Water Shutoff Protection Act (SB 998)


SB 998 outlines the requirements for urban and community water systems to inform customers of delinquent water bills, details contact requirements, and states that if a bill is appealed by a resident, the water system shall not discontinue service while the appeal is pending.  “An urban and community water system shall not discontinue residential service for nonpayment until a payment by a customer has been delinquent for at least 60 days. No less than seven business days before discontinuation of residential service for nonpayment, an urban and community water system shall contact the customer named on the account by telephone or written notice.” Discontinuation of residential service for nonpayment shall not occur if (1) The customer, or a tenant of the customer, submits to the urban and community water system the certification of a primary care provider… that discontinuation of residential service will be life threatening to, or pose a serious threat to the health and safety of, a resident of the premises where residential service is provided. (2) The customer demonstrates that he or she is financially unable to pay for residential service within the normal billing cycle. (3) The customer is willing to enter into an amortization agreement, alternative payment schedule, or a plan for deferred or reduced payment.

The Act applies only to the newly defined “urban and community water systems” which are defined as public water systems that supply water to more than 200 service connections. Compliance of the Act began in 2020 (For those who serve more than 3,000 service connections and any PUC-regulated systems, they must comply with the Act on and after February 1, 2020. Urban and community water systems not regulated by the PUC with less than 3,000 service connections must comply on April 1, 2020). 

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