MORGANTOWN — In addition to discontinuing water shutoffs and waiving late fees, Morgantown Utility Board also will work to restore service to customers whose water has been disconnected due to nonpayment. According to a release, the decision was made to protect public health during the coronavirus pandemic.
“While the termination of water service is never easy and comes only after weeks of multiple notifications, during an event such as this, we believe that service terminations are entirely inappropriate,” said MUB Director of Communications Chris Dale. “Not only is water integral to our well-being but maintaining sanitary conditions without it is difficult at best.”
Customers who have had water service disconnected can contact MUB at 304-292-8443. It is important that direct contact with customers be made because MUB staff cannot turn on the water without someone being home.
“Requiring a resident be present when water service is turned on is a normal practice. This ensures that a residence isn’t flooded by a faucet that was left on or a broken pipe. We cannot restore water service without someone being present inside the house,” Dale said.
As stated in a previous release, MUB has placed a moratorium on water service disconnections during the pandemic.
“Understanding that water service is a vital part of maintaining sanitary conditions, and given the financial uncertainty of the ever evolving coronavirus pandemic, we believe this move is critical to public health. We also believe that this move helps protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Dale in the statement.
“We decided that our policy needed to be as compassionate and fair as possible. Now is not the time to be leveraging fees. Now is the time to be doing our part in assisting our community in every way possible,” he added.
Once the moratorium on service disconnections ends, MUB will work with customers to manage unpaid amounts.
“When we return to normal billing practices, we will do two things to ease the burden. The first is to work with customers to catch-up on their bills. If this means spreading past due amounts over several months, we’ll do that,” Dale stated. “We will also reset the disconnection process as if someone’s bill is past due for the first time. This means that we will not immediately rush out and disconnect service. Rather, notification for disconnections will begin from day one to ensure customers have adequate time to contact us and make arrangements.”
Dales encourages customers to contact MUB at 304-292-8443 with any issues or questions they may have.
“If a customer needs assistance, it’s important that they reach out to us. The sooner they call us the sooner we can help,” he said.
Customers can obtain the most recent news involving MUB at mub.org and via Facebook (@MorgantownUtilityBoard) and Twitter (@MUBWater).