Families in Dallas who are struggling with paying their water bills can get assistance from Operation WaterShare or the Minor Plumbing Repair Program (MPR). There are also a number of non-profit organizations or charities that may be able to assist as well. The programs have helped thousands of customers pay their water bills since they were created back in the early 1990s, and many of the social service agencies have provided just enough money to keep the water on and to stop a disconnection.
The Operation WaterShare program was created by Dallas Water Utilities’ to help people who are facing a short term financial hardship. Most of the funding comes from customer donations, and DWU customers can donate money, no matter how little, to the program by simply adding a tax deductable donation to their bill when they pay online or when they pay by mail. Every donation is appreciated, no matter how small.
All of the funds go to help households that are in a crisis. The Operation WaterShare assistance program has helped families who face the possibility of losing water, having it shut off, and can help people with sewer and wastewater services as well. Priority is given to income qualified families with children, seniors, disabled, and people with an unexpected short term emergency.
To request financial assistance through Operation WaterShare or to learn about other payment plans for your water bills, call 214-651-1441. There may also be payment plans available which can provide the customer some time to catch up.
One of the keys to saving money on water bills and getting control of them is conserving water. This includes using less of it on a monthly basis and also quickly taking care of any leaks or other issues. The Minor Plumbing Repair Program (MPR) is one of the key ways that people can save money on their water bills. It can also be combined with other, everyday conservation measures.
The primary goal of this service from Dallas Water Utilities is to help people reduce waste, usage, and therefore lower high water bills. It meets this goal by offering free assistance with fixture replacements and/or minor plumbing repairs, and the resources are focused on low-income customers in the service territory.
The program is wide ranging, and some of the plumbing problems that qualify for assistance include leaking faucets, toilets, and showerheads; outdoor hose bib leaks; leaking hot water heaters and tanks; and fixes can be made for easily accessible pipe joint leaks. Some of the things that can’t be fixed and that are not included are wastewater and sewer problems, work required behind the walls, repairs under the house, and underground leaks. In general these services are not included in the repair program.
Assistance in only offered by Dallas Water Utilities to qualified customers. Families and individuals who are DWU customers and who reside on their property, own the home and who meet various low income guidelines are eligible for the Minor Plumbing Repair Program.
Funds are limited, and repairs can only be made to qualified individuals on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the allotment is done for the year then no other customer will be assisted. The repair program is not designed to respond to emergency repairs. There is often a priority given to the disabled or senior citizen in the county. For further information on the Minor Plumbing Repair Program or to apply for help please call (214) 671-8083.
Water bill help may also be available from local non-profits. Each agency will have their own terms and conditions in place, and generally the assistance available is very limited. While there are a number of Dallas County agencies, assisting with water or sewer bills is generally a lower priority. For more information, it is recommended to call a community action agency or an organization such as the United Way in Dallas County or even a charity such as the Salvation Army.
When applying for a grant or other form of financial aid, bring proof of income, residency, and need. The customer will also need to make a partial payment for their water bill as a charity will never pay the entire amount due. Even if funds are not available, a referral may be given.
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