Behind on your water bills? Our Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) can help. Thanks to TAP, over 13,800 low-income Philadelphia households can now afford their monthly water bills. You can benefit too.

The program protects customers with past-due balances from water shutoffs. Once enrolled, you can get predictable monthly water bills based on your household income, not your water usage. The best part? Water bill debt forgiveness is a unique feature of the TAP program.

Who qualifies?

Any water customer who meets the program’s income requirements can apply for TAP. You do not need to have a delinquent water account to qualify.

The program also accommodates higher-income households with a special hardship—meaning, if you are having trouble paying your water bill due to an unexpected hardship, you may still qualify even if your income exceeds the program’s limits. Events such as a change in your household size, losing your job, or the death of your family’s main income earner may qualify you for assistance through TAP.

Before you apply 

Applying for TAP is very easy, but you will need the following to request and receive an application:

  • Your 9-digit water account’s access code found at the top of your water bill. If applying in person, please bring a bill copy to help locate your account’s access code.

To complete the application, you will need:

  • Proof of your household income for 30 days (dated within the last 12 months); and
  • Proofs of residency—this could be a PA Driver’s license and two utility bills dated within the last six months. Please review the application checklist for other acceptable documents.

If you are applying for TAP due to a special hardship, you must provide a termination letter to prove job loss, hospital admission or discharge documents to prove serious illness, a birth or adoption certificate to show household size increase, or a death certificate to prove the death of main income earner, among other documents as needed.

Many ways to apply

Online – this is the fastest and easiest way to apply for water bill assistance. It only takes a single application to get you the help you need. If you don’t have a printer or scanner, you can take a clear picture of your supporting documents with your phone and upload them to the online application. Remember to review the application checklist carefully to ensure you have everything before submitting your documents.

By mail – if you don’t have internet, you can pick up a printed copy of the application from the Water Revenue Bureau’s Intake Unit located within the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall. You can also call (215) 685-6300 and request that an application be mailed to you.

If you apply by mail, be sure to include photocopies of your supporting documents. Don’t send in any original documents. Please send your complete application to:

Water Revenue Bureau Customer
Assistance Application Processing Center
P.O. Box 51270
Philadelphia, PA 19115

You can get help completing your application at over two dozen locations throughout Philadelphia. To find the closest location near you, view the map or call Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) at (855) 827-8373 for help.

What to expect

When you apply for assistance, we review it and offer you the program that provides you the most savings. If you qualify for TAP, your monthly water bill will be the same amount. After you pay 24 on-time TAP bills, with monthly forgiveness credits, your debt could be erased, including existing charges (penalties and principal) on your account before joining TAP.

You don’t need to reapply once accepted but must recertify within three years of your enrollment into the program. You may reapply at any time if your circumstances change.

If you need help with your application or have questions, please call (215) 685-6300.