Administration Asks NJ Water Companies Not to Shut Off Service If Bills Go Unpaid

During public health emergency Murphy wants water companies to ease up on shutoffs even if customers don’t pay their bills
Credit: StockSnap via Pixabay
The plea is directed at every water system, public and private.

The Murphy administration yesterday asked all water providers in New Jersey to suspend shutoffs for nonpayment of bills until the end of the public health emergency created by the spread of COVID-19.

The plea is directed at every water system, public and private, including those operated by municipal governments. They’re all being asked to stop shutoffs until the end of the outbreak of COVID-19 by Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe and Board of Public Utilities president Joseph Fiordaliso.

Previously, a number of investor-owned utilities, including New Jersey American Water and Suez, along with the Newark Water Department and Trenton Water Works, had publicly made the commitment.

Peggy Gallos, executive director of the Association of Environmental Authorities, said yesterday she does not know of any of her 25-member water providers who haven’t stopped shutoffs. “I’m not sure where the problem is,’’ Gallos said. Her members provide drinking water to more than 1 million people.

Earlier this month, the state’s electric and gas utilities announced they had voluntarily suspended shutoffs in response to the outbreak.