NYC Department of Environmental Protection Expands Enforcement Actions Against Delinquent Water Service Accounts

February 13, 2024

Warning Letters Being Sent to Approximately 2,900 Chronically Delinquent Customers Who Face Water Shut Offs Starting in March

DEP Seeks to Collect Approximately $124 Million in Unpaid Water Bills

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced an expansion of its enforcement actions against approximately 2,900 chronically delinquent water service accounts owing a total of $124 million. Last year, DEP offered a successful Amnesty Program that helped more than 100,000 New Yorkers reduce their water bill debts while saving them $22 million in interest. DEP also granted $8 million in billing credits to low-income accounts. For those one-to-three family homes that did not take advantage of these programs and have not paid their water bills in more than a year, last month DEP began sending out water shut off warning letters.

“During the pandemic the total of past due accounts nearly doubled, to over $1 billion. To help customers bring their accounts current we initiated a successful amnesty program that reduced interest payments and we also provided credits to low-income accounts,” said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “The delinquent customers who refused our help are forcing everyone else to pay higher rates, and that must stop. Everyone has to pay their fair share to support our indispensable water system.”

Money recouped through enforcement actions will be used by DEP to keep water rates low for all customers and all bill payments are used to fund maintenance, upgrades, and repairs to almost 15,000 miles of water and sewer mains, 19 reservoirs, 12,000 rain gardens, and 14 wastewater resource recovery facilities. Nearly half the population of New York State enjoys NYC tap water.

Currently, customers with chronically delinquent water bills are receiving a ‘Water Shut Off Warning’ letter in the mail informing them to resolve their outstanding balances by February 19, 2024.

If balances are not resolved by that date, DEP will begin the process of shutting off water service in March. Outstanding accounts will have a ‘Water Shut Off Notice’ posted on their property’s front door and the street in front of the home will be marked to indicate the shut off location. Delinquent accounts will be required to pay the past due balance in full or enter into a payment agreement in order to avoid a water shut off.

If water service is terminated, affected customers will be required to pay a $1,000 shutoff fee, pay the past due balance in full or enter into a payment agreement with a 25 percent down payment to have their service restored.

During the pandemic, DEP saw a significant increase in the number and balance of delinquent accounts. In fact, the total of delinquent payments nearly doubled to $1.2 billion, which threatened the operations and capital needs of a service the city could not survive without. In 2023, DEP initiated a successful Amnesty program that helped more than 100,000 New Yorkers reduce their water bill debts while saving them more than $22 million in interest. Of the nearly 200,000 customers who owed money on late water bills when the program started, more than 50 percent participated in the popular program—bringing in nearly $105 million in payments from substantially past due accounts.

To help low-income customers, during the Amnesty program, DEP granted $8.0 million in additional billing credits to those accounts that had participated in New York State’s Low Income Homeowner Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

Customers can make payments or enter into a payment agreement online at, by calling 1-866-622-8292, in person at a borough office, or by mail to the NYC Water Board. Convenience fees apply to credit/debit card payments, but no fee is charged by the Water Board if payment is made by checking or savings account.

DEP also offers a number of financial assistance programs to assist property owners in paying their water bills, including a leak forgiveness program and multi-family water assistance program.

About the NYC Department of Environmental Protection

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $29 billion in investments over the next 10 years.For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter.