AN UPDATE TO OUR RESPONSE ABOUT COVID-19
At Pennsylvania American Water, we remain committed to keeping you informed as we continue our work to deliver clean, safe and reliable water and/or wastewater services to you during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
WE HAVE A PLAN
Pennsylvania American Water has activated our business continuity plan to strengthen our ability to continue to provide reliable, high-quality service to our customers. We continue delivering drinking water service that meets water quality standards, providing wastewater services and protecting our employees and customers during this public health emergency. We are confident that our preparedness efforts and the extraordinary efforts of our employees will enable us to successfully continue operations.
The current health emergency is a rapidly developing and changing situation. We are working to provide our customers and communities with water and wastewater services during this time, all while protecting the health and safety of our employees. Many of our employees are working double duty, not only taking care of you, our customers, but their own families as well. They are dedicated and know the essential service that they provide plays a critical role, given the importance of personal hygiene in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
WE KEEP SERVICE FLOWING
You may see Pennsylvania American Water employees and contractors performing needed tasks to keep our operations running, ensure service reliability, and prevent operational emergencies. We provide an essential service and continue to advance utility construction projects that are critical for the provision of safe, reliable water and wastewater service in coordination and compliance with all federal, state and local agencies and directives. As evolving conditions necessitate changes to our work practices and procedures, we will do so in a way so that we are able to continue to provide water and wastewater services.
Below are the actions we have taken to continue to help our customers and communities through this crisis:
CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE – If you have a past due amount or are experiencing a financial hardship, please call us at 1-800-565-7292 to discuss assistance that may be available to you.
Assistance for Residential Customers: We offer payment arrangements to extend the amount of time you have to pay a past due balance. We also offer financial assistance through our H2O Help to Others Program™ through grants, bill discounts and water-saving devices and education.
Assistance for Non-Residential Customers: All non-residential customers with past due balances are eligible to be set up on an installment plan of up to six months. If you are a small business, we can offer payment arrangements of up to 18 months. A small business is defined as an employer who has an employee complement comprised of the equivalent of 50 or less full-time employees.
KEEPING THE WATER ON – In March 2020, American Water voluntarily placed a moratorium on customer accounts to prevent shut off for non-payment and late fees for late payments. The company also reinstated service for customers who were previously shut off for nonpayment. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) allowed utilities to resume service shutoffs Nov. 9, 2020, with certain consumer protections in place. Pennsylvania American has chosen to not resume assessing late fees or shutting off water service for non-payment until April 2021. This extended suspension applies to all customers, both residential and non-residential. This means that a customer with an unresolved past due balance will see a late fee applied to their March 2021 service on the bill that will be issued in April 2021, and reinstatement of shutoff procedures for nonpayment will begin in mid-April 2021. Please note that your water service may be temporarily interrupted for planned and unplanned work that may be performed in your area.
IMPLEMENTED SOCIAL DISTANCING – As mentioned above, you may see our employees and crews performing work. For your safety and the safety of our employees, we ask that you do not approach our employees. If you have a question, visit our website or call us at 1-800-565-7292 to discuss. We request that you follow social distancing recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
PROTECTING YOU – We have suspended shutoffs until after March 31, 2021. If you are contacted by a person claiming to represent Pennsylvania American Water and they are threatening to shut off your service, then please hang up. You can call us back directly at 1-800-565-7292.
HELPING OUR COMMUNITIES – American Water and the American Water Charitable Foundation announced a $100,000 contribution to Feeding America to support food banks across the country. The Foundation will also match employee donations to Feeding America, or other eligible organizations, up to $1,000 per employee, in accordance with its matching gift guidelines.
WATER-THEMED ACTIVITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY – We’ve ramped up our web-based outreach to deliver new fun, educational, water-related activities for kids and parents to do at home. Follow us on Facebook and visit our YouTube channel to access videos and activities.
UPDATING YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION – Many customers have visited our MyWater customer portal to update their emergency contact information. If you have not done so, please take a moment to ensure your information is accurate.
DON'T FLUSH WIPES! – With hand hygiene at the top of everyone’s minds, many households have increased their use of sanitizing wipes and “flushable” wipes. Please do not flush wipes down the toilet. Flushing wipes, paper towels, or other paper products not intended for use in wastewater systems down the toilet can lead to sewer backups and in-home plumbing issues which may be expensive to repair. Even wipes labeled as “flushable” or “biodegradable” can cause backups for sewer utilities and headaches for homeowners.
Watch this “12 Things That Should Never Go Down Your Drain” video.
ADDITIONAL WATER & WASTEWATER SAFETY INFORMATION
For additional information about the coronavirus and drinking water and wastewater, please visit:
- Environmental Protection Agency - Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual
- World Health Organization - Water treatment practices effective against COVID-19, WHO says
ADDITIONAL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION
For additional information about the coronavirus, please visit:
We will keep you updated on our actions as this national public health emergency evolves. For more information on our pandemic preparedness and response, as well as customer service options, visit www.pennsylvaniaamwater.com.
Stay healthy and safe. Thank you.