Discounts, Grants for City Water/Sewer Bills to Rise on July 1
Thursday Jun 29th, 2017
Financial assistance on water and sewer bills for certain low-income Baltimore City residents will increase starting July 1, 2017, along with an adjustment in water and sewer rates.
Water/sewer charges will increase by 9.4 percent, in accordance with the three-year rate structure approved by the Board of Estimates in 2016. That includes adjustments to the infrastructure and account management fees on the monthly water bills.
For a residential account with a 5/8-inch meter and seven units of water consumption each month, these charges would rise to $84.03 from $76.88. Bay Restoration and Stormwater fees are not increasing. Customers can monitor their daily water use with DPW's online water billing portal, empowering citizens to make better decisions when it comes to conserving water and saving money.
In order to cushion the impact of the rate increase, annual assistance grants for qualifying low-income customers will also increase by 9.4 percent, rising to $216 from $197. Also, the qualifying income threshold for the senior discount program will increase by 2 percent, along with the region’s Consumer Price Index, to $30,600 from the current $30,000. Just 12 months ago the qualifying income for the senior discount was $25,000. Customers 65 and older whose annual income does not exceed $30,600 may apply for a discount of 43 percent off their water and sewer rates.
“DPW is committed to making sure that our low-income customers receive the help they need to pay their water bills,” said DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E. “DPW offers long-standing discount programs for qualifying seniors and a grant program to help others pay off delinquent bills.”
Both programs are limited to Baltimore City residents who get a water bill directly from DPW. There are other restrictions, notably on household income. Residents may call DPW’s Customer Support and Services Division at 410-396-5398 for more information about the available assistance programs or to request an application. Applications for the Senior Discount are also available at any of the City’s Senior Centers, and applications for the Low-Income Grant are available at any of the Community Action Partnership Centers.