Consumers must contest the bill in WRITING within 20-calendar days from the bill issued date.

The bill must identify when a consumer must challenge the bill.

If the consumer does not challenge the bill within 20-calendar days, the consumer surrenders the right to challenge the bill.

If a consumer contacts DC Water in any manner other than in writing, DC Water representatives shall inform the customer of the requirement that a challenge to a residential customer's bill must be made in writing and received within 20 calendar days of the bill issued date.

If a customer's challenge to a bill is timely or within the 20 days allowed, DC Water shall suspend the customer's obligation to pay the disputed bill until the customer has received the result of the DC Water investigation of the challenge in writing.

With every formal challenge of the bill DC Water must provide a Bill Investigation Report (BIR) informing the consumer of DC Water’s findings. If the consumer disagrees with the billing investigation report, the consumer has the right to an appeals process that’s facilitated by petitioning for an administrative hearing with DC Water.


Consumers must file a petition within 15-calendar days in writing from BIR issue date.

All petitions for administrative hearings must be filed with DC Water in writing via the mail or DC Water’s website.

During the appeals process, there will be no penalty or service disconnections for non-payment for the bill until the appeal has been considered and the consumer is notified in writing of the results of the appeal and a new date for payment.

The consumer will have the right to represent himself or herself or be represented by an attorney. 

Updates to the Process for Challenging a DC Water Bill