The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) has iterated that the urban water industry is well prepared, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
The preparedness includes the provision of high-quality drinking water and effective collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater.
WSAA said it understands many households and business owners in the community have been thrust into uncertainty at this time and may not be able to pay for housing and essential services.
Water and wastewater services are critical for a healthy community and the industry is working to ensure these services will continue – including to anyone experiencing hardship at this time.
Water utilities have a proven history of supporting customers who may be experiencing hardship with a range of robust support programs. During this difficult time, the industry will continue to expand assistance measures for households and small businesses.
While utilities have different measures in place for their individual communities, the industry is offering the following key protections for customers facing financial difficulty:
– Flexible payment options such as more time to pay for customers who cannot pay
– Not restricting supply for customers receiving assistance
– Deferring debt collection for customers receiving assistance
WSAA said customers impacted by COVID-19 who may be experiencing difficulties in paying their bill should contact their local water utility so that the necessary help and support can be provided.