Access the Online Customer Payment Portal
- Choose "Pay Now" to quickly make a payment using a checking account, savings account or a credit/debit card without registering. You will need your Utility Bill account number to search for your bill and make a payment. Please follow the prompts to pay your bill and complete your transaction. Your payment information will not be stored.
- Choose "Register Now" to create your online utility billing account. You will need your account number to register. You will be asked to enter your email address and create a password which will be used to "Sign In" to your online account once you have registered. By registering your account in the online utility billing payment portal, you can utilize various options, including Paperless Billing, Auto Pay, Scheduled Payments, Pay by Text and storage of one or more payment methods. Please note, to complete registration in Paperless and/or Auto Pay, you will need to confirm by clicking on a link within a emailed communication from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Choose "Sign In" if you have already registered the account with your email address and password.
Access your Utility Billing History
- Search BS&A Online Utility Billing by Account Number - In the search bar, enter your account number, and on the next screen, double click on your account.
- You will be required to enter your Utility Billing Account PIN. If you need your PIN, email Utility Billing, or call (847) 810-3620.
- You can view your current bill, account history - view and print past bills, and view and print your water usage history chart.
- From here, you can also link to the online payment portal by choosing “Pay Now” > "Make Payment" > choose “Proceed to Payment" or "I want to Register this Account" for additional options.
Utility billing for The City of Lake Forest is done on a quarterly basis. For billing purposes, the City is divided into three sections/cycles and each cycle is billed quarterly. Water meters in Lake Forest are equipped with a Radio Read Meter Transceiver Unit (MXU) which permits meter reading via radio signals. As the Public Works vehicle moves through the section of town to be billed, the MXU connected to your meter receives a wake up signal from the vehicle interrogation unit. The MXU obtains the meter's identification number and meter reading, which are transmitted back to the interrogation unit. The meter readings are then used to produce the water bills. Your water bill is based on an actual (not estimated) meter reading each quarter. Actual readings produce an accurate usage history and that helps detect leaks.
The utility bill includes a water charge, water customer charge, city use tax (5% of the water charge the Water Customer Charge), sewer charge, a sewer customer charge which is based on the size of the meter in each home or business, refuse collection fee effective May 1, 2014, and a public safety pension fee effective May 1, 2017.
Tiered Water Rate StructureIn February of 2014 the City Council adopted revisions to the water rate structure with one of the goals to incentivize residential customers to reduce water consumption during demand peak periods. The table below shows the tiered rates.
Refuse Collection FeeIn December of 2013 the City Council adopted changes to various fees and charges which included a Refuse Collection Fee. All residential properties served by The City for sanitation services will be charged a Refuse Collection Fee on the utility bill (regardless of dwelling status). Please see Sanitation Section Guidelines for information regarding residential sanitation services.
Sewer ChargesThe amount of water used during the winter billing quarter establishes the consumption charged for sewer for the next four bills, i.e. during the winter quarter your usage is 5,000 gallons of water, but in the summer water usage jumps to 48,000 gallons. The sewer charge will be based on a consumption of 5,000 gallons, not 48,000.
You will receive a separate bill from the North Shore Water Reclamation District for sewage treatment and disposal. The City of Lake Forest water bill includes charges for the maintenance of the sewer lines from your home or business to the North Shore Water Reclamation District intercepting sewers.
Public Safety Pension FeeTo increase public awareness of pension obligations, a portion of the funding required for police and fire pension costs is being funded by a Public Safety Pension Fee on the utility bill. The revenue generated by the fee will be added to police and fire pension property tax levy revenues to fund the police and fire pension costs. View more information about the Public Safety Pension Fee.
Water Rates and Fees for Fiscal Year 2024 effective May 1, 2023
|Residential – Usage to 10,000 Gallons per Quarter||$4.50 per 1,000 gallons|
|Residential – Usage 10,001 to 60,000 Gallons per Quarter||$6.20 per 1,000 gallons|
|Residential - Usage over 60,000 per Quarter||$7.00 per 1,000 gallons|
|All Other Customers||$6.50 per 1,000 gallons|
|Non-Resident||$9.15 per 1,000 gallons|
|Sewer charge||$1.16 per 1,000 gallons|
|Public Safety Pension - Residential||$20.00 per quarter|
|Public Safety Pension - All Other Customers||$70.00 per quarter|
|Refuse Collection||$36.00 per quarter|
Water Customer Charges (based on meter size)
|Small (5/8” to 1.5” meter)||$ 55.00 per quarter|
|Medium (2” to 4” meter)||$210.00 per quarter|
|Large (6 ” meter)||$925.00 per quarter|
Sewer Customer Charge (based on meter size)
|Small (5/8” to 1.5” meter)||$5.00 per quarter|
|Medium (2” to 4” meter)||$20.00 per quarter|
|Large (6 ” meter)||$100.00 per quarter|
Water Shut off and Turn on fees
|Turn off water fee||$75.00|
|Turn off water fee after hours||$100.00|
|Turn on water fee||$75.00|
|Turn on water fee after hours||$100.00|
- We now offer the option to pay online or by phone ((833) 699-7832). Please note, you will need your account number to pay online or by phone. You may use a credit/debit card at no additional charge (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express), or an electronic check.
- Utility bill payments may be deposited in The City of Lake Forest postage-free white drop boxes located at the Telegraph Road train station parking lot and on Bank Lane north of Westminster. There is also a drop box located to the left of the main entrance of the Municipal Services building. You may also pay your utility bill in person at the Municipal Services Building during the regular business hours of 8:00am to 4:30pm. We accept check, cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
Utility Bill ChangesTo request a change of mailing address for your utility bill, please send an emailed request to the Finance Department, or complete the change of address form. If you are requesting a name change and are not selling or buying a property, you will need to submit supporting documentation when submitting the name change request form.
Selling?When selling a property, a Home Sanitary and Storm Sewer Inspection and payment of a final utility bill is required. Once the property closing date is scheduled, please contact us to request a final water meter reading, email Utility Billing or call (847) 810-3620. For reference, please see the Real Estate Transaction Checklist.
Buying?In The City of Lake Forest, the transition from one owner to another is seamless. There is no interruption in City provided services, such as water and garbage pickup. Please provide contact information, email Utility Billing, or call (847) 810-3620. The buyer will need to purchase a Transfer Tax Stamp prior to the closing date. A City of Lake Forest Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration will need to be completed. For reference, please see the Real Estate Transaction Checklist. For more information regarding the Transfer Tax Stamp, please see our Real Estate Transfer Tax Web Page
Rental Property?If you rent your property and would like to have a duplicate bill sent to your renter(s) please complete the Duplicate Billing Form. This form will authorize the City to send a duplicate bill directly to your renter(s). This form can be emailed or mailed to the Finance Department. The completed form will need to be signed by both the Owner and the renter(s). The City of Lake Forest utility billing account will remain in the owner's name. Please note important information regarding registering an online account and enrolling in auto-pay. Please contact Utility Billing for more information.
Is my utility bill high due to a water leak?If your utility bill is higher than normal, it may be due to higher water consumption. Please see additional Information on how to check for a possible leak.
How much water do I use?
Many customers ask the question, "How much water does the average person use each day?" The answer to this question, of course, requires a definition of the "average person." In general, per capita water use ranges from about 80 - 100 gallons per day in the eastern United States, which would be an average of 9,000 gallons per billing quarter.