PALMDALE – With the California water shutoff moratorium expiring in less than three months, Palmdale Water District (PWD) is encouraging more than 1,500 of its account holders to pay their delinquent bills that have totaled slightly over $900,000.
Since the start of the moratorium in April 2020, PWD has not turned off water to any customers, regardless of the amount owed on the accounts. That protection ends Sept. 30, and PWD is urging customers with high balances to take advantage of the agency’s payment plan before shutoffs begin.
“We understand this past year has been very difficult financially for many people,” said Board Director Don Wilson, who is Chair of the PWD Finance Committee. “But it is critically important that customers pay their bills to avoid shutoffs and for the District to continue providing the high quality water to 126,000 people.”
As of June 30, PWD had 1,575 single-family accounts with past due balances for more than 60 days and amounts greater than $50. Total amount owed by those accounts was $919,067. That outstanding balance has nearly quadrupled from June 30, 2020, when it was $218,277, and the number of past-due accounts was 648.
PWD has about 27,000 account holders. The highest delinquent account is at $4,539, according to Finance Manager/CFO Michael Williams.
“We highly encourage our past-due account holders to please start paying their bills,” Williams said. “Any amount that customers can make toward outstanding bills will help them.”
The executive order banning water utilities from disconnecting customers was issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom to ensure that homes and small businesses would not have to endure the pandemic without water.
Prior to the statewide ban, PWD’s water shutoff procedure started with the mailing of a reminder notice to a delinquent customer. If no payment was made, a shutoff notice was mailed and the account holder was given seven more days to pay before water was shut off. On a normal week, about 150 accounts were disconnected Monday through Wednesday.
Customers needing assistance with their outstanding bills or with setting up a payment plan can contact PWD’s Customer Care Department at 661-947-4111. PWD will be reopening its lobby for all services on July 12.