$600 Million Available Statewide to Cover Unpaid Wastewater Bills from the Pandemic


The State Water Resources Control Board has funding available to provide relief to wastewater agencies and wastewater billing entities for unpaid customer debt accrued during the Pandemic. The California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program covers residential and commercial customer debt accrued March 4, 2020 through June 15, 2021.

Applications open February 1, 2022 and should be submitted by April 1, 2022. Technical assistance is available for agencies who need support to complete the application.

Please see the factsheet for more information on program eligibility and how to apply, or visit the State Water Board’s website.

Questions CWEA asked the program administrators that might interest members:

Are collection system only organizations, such as city Public Works Departments that do not handle wastewater treatment, eligible for this program if they have unpaid customer/business debt?
Answer from the State Water Board: Collection system only departments are eligible if the department is the billing entity and can provide documentation that the collection system fee is in arrearage for individual residential or commercial customers for the eligible time period.

If a restaurant or industrial customer has not paid their FOG or pretreatment fees can agencies apply for funds to cover those arrearages?
A: Industrial customer arrearages are not eligible for the Wastewater Arrearage Program. Only past due residential and commercial customer wastewater arrearages are eligible for the Wastewater Arrearage Program.

Commercial customers include restaurants. The Wastewater Arrearage Program will cover wastewater pretreatment fees that are in arrearage.

What if the customer or restaurant moved or went out of business leaving the agency with an uncollectable FOG permit fees or sewer charges, can the agency apply to recover those funds?
A: Wastewater arrearages from residential and commercial accounts that are closed are eligible, so long as the debt still is on the billing entity’s books.

Please feel free to share this info with your team members responsible for customer billing. If they need assistance, they can visit the State Water Board website or email [email protected].

As a reminder, please do not contact CWEA Member Services about this program. This is a State Water Board program.