BALTIMORE, MD – The Department of Public Works announced on Wednesday that postcards had been mailed alerting Baltimore City and County customers that their water bills would be resuming soon, and explaining that their first bill would be higher than normal, covering the months of May, June, and July.
DPW officials say they’re confident that the water billing system will be fully operational in the coming weeks. The May 6, 2019, ransomware attack temporarily shut down the Baltimore City computer network, leaving DPW unable to produce water bills.
Water meters in Baltimore City and Baltimore County were not impacted by the ransomware attack. They continuously, and accurately, registered water consumption during the past three months. However, due to the network outage, DPW was unable to process this data and produce water bills.
“We are working diligently to restore the water billing system. DPW is carefully testing and evaluating the water billing system to make sure it is accurate before putting it back into operation,” said Director Rudolph S. Chow, P.E.
Set to start arriving this week, the postcard, “Understanding Your Water Bill,” will provide the following information to City and County water customers:
Payment Assistance Available
Monthly Payment Plan
Baltimore City water customers who need additional time to pay off the larger-than-normal water bills can sign up for a monthly payment plan, the Water Bill Payment Program. Monthly payment plans allow customers to make a down payment and pledge to pay off the balance over a 6- month or 12- month period.
DPW offers the Low-Income Water Bill Assistance Program to help Baltimore City residents who have fallen behind with water bill payments. Those enrolled in the income-based program will receive a $250 grant toward their outstanding balance, and agree to make monthly payments toward this balance. To qualify, applicants must have household incomes at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), currently $37,328 for a household of up to 3 people.
BH2O Assists and BH2O Plus
BH2O Assists and BH2O Plus are our new income-based water assistance programs. BH2O Assists drives down a “typical” bill for a family of three from about $98 per month to about $61 per month. An additional credit – called BH2O Plus, for households at or below 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines – will cut the bill by another $21 per month.
Customers whose household size is from 1 to 3 persons are eligible for BH2O Assists if their income is at or below the 3 person household amount ($37,328). Customers are eligible for BH2O Plus if their household income is at or below 50% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
If you have questions about your bill, contact the DPW Customer Support and Service Division at 410-396-5398 or [email protected]. In-person Customer Support and Services assistance is available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 200 Holliday St., First Floor, Room 8, Baltimore, Md. 21202.