Water Shutoff Alternatives for Nonpayment

Utilities generally have policies to either shut off customers for non-payment of water service or restrict water flow to only essential sanitation needs. Prior to taking either of these actions, utilities generally provide many opportunities for the customer to resolve their unpaid balance through payment plans and/or customer assistance programs. This paper discusses the possibility of federal or state legislation that would prohibit water disconnections for non-payment which could be a benefit to low-income households. This paper emphasizes the need to look for new ways to address the priorities of providing water service to all customers and maintaining utility financial sustainability.