Local city governments sometimes provide assistance to low-income residents who are at risk of having their water shut off due to payment problems. Programs such as the Detroit Residential Water Assistance Program receive grant money for water bill assistance, as Fox 2 News reports.
Participants in water bill assistance programs must meet stringent qualifications to receive financial help. In Detroit, a major qualification for the DRWAP program is that the applicant's income must be equal to or fall below the federal government poverty line, as Fox 2 News explains. Applicants must bear the sole responsibility of paying the water bill and live in a single-family home. The program is funded by contributions from the water department's retail customers, and those who receive assistance must pay a set amount towards their bill.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District offers a similar program, and its customer assistance for water bills extends to homeless shelters. The EBMUD also offers customers payment extensions. The federal government, which has no grant programs to help citizens pay bills, does not offer any water bill assistance programs, according to Cleveland.com.
Water leaks are a factor in many high water bills. The best way to lower costs is to check for leaky toilets and water service lines, as Northern Ohio Real Water suggests.