State Water Board Posts Guidance on Suspension of Water Service Shutoffs

  • by ACWA Staff
  • May 1, 2020
  • Water News

The State Water Resources Control Board on April 30 posted a guidance document regarding the suspension of water service shutoffs titled, Implementation of Executive Order N-42-20: Guidelines and Best Practices for Water and Wastewater Systems.

As noted in an earlier ACWA Advisory, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-42-20 on April 2, ordering the suspension of the authority of urban and community water systems to discontinue water service. (See the Order for related provisions.)

Executive Order N-42-20 required the State Water Board to identify best practices, guidelines or both to be implemented during the COVID-19 emergency to: 1) address non-payment and reduced payments; 2) promote and ensure the continuity of service by water systems and wastewater systems; and 3) provide measures, such as the sharing of supplies, equipment and staffing to relieve water systems under financial distress. The guidance released today fulfills this requirement.

It is notable that the order explicitly stated that it does not eliminate the obligation of water customers to pay for water service, prevent a water system from charging a customer for such service, or reduce the amount a customer already may owe to a water system.

On issuance of the Executive Order, ACWA formed its Shutoffs Suspension (COVID-19) Working Group, which guided ACWA staff’s discussion with the State Water Board regarding the development of the guidance. In addition, ACWA has compiled resources related to the crisis and posted them online at www.acwa.com/covid19.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the new guidance, please contact ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck at CindyT@acwa.com.

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