The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) issued a new order last week preventing water shutoffs due to not paying bills during the coronavirus pandemic. This order is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020. As summarized by Governor Mike DeWine, “If someone previously had their water shut off dating back to January 1st, the water system is required to reconnect. This will help us assure that as many people as possible have safe water during the state of emergency.”
While there is no reconnection fee, the reconnection will not happen automatically. Customers must contact their water department. The Governor clarified that this order does not excuse people from paying their bills. “You will still need to pay your bill moving forward,” explained DeWine.
It was reported earlier in March that all regulated Ohio water, electric, gas, sewer and landline telephone companies have suspended service disconnections (at least until May 1) for customers whose bills are overdue during the coronavirus threat, in response to a recent Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) order prohibiting any policies that would “impose a service restoration hardship or create an unnecessary risk of human contact.”
You can download the order here.