Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) raised the income threshold for customer assistance programs on February 1, 2023, in line with the release of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines. PWSA customers interested in these programs or who may be eligible are encouraged to take the first step to financial relief – visit Pgh2o.com/CAP to learn more and easily begin the application process.
“Some of our customers face continued financial challenges, and we are pleased to offer multiple assistance programs to ease the burden of paying our bill,” said Will Pickering, PWSA's Chief Executive Officer. “Increasing the income thresholds will help even more households qualify for these important programs.”
Our assistance programs are designed to provide financial relief for income-qualified residential customers who are having difficulty paying their water, wastewater, and stormwater charges, and they include the following options:
- Bill Discount Program (BDP): For customers at or below 150% of the FPL, the first 1,000 gallons of water and wastewater conveyance service are free and pay only 15% of the monthly stormwater fee. Customers at or below 50% of the FPL will also receive a 50% reduction for usage over 1,000 gallons. Qualifying customers carrying a balance and on an active payment plan will receive a $30 monthly credit for each on-time payment to reduce past-due charges.
- Hardship Grants + Clean Water Assistance Fund (CWAF): Customers at or below 150% of the FPL can qualify for a grant of up to $300. Our Cares team can also assist with applying for the ALCOSAN Clean Water Assistance Fund grant.
- Payment Arrangements with Arrearage Forgiveness: Income-based payment arrangements are available to help residential customers and small business owners pay down high balances without accruing late charges. Residential customers enrolled in the Bill Discount Program with a past due balance will receive a $30 credit for each on-time payment while enrolled in an active payment plan.
- Winter Moratorium (WM): Customers at or below 300% of the FPL can qualify for protection from termination of water service in the winter months of December through March.
- Lead Service Line Replacement Reimbursement Program (LSLRRP): When you proactively hire a plumber to replace a lead service line, you can qualify for reimbursement of some of the cost – up to 100% depending on your income. For more information, please visit lead.pgh2o.com/leadreimbursement.
“We’ve currently distributed more than $220,000 to over 950 households through the Hardship Grant Program and have 6,152 customers enrolled in the Bill Discount Program,” said Julie Mechling, Director of Customer Service. “If you need assistance, join your friends and neighbors who have taken advantage of these programs to maintain essential water, wastewater, and stormwater services.”
The annual revisions to the Federal Poverty Level are established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are based on the Consumer Price Index. They are used to establish eligibility for a variety of public assistance programs including PWSA’s Customer Assistance Programs.
Applying for these programs is easy! Customers can view the updated 2023 income eligibility chart to determine if they qualify and apply quickly for some programs by completing an online application. Customers who are unsure of their eligibility or need assistance can apply over the phone by contacting our PGH2O Cares team at 412-255-2457 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.