For almost a year, most of us have been dealing with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. People have lost their jobs, hours at work have been cut, and everyone has had to tighten their financial belts. That belt-tightening has also hit our utility companies. El Paso Water announced this week that they will begin shutting customer's water off if they don't pay their bill. So how to you avoid not having water? Here are a couple of things you can do.

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As with any entity that you owe money to, calling El Paso Water and letting them know your situation is always the best first step. It's not like you can hide from them. They know your address, and even if you move, you'll have to call them for a water hookup at your new place and they'll tell you that you'll need to pay your old balance. Call them at 915-594-5500 to put a payment plan into place that you and they can live with.

If you have a large overdue balance, you might have already heard from EP Water. They have been reaching out by phone to customers to try and come up with a payment schedule or to help customers apply for payment assistance programs. The utility will also be reaching out by mail or they will leave a door-hanger to ask you to call them. El Paso Water says if you make payment arrangements you are at less risk of getting disconnected than if you don't contact them.

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No matter how El Paso Water contacts you, they will never demand payment from you at your home. THey will never ask you to buy a pre-paid debit card, and EPW employees will always be in uniform, will be wearing masks and driving company-marked vehicles. If you are worried or want to make sure you can call EP Water and ask them to verify the employee.

Call EP Water and get your payment plan in place. It's much more costly to restart your service.

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