Trenton, N.J. — Trenton Water Works has suspended shutting off service to residents who have fallen behind on paying their bills, the water utility announced on Thursday.
TWW made this decision in order to allow customers who are struggling with payment challenges extra time to access utility-assistance programs, such as the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).
"We are doing everything we can to help our customers catch up on past-due water bills, including offering payment agreements. We are sending a postcard to our customers this week reminding them about LIHWAP," said Sean Semple, Acting Director of the city's Department of Water and Sewer, which operates Trenton Water Works. "LIHWAP is an excellent resource, in addition to other state and nonprofit assistance, and I encourage those who need help to learn about it and submit an application."
LIHWAP is a temporary federal program to assist eligible households in paying for drinking water and sewer services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance payments are applied directly to a qualified customer's water account.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs administers the federal program at the state level and maintains a website where residents can apply: waterassistance.nj.gov. Questions? Call 2-1-1.
LIHWAP can help water-utility customers avoid service interruptions, restore services, pay reconnection fees, and stay up-to-date on payments. Commercial and business accounts are not eligible.
New Jersey's Winter Termination Program, a moratorium on shutoffs, ended on March 15. However, TWW is temporarily suspending residential-service interruptions to give its customers more time to learn about and apply for assistance from programs like LIHWAP.
"Unfortunately, this does not apply to commercial accounts. But we will work with our business customers who have past-due balances. All they have to do is call us at 1-866-TWW-BLUE to make payment arrangements or come into our office at 333 Cortland Street in Trenton," added Mr. Semple.
Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works (TWW) is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States. TWW supplies approximately 28 million gallons of water per day to a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area comprised of Trenton, Ewing Township, parts of Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township. TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that consists of a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW serves approximately 63,000 metered customers.