DC Water to begin disconnecting service to customers with past-due bills in December

Residents with a past-due balance with DC Water have until the end of the month to come up with a payment plan or face disconnections, the water authority said this week.

Customers with outstanding balances will face disconnections beginning Dec. 1. The policy was put on hold during the pandemic.

DC Water began sending out notices to those customers with outstanding balances over the summer, alerting them that action may be taken if they failed to pay. Late fees and interest for missed payments resumed in September 2021. DC Water originally suspended disconnections over a year and a half ago.

Customers who cannot afford to pay down their balances can apply for a number of assistance programs offered by DC Water online. The water authority says its plans range from near-term emergency assistance to long-term discounts.

Those who owe less than $600 or enter a payment plan can avoid disconnection, DC Water said.

“We don’t make a profit and customer rates provide most of our funding. So when customers aren’t paying, we have to reduce our costs. So the bottom line for us is if customers aren’t paying them, we are not able to continue providing critical water and sewer services,” Pamela Mooring with DC Water told WTOP.

Mooring shared that DC water have delayed about $170 million worth of capital projects and put off hiring around 100 people.

DC Water CEO and General Manager David L. Gadis said residents should reach out by phone or email to discuss payment on overdue bills.

“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.”

Those who wish to contact DC Water can call 202-354-3600 or email cares@dcwater.com.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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