State Funding Available to Pay Customers' Overdue County Utility Bill

Published on December 18, 2020

  • Qualified residents must apply by Jan. 15

  • More than 3,000 accounts currently in arrears could qualify

  • County application hotline: 703-228-5080

Arlingtonians who are having trouble paying their water and sewer bills due to pandemic-related economic hardship may be eligible to have their bills paid through the County's new Utility Relief program. The application deadline is January 15. The program is funded through a $383,338  state coronavirus relief grant accepted by the County Board at its Tuesday, Dec. 15 Recessed Meeting.

"This funding will help Arlington families who are struggling to pay for necessities as a result of the pandemic," Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "But we must act quickly to meet the deadline set by the state. Our staff will send letters and emails to customers with qualifying outstanding balances of 30 days or more. All the customer needs to do is fill out a short online application at, or by calling the Utility Relief hotline at 703-228-5080."

"If you think you may be eligible, and you have not heard from us by January 1, please call the hotline," Garvey said.

Qualified applicants may have at least part of the outstanding balance on their water and sewer bills accrued since March 1, 2020, paid through the program. Funds will be applied first to customers with outstanding balances of 60 days or more. Any remaining funds would be applied to customers with outstanding balances of at least 30 days.

The money must be spent by January 29, 2021, and unused funds must be returned to the state. Applicants must attest that they are in arrears due to pandemic-related economic hardship and must have an outstanding balance for more than 30 days.

Thousands in arrears on utility bills

On November 11, 2020, some 3,000 customers in the County were in arrears on water and sewer bills. About 2,550 of those were residential, the rest were multifamily and commercial properties. At that time, water and sewer delinquencies with balances older than 60 days totaled about $443,000.

The County's 703-228-5080 hotline will operate on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning Monday, Dec. 21.

Payment arrangements also offered

Even those customers who believe they may not be eligible for this program, but need some relief are encouraged to reach out to the County to learn how access to our payment arrangement program has been simplified. Call 703-228-5000 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss your eligibility.

All late fees on utility bills have been suspended until the public health emergency caused by the pandemic has ended. Customers are encouraged to pay what they can to avoid a larger outstanding balance later.