COVID-19 Update

FRWA News , National , State ,
This page is dedicated to keeping water and wastewater systems informed on the latest developments concerning the Coronavirus.  Please visit daily to find out how uitlities througout Florida are dealing with the emergency as well as policies, directives, and mandates that affect systems.  For your convenience we have FRWA Information, a number of links, and articles related to the coping with this emergency situation listed at the bottom of this page.

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Florida Rural Water Association suggests that utility systems think about, consider and possibly develop a plan to suspend water account disconnections due to non-payment. Like all of our member systems, FRWA wants to ensure that all customers have access to clean drinking water and wastewater services and are able to practice good hygiene by washing their hands frequently.

Many utilities around the United States are announcing suspension of service cutoff until the end of the pandemic. While plans and policies differ with the individual utility, discussion should center on options that allow customer service to remain in place but keep a systems water utility revenue intact. 

These options might include:

  • Institute an agreement with the customer to suspend payment for a set number of months and have the bill spread out and added to the bill over the (six) months following:
  • Institute a minimum monthly payment for duration of pandemic;
  • Average the past three (six) months water bills to set a minimum payment for duration of pandemic;
  • Referrals to other agencies in the area that assist with utility bills (charities, religious organizations, local assistance programs);
  • Ask customers if they will help pay extra on their monthly bills to assist those who cannot pay
  • Give customer 15 days past cutoff date to contact utility and make arrangements to pay through some option
  • Encourage customers to avoid paying bills in person and to consider using alternate payment methods.

As a reminder, this would not be a cancellation of any combined utility bills and customers should be encouraged to continue paying their bills promptly while offering alternative payment options during the public health emergency. Systems should also take care to not create unreasonable and precedent setting expectations.

As always, FRWA is interested in assisting water and wastewater systems with every phase of the water and wastewater operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with any assistance.

As a tool for our members, FRWA has developed a short Drinking Water and Wastewater SOP template for your use that are available under the FRWA Information column.  Anything we can do to help our systems prepare for the worst case, even though we hope and pray they never have to use, it is always good to be ready.

As always, FRWA is interested in assisting water and wastewater systems with every phase of the water and wastewater operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide you with any assistance.

FRWA INFO

Utility Access Letter

Everyday Heroes - Dedication to Water and Wastewater Services

Video Assist Calls for Volunteer Operators

Laboratory Backup Plan

Guidelines for the Implementation of Operational Assistance

Certified Labs

DW SOP Form for Small Systems

WW SOP Form for Small Systems

Tips for PreventionTopics to Consider

Pandemic Flu Presentation

 

THE LATEST NEWS

Coronavirus in Florida: EPA says tap water safe during COVID-19 outbreak

Utility disconnections suspended across south Florida

FloridaLegislature gets mixed reviews on environment bills; coronavirus makes money iffy

 
 
 
 
 

Nation’s largest water supplier isolating staff over virus 

COVID-19 causes states to rethink compliance 

Trump agencies steadily push rollbacks as pandemic rages 

Stimulus package excludes financial relief for water sector

Coronavirus is FEMA's biggest disaster ever, and it threatens to swamp the agency

 
 
 
 
 

EPA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for COVIX-19 Pandemic

Volunteer Network Rescues Small Alabama Water System with Operator under Quarantine

SRWMD ANNOUNCES IMPORTANT CHANGE TO RIVER COST-SHARE FUNDING APPLICATION DATE TO JUNE 16, 2020

Toilet paper shortage clogs sewage

Senate Approves $2 Trillion in Emergency Relief for

CoronavirusUSDA Rural Utilities Service, Water and Environment Programs declare Circuit Riders Essential ServiceCoronavirus Florida:

'Flushable' wipes are not safe to flush | Herald Tribune

SFWMD offices close | Okeechobee NewsUtility Disconnections Suspended Across South Florida

 

 

LINKS OF INTEREST

NRWA COVID-19 Webpage

USDA Rural Development COVID-19 Response

What Treatment Professionals Need To Know 

Pandemic Flu Scenario

Pandemic Flu Checklist

FDOH - What You Need to Know

CDC - Situation Summary

Business Continuity Planning for Water Utilities

Pandemic Impacts to Lifeline Critical Infrastructure 

Risk May Be Elevated for wastewater workers