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Time is running out! Disconnections for some DC Water customers begin December 1

November 02, 2021

Disconnections may be waived for eligible customers

DC Water urges customers who have a past due balance to get current, get assistance or get on a payment plan, as disconnections for some customers with a past due balance are slated to begin December 1, 2021.

Customer arrears have more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic and are now at $26.3 million. DC Water CEO and General Manager David L. Gadis commented, “We have a duty to continue delivering water and sewer services to the District. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on revenue for operations and capital projects. With arrears this significant, it could jeopardize our ability to deliver these critical services. We are resuming disconnections to encourage payment by those who can afford to pay their bills. And to find financial assistance programs for those who cannot afford to pay.”

During the summer, the Authority resumed notifications to residential, multi-family and commercial customers regarding their past due accounts and the actions that may be taken by DC Water to collect on those. On September 1, DC Water resumed charging late fees and interest.

During the pandemic, both DC Water and the District government launched new, creative programs to help residents financially impacted by the crisis.  There are currently nine different federal and local programs totaling millions of dollars, offering financial assistance to customers with past due balances. DC Water also has a suite of financial assistance plans—some for near-term emergency relief and some that provide ongoing discounts. New programs established in 2021 provide assistance for tenants and property owners of multi-family housing units.

Information about these programs is available at dcwater.com/cares, including how to apply for financial assistance or establish a payment plan.

Some customers may be eligible for disconnection relief if they meet certain requirements such as owing less than $600 or entering a payment plan. Customers may also be eligible if certified by the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia, or they provide documents showing that they qualify for disconnection relief through one of these programs: 1) Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAYDC), 2) Utility Discount Program (UDP), 3) DC Water’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP), 4) Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), 5) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 6) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 7) Medicaid or 8) DC Healthcare Alliance.

Gadis shared, “As the District emerges from the COVID emergency, we recognize many residents are still struggling to pay their bills. Contact us for payment assistance and flexible repayment plans now and to work towards resolution before we start disconnecting water services.”   Please call 202-354-3600 or email cares@dcwater.com so that staff can help guide you to the most assistance available or establish a payment plan.

DC Water has partnered with a wide range of organizations and agencies to inform the public about additional assistance programs. The Authority has presented to dozens of civic groups, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, senior centers, homeowner associations and community groups. DC Water reaches out to the District Office of Aging and other District agencies that provide services and support to vulnerable populations. We partner with local food banks to insert DC Water Cares fliers into food bags and boxes. In addition, the Authority uses social media, NextDoor, advertising, and the dcwater.com website to publicize these assistance programs. The Authority continues to expand the channels of communication to reach those in need.

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