Water Shutoff Policy
Due to COVID-19, disconnections for non-payment have been suspended.
There are times in life when keeping up with your expenses can become a hardship. If you’re having trouble paying your water bill, give us a call. We’re here to help.
We offer payment arrangements, with no interest, to help during tough times. Our Water Ratepayer Assistance Program (WRAP) program offers a 15% discount on your water bill for qualifying customers. Our goal is to work with you to ensure your water is not shut off. Below, you can learn more about the process.
What is a past due account?
Your bill is considered past due 19 days after we mail it to you. Once an account is past due, the person or entity listed on the bill and responsible for the payment is mailed a Past Due Notice.
The Past Due Notice contains information about ways to pay your bill, also available here.
The Past Due Notice is mailed to the mailing address designated on the account. If the mailing address and the address of the property to which water service is provided are different, a separate notice will be mailed to the service address and addressed to “Occupant.”
Can I make a payment arrangement on the account?
If you’re unable to pay for water service within the normal payment period, let us know. You may request an alternative payment arrangement or extension by contacting Customer Service. Options include an extension of time, in addition to requesting a deferred, reduced or alternative payment schedule. Services will not be discontinued for nonpayment for any customer who complies with an alternate payment arrangement entered into with SJW, as long as the customer also keeps current on his or her account for water service as charges accrue in each subsequent billing period.
Additionally, SJW’s WRAP program provides a 15% discount on total water charges, excluding state and local fees, for those who meet income requirements.
What if I disagree with the bill?
Customers who would like to contest or appeal their bill, can do so through the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) informal or formal process. Submit your complaint to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by visiting http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/complaints/. Billing and service complaints are handled by the CPUC's Consumer Affairs Branch (CAB), which can be reached by:
Telephone: (800) 649-7570 (8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday) or mail to:
California Public Utilities Commission
Consumer Affairs Branch
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2003
San Francisco, CA 94102
For those needing direct assistance relaying telephone conversations, (i.e. limitations in hearing or speaking), you may dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service. To have your calls immediately answered in your preferred mode of communication, dial one of the toll-free, language-specific numbers listed below to be routed to the California Relay Service provider.
Type of Call
Toll-free 800 Number
TTY/VCO/HCO to Voice
Voice to TTY/VCO/HCO
From or to Speech-to-Speech
To avoid having service turned off while you wait for the outcome of a complaint to the CPUC, please contact the Consumer Affairs Branch (CAB) for assistance. If your case meets the eligibility criteria, CAB will provide you with instructions on how to mail a check or money order to be impounded pending resolution of your case. You must continue to pay your current charges while your complaint is under review to keep your service turned on.
How do you handle tenants or occupants who are not listed on the bill?
SJW takes several steps to make sure that tenants or occupants of a home are made aware of a pending water shutoff. At least 10 days before water service is shut off, you will receive a written notice indicating that the water service account is in arrears and subject to disconnection.
That notice also lets the tenants or occupants know that they have the right to become the SJW customer. If you take this step, you are not responsible for the past due amount on the delinquent account as long as you are willing to accept future responsibility for the bill.
What is a Final Notice?
If you do not keep up with the terms of your payment arrangement or your current bills becomes 60 days past due, we will issue a Final Notice. The Final Notice is mailed to the person or entity listed on the bill and responsible for payment on the account. SJW will allow every residential customer a total of 79 days from the date of mailing its bill, to make full payment of the bill prior to discontinuance of service. Information on how to avoid discontinuation of residential service for nonpayment is available on our website or by calling (408) 279-7900. For the purposes of this policy, residential service means water service to a residential connection that includes single-family residences, multifamily residences and mobile homes.
If my water is shut off, how do I get it turned back on?
SJW will work with you to restore service. Once your water service is discontinued for non-payment, a payment option needs to be accepted by SJW to restore service. You will also be charged a re-connection fee. If the water is reconnected during business hours, the fee is $20. After normal business hours, the fee is $30. We want to work with you to get your water service restored as quickly as possible. There are several payment options:
- Pay the full balance due
- Pay the past-due amount
- Participation in an alternative payment schedule or payment arrangements
Payments made through the automated telephone system, or online via the internet will not post to the customer’s account immediately, therefore customers must report their payment to assure their service is restored by contacting Customer Service with their payment information.