Domestic Water Supplies in Brazil

An overview of the Brazilian water supply system...

Water supply in Brazil is provided by a number of different state-owned and private companies. As these vary between regions, the service provider available will often depend on the location of the property.

For example, the majority of water supplies in the municipalities in São Paulo state (including the capital) are provided by Sabesp, the state-owned water utility company. Around 60 percent of the state’s urban population relies upon the services of the company for waste and water needs.

  • Sabesp
    Tel
    : 195 (emergencies)

Getting connected/disconnected

When moving into an apartment, arrange directly with the supervisor of the building for the water to be turned on in the apartment. The bill will be incorporated into the condominium charge - an all-inclusive building services bill, which will have been arranged as part of the lease or purchase contract.

For those moving into a house, the water and waste connection can be re-established and the name changed to the new customer on the monthly bill by calling the Sabesp Customer Services number. English- speaking operators are available upon request when telephoning Sabesp Customer Services.

  • Tel: 08000 119 911 (São Paulo Metropolitan Region)
    Tel: 195 (upstate or coastal towns)

It will be necessary to provide the following documents:

  • Residence’s reference number (called the RGI, found in the top right-hand corner of an old bill, which the previous owner or leasing owner/agency can provide)
  • Individual Taxpayer’s Number (Cadastro de Pessoa Física - CPF)

Once the details have been registered, a Sabesp technician will visit the residence within one to three working days to connect the service.

Only the owner of the property can terminate a water and waste service. For those renting a property, even if the bill comes in their name, they do not need to contact Sabesp to stop the water and are prohibited from doing so. Should the water bill in the former resident's name not be paid over the monthly periods following their departure, the owner of the property will be held responsible.