San Antonio Water System customers enjoy one of the lowest average water bills among major Texas cities. But SAWS goes even further to ensure customers have affordable access to water and wastewater services.
SAWS has numerous programs that assist lower-income customers, senior citizens, customers with disabilities, and those who may find themselves in an unfamiliar circumstance: being at risk of having their service disconnected.
The largest program is the Affordability Discount. More than 25,000 households – a new record – receive a monthly discount on their bill based on income and family size. A strategic approach to SAWS community outreach – from visiting community and senior centers to targeted mail outs and affordability fairs in City Council districts – led to a 33 percent increase in Affordability Discount enrollees since 2015.
That discount currently ranges from $3.73 to $21.40 a month, and increases each year. In 2018, the maximum will rise to $24.
In 2017, SAWS spent more than $3.3 million on the Affordability Discount program, and we are increasing our commitment to it by an additional $1 million in 2018.
If you think you may qualify for this discount and would like to receive an application by mail, please contact SAWS Affordability department by calling 210-233-CARE (2273). You can also find more information on eligible income levels and assistance amounts here.
SAWS also offers payment assistance to customers facing disconnection through Project Agua. It provides payment assistance of up to $115 twice a year to residential SAWS customers who are having difficulty paying their water bill and who meet the Federal Income Assistance Guidelines.
Other enhanced benefits from our Affordability department include:
- All SAWS customers ages 60 and older are now automatically enrolled in the Senior Billing benefit, which waives late fees.
- Through programs such as Plumbers to People and Laterals to People, residential customers who qualify can receive assistance repairing water leaks and repairs to the sewer lateral from outside their home to the property line. Plumbers to People breaks the cycle of high bills resulting from water leaks that may cause customers to fall behind on paying their bill. Laterals to People repairs can prevent sewer back-ups that can cause health and environmental safety threats.
- Waiving deposits to new accounts for victims of domestic violence.
- Additional time to pay bills for those receiving Social Security Income (SSI).
SAWS’ increasing commitment to providing affordable water and sewer services to all San Antonians is what makes our city even more waterful.