Charleston Water System provides resources ahead of resumed shut-offs

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In almost one month to date, August 17th, Charleston Water System could be shutting off about 10,000 individual’s water due to a lack of payments.  

Mike Saia, the Public Information Administrator for Charleston Water System, said that accounts who are in danger of being shut-off were notified via letter over 30 days in advance. That letter included some additional information as they partnered with Trident United Way to find organizations to assist those in question.

In that letter is a wide list of community resources as well as Charleston Water System offerings that we have to help them get their account balanced up and in good standings to avoid being shut-off on August 17th 

Mike Saia, Charleston Water System

Saia added, Trident United Way worked with Charleston Water System to identify every organization across the Lowcountry that offers utility bill pay assistance, finding a total of 11. Many of those organizations have both their regular funding in addition to funding from the CARES Act.

As for why the company decided to go back to shut-offs? Saia said they are 100% dependent on rate payer funds and do not receive grants or tax income, as presumed by many. He went on to say that they too are struggling with the results of the pandemic. While there is a shut-off date, not all will have their water turned off that on the 17th.  

We won’t be able to get to all 10,000 of those in the first day or so it may take a little bit of time, but the most important thing you can do right now is get your account squared up and get it ready because the last thing you want to do is come home from work or wake up in the morning and find out that your water is shut off. That’s the last thing we want for our customers because right now, hand washing and hygiene is just so important with everything going on related to the virus.  

Mike Saia, Charleston Water System

Customers can also sign-up for payment plans, or automatic draft payments through the phone or online. (See below for locations and phone numbers)

Resources for those affected by COVID-19 and unable to pay their utility bills:

Charleston Trident Urban League – (843) 769-8173, 1064 Gardner Rd., Ste. 307, Charleston, SC 29407

East Cooper Community Outreach – (843) 849-9220, 1145 6 Mile Rd, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466

Humanities Foundation – (843) 284-5154, 474 Wando Park Blvd., Ste. 102, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

James Island Outreach – (843) 762-3653, 1872-C Camp Rd., Charleston, SC, 29412

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society – (843) 794-7662, 1004 Jefferson Ave., Building 717, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Neighborhood House of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services Inc. – (843) 805-8064, 77 & 79 America St., Charleston, SC 29403

Origin SC – (843) 628-3000, 8084 Rivers Ave., Suite 100, North Charleston, SC 29406  

Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services – Johns Island (843) 559-4109, 1684 Brownswood Rd., Johns Island, SC 29455

The Salvation Army of Charleston – (843) 747-5271, 6209 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, SC 29406

Tricounty Family Ministries – (843) 747-1788, 2105 Cosgrove Ave., Charleston, SC 29406

Palmetto Community Action Partnership – (844) 769-6448, 1069 King St., Charleston, SC 29403  

The Palmetto Community Action Partnership (PCAP), receives a monthly contribution from Charleston Water System as a form of bill-pay assistance for those who are in financial distress. Each month, the company gives PCAP $5,000 a month, but since June, they doubled their donation in addition to a one time $50,000 payment. This totaled their contributions to $80,000 and as of now, only $4,000 has been used by customers.

Additional Information:

Branch offices (open to cars and pedestrians)

–          103 St. Philip St., Charleston, SC 29403

–          6296 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, SC 29418.

Payment Options (all 24/7)

–          Drop Box (at branches)

–          Epay On-line

–          Pay-by-Phone   (843) 727-6800

–          Sign up for Auto Draft

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