November 7, 2023

What's in Your City Services Bill?

Learn how to decipher your monthly Public Utilities and Public Works City Services Bill.

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Whether it’s delivered to your mailbox or your inbox, you receive and pay your City Services Bill every month. But do you know exactly what you’re paying for? Often thought of as the “water bill,” Virginia Beach’s City Services Bill charges customers for four essential services: solid waste collection, stormwater, sanitary sewer collection and water. Services on this bill are provided by both Virginia Beach Public Utilities and Virginia Beach Public Works, and the fees charged directly support the costs associated with providing these services.

What’s In Your Bill?

Solid Waste Collection
Your Public Works solid waste collection fee covers the full cost of residential waste collection. Since 2012, Waste Management has operated as an Enterprise Fund which allows for those receiving City waste collection services to pay for the service. Billed as a fixed daily charge, this service provides residents with:

  • weekly automated trash collection
  • weekly yard debris collection
  • every other week recycling collection
  • bulk item collection (upon request)
  • yard debris container service (rental fee required, which partially offsets full costs)
  • unlimited use of the Landfill and Resource Recovery Center
  • unlimited use of the two recycling drop-off centers
  • 12 visits a year to the SPSA Landstown Transfer Station

In addition to direct operational costs, the fee also covers associated costs such as disposal, equipment replacement, billing and administrative costs.

Your Public Works stormwater management fee is at work throughout the city every time it rains and whenever an old or inadequate drainage system is repaired or improved. The fee also helps to cover the cost of design, construction and maintenance of systems that improve drainage and help the City reduce and monitor pollutants that may enter various bodies of water. Stormwater is billed as a fixed daily rate.

Sanitary Sewer Collection
Sanitary sewer collection service, provided by Public Utilities, supports the maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement of aging pipes and pump stations that facilitate the transportation of wastewater to the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) for treatment. Sanitary sewer collection is billed as a fixed daily rate. HRSD bills separately for wastewater treatment. HRSD’s wastewater treatment fees are based on your water consumption.

Water is billed based on the amount of water used at your property during each billing period. These charges are determined based on a meter reading taken the day your account is billed. The revenue collected allows Public Utilities to provide a reliable water supply in full compliance with all federal and state drinking water standards and to ensure sufficient fire protection capabilities across the city.

Other Fees
City Services Bills also include a service availability fee and utility tax. The service availability fee is based on your water meter size and helps offset the costs associated with maintaining and reading your meter. The utility tax is charged at a rate of 20%, or a maximum of $3 per month, on residential water services and is conveyed to the City’s General Fund to support overall City services.

Now that you fully understand how to read your bill, don't forget to let us know how you want to recycle in Virginia Beach. The City’s curbside recycling contract will expire in June 2024, and City leadership wants your help to shape the future recycling program. Learn about the options and take the survey at

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How to Read Your Public Utilities and Public Works City Services Bill

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