Changes coming for water customers who pay bills late

Fort Worth is changing the delinquency process for water customers who are late paying their city water bill. Effective April 1, customers will no longer have a yellow tag left on their door telling them to pay in 48-hours or have water turned off.

The yellow tag is being replaced with an automated call to the residential customer number on file. The call will occur 37 days after the bill date. Some commercial accounts will also receive the automated call.

All customers are encouraged to ensure their phone numbers and email addresses are up to date with the water utility by logging into their H2Online account or by contacting customer service at 817-392-4477.

Prior to moving forward with the recommendations that were adopted by the City Council in December, the utility staff weighed the impact of cost responsibility and affordability. It is believed the new fee structure helps reduce the types of fees that can cause a financially struggling customer to get further behind in their bill payment.

Eliminating the yellow door tag also eliminates the $20 charge to customers for leaving the yellow tag. Late fees are increasing from 5% to 10%, if the bill is not paid by 24 days after the bill date. Despite the late fee increase, the cost to customers could still be less because of eliminating the yellow tag and its fee.

A mailed notice that water service is about to be shut off still will go out 42 days after the bill date. This will be the final notice that a customer with an unpaid bill receives. The delinquency process timeline still has water service shutoff for nonpayment at 52 days after the initial bill is issued. A red tag is left on the door at the time water service is shut off.

Other fees increasing on April 1 are associated with activation/reactivation of service, theft of water, tampering with meters, customer-requested additional tests or field investigations, and customer-requested meter replacements. The additional meter test or investigation fees are waived if the meter is found to be not functioning properly.

See a detailed list of fee changes.