water stock

Philadelphians who are behind on their water bills don’t have to worry about the city shutting off service until at least July 10.

The city water department announced Thursday that it is extending assistance for customers having trouble paying. It had already extended its shutoff moratorium once, with the previous order set to expire on June 1.

The department said its move is designed to align with Governor Tom Wolf’s executive order shielding Pennsylvanians from eviction and foreclosure.

“The health and safety of customers is our top priority,” Commissioner Randy Hayman said in a statement. “Access to clean water is an essential part of public health.”

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The department said it had restored water service to more than 15,000 accounts as of March 16, when the pandemic began hitting the city in earnest.

Officials noted, people who hold service accounts are still technically required to pay their bills, and “should do so if possible,” as water bills help fund city infrastructure.

People who have difficulty paying can apply for assistance on the city’s website.

This article first appeared on WHYY.org.

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