The thought of paying this month’s water bill while you have four or five others due can feel overwhelming. The good news is that you can change that, and in some cases erase your debt, if you’re a low-income Philadelphian.

The City of Philadelphia offers water bill discounts to residents who meet certain income and age requirements. Even higher income households experiencing a special hardship, such as job loss, may still qualify for water bill discount. Keep reading to find out more about water bill affordability in Philadelphia:

Senior citizens

Seniors 65 and older can get a 25% discount on their water bills, but you must live at the address listed on your application for help and have a water bill in your name. In addition, your total annual income (for all household members) must not exceed $38,800 to qualify.

Low-income households

Water bill assistance is also available to low-income residents having difficulty paying their bills. The Tiered Assistance Program (TAP) makes water bills more affordable for qualifying Philly residents, and removes debt once participants make 24 payments on the plan. Debt forgiveness is a unique feature of this program.

The best part? When we forgive your debt, we wipe out all existing charges on your account. All penalties and principal are included in this calculation. Prior to clearing the principal, you will notice penalties disappearing from your account.

But that’s not all; in addition to erasing your debt, TAP lowers your water bill, regardless of how much water you use. That’s because when you qualify for TAP, your water bill is set to the same amount every month. Keep working towards debt forgiveness by paying your TAP bills in full and on time. That way, after you pay 24 TAP bills, the rest of your past balance is erased.

Don’t qualify for assistance?

It is still a good idea to submit an assistance application even if you are uncertain if you qualify. If you are denied, you can take advantage of the City’s flexible payment agreement options to settle your bill. Ask a representative for more information.

Need help with your application?

The application process is easy. It only takes a single application to get you the help you need. You can apply for water bill assistance online, in person, or by mail. But applying online is the quickest and most convenient way.

Review the application form thoroughly; it contains examples of acceptable supporting documents as well as instructions on how to submit it. When we get your application, we review it and offer you the program that provides you the most savings.

Don’t have internet connection or need help completing your application? Please visit a partner location to get all the help you need. To find the closest location near you, visit Get help applying for lower water bills or call (855) 827-8373 for help. Make sure to bring photocopies of all the documents you need. For questions, please call us at (215) 685-6300.