Water - Sources, Services and Billing Information

About City of Rochester Water ServiceCobbs Hill Reservoir

The City of Rochester provides potable water to its residents. Each property that has an active, metered service can consume water from the distribution system. The City turns water on for new structures or for properties that formerly canceled water service, and turns water off when owners of unoccupied properties request that water service be discontinued. To allow for short-term repairs or improvements to a water service, a property owner may request that the supply of water to a property be shut off for a period not exceeding 24-hours.

The City also provides 24-hour response for emergency situations relating to City-owned water facilities, such as broken water mains, open fire hydrants and the need for immediate water service shutoffs. The emergency response allows for fast control of urgent conditions. Actual repair of facilities may require a longer time to complete.  

Where does my water come from?

Since 1876, Rochester residents have relied upon Hemlock and Canadice Lakes for their drinking water supply. The City supplements its water supply with Lake Ontario water purchased from Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA.) This water is treated at MCWA’s Shoremont Treatment Plant located on Dewey Avenue. If you visit the Hemlock and Canadice Lake watersheds, read these rules.

How is my water treated and delivered?

The Hemlock and Shoremont treatment plants both employ similar treatment processes involving coagulation, filtration and disinfection. During coagulation, chemicals are added to untreated water, causing the natural occurring particulates to clump together into larger particles called floc. The floc is removed by filtration, and the water is then disinfected through addition of chlorine. It is also fluoridated for consumer dental health benefits. Water treated at the Hemlock Filtration Plant flows to the city by gravity through three, large 100 year-old pipelines. Along the way, water is sold wholesale to water districts in the towns/villages of Livonia, Lima, North Bloomfield, Richmond and also to the MCWA, who in turn supply it to several communities. A large volume of treated water is stored in the city’s three reservoirs. It is re-disinfected as it exits each reservoir and enters a complex grid (over 500 miles) of water mains that distribute the water to city homes and businesses.

Common inquiries or problems with water service

Water Bills and Fees

  • Pay your water bill online 
  • Residential water bills consist of two charges: meter base charge and consumption charge. The meter base charge is determined by the size of the meter and is prorated by the number of days in the billing period. The consumption charge is based on metered or estimated consumption, as determined by periodic, scheduled meter readings. In cases where a valid meter reading is obtained after the issuance of an estimated bill, the original amount of the estimated bill is adjusted to reflect actual consumption. The charges for water consumption are per thousand gallons used.
  • No fees are charged to disconnect a meter from a vacant home.
  • A complete listing of base and consumption, service resumption and service disconnection charges may be found in Water Charges.




Water Supply