To help residents experiencing financial stress due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as of March 11, Bellevue Utilities has suspended all water shutoffs for non-payment during the crisis.
“We know our residents are facing serious financial impacts from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Utilities Director Nav Otal. “We want to make sure everyone continues to have access to critical services that sustain health."
Utilities will work with customers having difficulty paying their utility bill to set up payment plans or access available emergency financial assistance. During this time, customers will not be assessed additional fees or charges for past-due payments.
Customers financially impacted by the outbreak can request payment plans for their water, sewer and drainage bills by contacting 425-452-6973 or email@example.com. Information about the Emergency Assistance Program is available at Utility Rate Relief.
Temporary water main shutdowns for critical work will continue
The Utilities and Transportation departments will continue to perform temporary water main shutdowns, limited to six to eight hours, for some projects. To minimize impacts on residents, who may be working or caring for children at home, only work critical to the water system will be done during the crisis.
Limiting staff and resident exposure
Bellevue Utilities has taken extra steps to protect field staff health and reduce exposure to the virus, which helps keep residents safe. Teams are staggering shifts, adding weekend shifts to allow for smaller crews and facilitate social distancing on the job.
Despite these changes, most residents should not notice any difference in service levels. Customers who call the administrative office may experience a delay in response from staff working remotely, but Utilities will continue to be available for emergency help 24 hours a day.