Need Help Paying Your Bill?
Safe and reliable water service is essential to the quality of life we enjoy. To maximize the affordability of water service, OMWD offers a low rate to all of our residential customers for the first six units of water used. Additionally, our rates remain in the lower half of all San Diego County water districts.
Nevertheless, we understand that many are facing unexpected financial strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. OMWD has temporarily suspended water service disconnections for non-payment during the current state of emergency. However, per the California Constitution, Article XVI § 6, a water provider is not able to forgive or reduce bills.
At the expiration of the Governor’s emergency order, we will reinstitute service disconnections and hope to ensure that all of our customers are able to have continued service through the assistance we can provide. We’ve been working on payment plans or deferrals to help in affording water service and reducing any accumulated past due amounts. If you are having difficulty paying your bill, please contact our office so we can help you set up a payment arrangement by calling 760-753-6466 or sending us an email.
In addition to creating a payment arrangement, here are some resources that may be able to help.
The County of San Diego’s 2021 Emergency Rental Assistance Program helps eligible households in qualifying areas who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters who need help with rent and utilities. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available.
211 is a 24-hour phone referral service for people needing assistance with paying utility bills, food, health services, domestic violence assistance, housing resources, and many other needs. When you call, you get an actual human on the phone who will do a database search to help you find solutions. Often, water bill funding is quickly depleted in San Diego County, but 211 researchers can help find potential funding for other utilities to offset costs. Online: www.211.org.
San Diego County United Way Fund is intended to help with utility bills, rent, and mortgage payments. It’s for low-wage workers who need support for a limited but undetermined length of time. Online: https://uwsd.org/covid19/
Modest Needs Foundation is a grant program. It is for unusual or emergency situations, and if approved, Modest Needs would pay the bill in its entirety. You would not be expected to repay the grant. Online: www.modestneeds.org
Why can’t you just forgive my bill? We can’t, unfortunately. Proposition 218, voted into law by California voters in 1996, prohibits government agencies from allowing some customers to subsidize other customers. Doing so would be illegal since we are a non-profit, government agency. No one profits from the water we sell. The reason electric companies, phone companies, and other utilities can offer discounts and bill forgiveness is because they are for-profit agencies.