use, etc.

How is my sewer max calculated?

Your sewer max is recalculated on an annual basis according to the schedule outlined below:

New Accounts

The first 12 months after you open your utility account with the City of Tampa: The sewer max (wastewater charge) is initially based on the number of people residing in your home.

  • We allocate 3 ccf per person for new accounts. One ccf equals 748 gallons.
  • If your household consists of 4 people, the sewer max for the first year will be 12 ccf per month (4 people x 3 ccf).

After one year: The sewer max is automatically recalculated based on the past 12 months of your household’s water consumption history. The new sewer max will reflect the third lowest month of your household’s water usage.

In the example below, the December 2020 bill reflects the third lowest month of water consumption from the first bill in February 2020 through January 2021. The new sewer max will go into effect after your first year of service, starting with the February 2021 bill.

Existing Accounts

Every January: After your initial year of service, the sewer max is automatically recalculated every January.

  • This new sewer max will use the third lowest month of the last 24 months of your household’s water usage history as shown in the example below.
  • If you opened your account less than 24 months ago: Your new sewer max will be based on the third lowest month since you opened your account.
  • Note: The minimum sewer max is 1 ccf (748 gallons).

When would a sewer max NOT apply to me?

A sewer max does not apply to:

  • Commercial accounts
  • Multi-family residential accounts (such as apartment complexes)
  • Residential homes with an irrigation meter, reclaim meter, or an unmetered well

What can I do to reduce my sewer max?

The best way to lower your sewer max is to cut back on how much water you use throughout your house, both indoors and outdoors. See how your sewer is calculated.

Plan Ahead! Reducing how much water you use this calendar year will help you lower your sewer max for the following calendar year.

  1. Check for leaks and fix them as soon as possible. Check your irrigation system (sprinkler heads, hoses, irrigation pipes), as well as toilets, faucets, and other indoor appliances. Learn how to see if you have leak.

  2. Use less water during the winter. Adjust your watering schedule to follow seasonal watering guidelines.

  3. Water only on your allowed days and times. 

  4. Consider installing a soil moisture sensor or smart irrigation controller. You may be eligible to receive up to $250 rebate (with free professional installation).

  5. Test your rain sensor to make sure it’s working. 

  6. Consider replacing old toilets with new, EPA WaterSense models. You may be eligible to receive up to $100 rebate.

  7. Replace old shower heads and faucet aerators with new, efficient models. 

Please visit tampa.gov/SaveWater for more tips on how you can save water inside and outside of your home.