COVID-19 Information for Water Service
Ensuring Water During the COVID-19 Pandemic
House Bill 197, signed by Governor Mike DeWine March 27, 2020, gave the Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency the power to issue the following order to help ensure all Ohioans had safe water during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order signed March 31, 2020, outlines a plan to maintain public water service during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The order ensures the following actions:
- Prevents a water system from shutting off someone’s water service due to non-payment during the declared State of Emergency.
- If someone has previously had their water shut off (dating back to January 1, 2020) the water system is required to reconnect their service.
- This will help us ensure that as many people as possible have safe water during the pandemic.
- Those whose water was shut off before the start of 2020 are not eligible.
- For those who are able eligible to have their water reconnected they must take the following actions:
- Call their water utility to request the reinstatement.
- The reconnection will happen without any fees.
- Once the water is turned back on after a period without activity, they MUST first flush the water system, since stagnant water can lead to health risks. Guidance on how to flush water systems is available here.
- This order does NOT excuse customers from paying their bill. They will still be responsible for the outstanding cost of their water service, they just will not face the risk of water being cut off for non-payment at this time.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.
EPA guidance for flushing water systems when water is restored: https://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/pws/flushing-home-plumbing-when-water-service-is-restored.pdf
EPA guidance for water restoration and avoiding health issues: https://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/pws/guidance-for-premise-plumbing-water-service-restoration.pdf