South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Crisis funding is available for PWSA customers needing help


Last updated 1/12/2022 at 8:21pm

Customers of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) are encouraged to apply for the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a temporary assistance program created by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) and funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The funds are available as grants and do not need to be re-paid.

Assistance can range from $25 - $2,500 for each service (drinking water or wastewater) the customer receives. Eligible PWSA customers receiving both drinking and wastewater services can qualify for grants totaling up to $5,000. Grants are available to support customers in an emergency by helping to maintain essential water services, including past-due water bills, termination of water service, or facing termination of water service in the next 60 days.

PWSA also offers a Winter Shut-off Moratorium to income eligible customers. Once enrolled, it provides the assurance that water service will not be shutoff during the winter months from December 1 to March 31. For more information, visit

"Access to water and wastewater service is an essential part of everyday life and PWSA prioritizes help for vulnerable customers in need of financial assistance," said Will Pickering, chief executive officer.

The emergency funding available through LIHWAP is part of the nation's continued response to families experiencing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvania received approximately $43.2 million to assist families who have lost or are at risk of losing water service in their homes.

Applications are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eligible customers must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. Renters responsible for paying their water or wastewater charges are also eligible. Learn more about LIHWAP at 

Apply Online: : With a Paper application: Download a paper application, print it, fill it out, and return it to the Allegheny County Assistance Office, located at 301 5th Avenue. You can also fill out an application at the county office in-person. Grant checks are issued directly to PWSA and applied to the customer's account. Applications are available in English and Spanish; Or, by phone: Request an application by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 877-395-8930 or call PA Relay at 711 for the hearing impaired. 

Applicants will need to provide the names of people in the household, along with their dates of birth, social security numbers, proof of income, and copy of a recent water bill. For more information, download the flyer at

Those who need help determining which program is right for them and how to apply, may call 412-255-2423 and talk with a PGH2O Cares team member


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