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Struggling with Water Bills? DC Water’s Expanded Assistance Program is Taking Applications

April 04, 2019

District Government & DC Water partner to help non-profits and low/moderate income customers

DC Water is encouraging residents and non-profits to take advantage of the new assistance programs that went into effect this year and which offer significant new opportunities for savings.
“This program will help even more of our customers and we really want folks to take advantage of this innovative assistance opportunity,” said DC Water President and Chief Executive Officer David L. Gadis. “We are very focused on affordability issues and want to work with customers to enroll them in this new program.”
The new expanded Customer Assistance Programs can help with water bills, including the increased costs of paying for the federally mandated cleanup of the Anacostia and Potomac River, along with Rock Creek. The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) appears on water bills and is earmarked specifically to cover the costs of a deep underground tunnel system to prevent sewage from overflowing into District waterways.
That tunnel system has already diverted nearly 5 billion gallons of stormwater and sewage in its first year and is widely hailed as a resounding success.
"Some residents may not realize they qualify for the new CRIAC relief program,” said DC Water Board Chair and Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells. “We encourage residents to take a moment and review the income guidelines to determine if they are eligible, and if so, to apply.”
In 2018, DC Water, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the DC Council worked together to create this new $13 million customer assistance program. The benefits are earmarked for non-profits, including churches and cemeteries, along with a group of residential customers who might not previously have been eligible for help on their water bills.
To find out if you qualify and to apply, please visit the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge Relief page on DOEE's website.
More details on the CRIAC assistance programs:

  • CRIAC Assistance Program I (CAP) – our existing program provides eligible DC Water customers a discount on the first 400 cubic feet (3,000 gallons) of water and the first 400 cubic feet (3,000 gallons) of sewer services used each month. The annual discount is approximately $540. Eligible households receive an additional 50 percent reduction in the monthly CRIAC and a waiver to cover 100% of the Water Service Replacement Fee.
  • CRIAC Assistance Program II (CAP2) – DC Water’s program for low-income residential customers who do not qualify for the existing Customer Assistance Program (CAP) is for people whose household income is up to but not more than 80% Area Median Income (AMI); these are families of 4 with total household income between $59,457 and $93,750 a year. These customers would also get a 50 percent discount on their Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) fee and get other discounts on water and sewer costs worth roughly $43.48 a month.
  • CRIAC Assistance Program III (CAP3) – This DC funded program is almost identical, but it is for customers whose household income is greater than $93,750 and up to $117,200 (again for a family of 4) who do not qualify for CAP or CAP2. These customers get a 75 percent discount on CRIAC and their full monthly water bill discount is roughly $17.25.
  • CRIAC Non-Profit Assistance Program – This portion of the hardship program is funded and administered by DOEE and sets aside funding for CRIAC credits to nonprofit organizations who can show their annual CRIAC charge is greater than 1% of the organization’s annual revenue, after expenses. Organizations must submit their most recent IRS Form 990 or attest to the level of financial impact on their organization. The discount is valued at up to 90 percent off the customers’ CRIAC charge.
  • SPLASH – SPLASH is a DC Water program that helps customers maintain critical water and sewer service in times of financial emergencies. SPLASH is funded solely by contributions from our employees, customers and the community, and every dollar we receive is distributed to eligible customers.