The Philadelphia Water Department will not shut off water service to residents until April 2022. This measure will continue to protect Philadelphians as the city gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some enforcement action is restarting as early as May 1. Customers who need water bill help should immediately contact the Water Revenue Bureau.

The City stopped all new water shutoffs and suspended late penalties in March 2020. At the pandemic’s start we even rushed to restore water service to more than 15,000 customers who were previously disconnected for non-payment.

The new policy will provide similar protections for another full year, especially for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents. Customers enrolled in the Tiered Assistance Program (TAP), or the Senior Citizen Discount program, will see no penalties or enforcement measures until April 1, 2022.

Enforcement action is restarting for all other customers on two phases:

  • May 1, 2021: Penalties on back water bills start (for customers not enrolled in the assistance programs mentioned above).
  • August 2, 2021: Other enforcement, including referrals to collection agencies, go into effect.

Shutoffs for non-payment could also start for non-residential water customers, such as businesses, as early as this summer.

We know the pandemic has caused uncommon financial stress to many people across Philadelphia. If you can’t afford your water bill, we can help. Many customers can get lower water bills by applying for a special hardship discount. Hardship assistance can help if you:

  • Lost a job,
  • Have big medical bills, or
  • Have a life event that impacts your household income.

If you recently experienced any of these, submit a new water help application that shows your change of circumstance. Make sure you receive the protections and discounts you’re eligible for now.

To ask about all income-based assistance, discounts, or an affordable payment agreement: