Need help paying your water or sewer bill? Qualifying customers of Missouri American Water can receive up to $750 for water and wastewater services through a new temporary federal program.

The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is being administered by the Missouri Department of Social Services, which began accepting applications for the program at the end of February. Applicants may receive a one-time payment of up to $750 that they can use to catch up on their water bills and or wastewater and sewer bills.

Until my wife and I moved into our duplex here in Missouri, I rarely thought of our water bill. We've been apartment dwellers most of our life. And in complexes where the management pretty much handles water/sewer and they either send a bill out that tacks the water/sewer/garbage bill onto your rent, or at least had the utility company splitting the bill among everyone in the complex.

So I got a little bit of a rude awakening when I get a bill from Missouri / American water for the water. And then a bill from Warrensburg for wastewater and sewage. And then another bill for garbage service. We were off a little bit on estimating how much we'd be paying in bills because of that.

It's easy to see, how over the last couple of years, if you haven't worked as much or the pandemic cost you your job, it's easy to get behind on your water and wastewater and sewage bills. This program will help you catch up on your water-related bills.

“We understand that while a water bill is usually the lowest utility bill, it’s not the only bill that needs to be paid and there are families who may need assistance,” said Missouri American Water president Rich Svindland in a company news release. “We encourage our customers to utilize the assistance funds made available by the federal government through LIHWAP, our funds through the H2O Help to Others Program, and installment plans and budget billing to help keep water flowing.”

If you need help with your water-related bills, you can apply for this assistance through the State of Missouri here.

Additionally, Missouri American Water also has a program called H2O Help To Others and installment plans that can help customers catch up on bills. H2O assistance is administered through Missouri's Community Action Agencies. And customers can sign up for installment plans or budget billing under the "my account" section on the Missouri American website.

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