WASHINGTON (WDVM) — District residents who have past due balances with D.C. Water may have their service disconnected beginning on Dec. 1.

According to a press release, the amount of money owed by customers has more than doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. In total, there is now $26.3 million owed to D.C. Water.

D.C. Water Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, David L. Gadis, says the reasoning behind this decision.

“We have a duty to continue delivering water and sewer services to the District. As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on revenue for operations and capital projects,” said Gadis. “With arrears this significant, it could jeopardize our ability to deliver these critical services. We are resuming disconnections to encourage payment by those who can afford to pay their bills. And to find financial assistance programs for those who cannot afford to pay.”

Residential, multi-family and commercial customers received notice of past due accounts during the summer, and on Sept. 1, late fees and interest charges resumed.

There are currently nine different federal and local programs that can provide millions of dollars in relief.

Additionally, there are financial assistance plans offered by D.C. Water. If you need more information on these programs, click here. Customers can also call 202-354-3600 or email cares@dcwater.com to get guidance from staff regarding which assistance plan will be most helpful, or to establish a payment plan.