A program through Maine Housing will help qualified residents with paying their water and sewer bills.

It's been many years since I had to deal with this. Living in the country in Orrington, we deal with a well and septic. But I remember living in Brewer and dreading that expensive water/sewer bill. It can be costly to live with city water services. But now, the state has found a way to offer some relief.

Who's Eligible?

Like the low income home energy assistance program (LiHeap), the Maine Water Assistance Program is based on the annual income of each individual household. It's meant to benefit low-to-moderate income people who have fallen behind or are struggling to pay for their drinking water and wastewater bills. The guidelines are, as follows, according to the Maine Housing website:

Household Size         Household Income

  • 1                                    $30,860
  • 2                                    $40,356
  • 3                                    $49,852
  • 4                                    $59,348
  • 5                                    $68,843
  • 6                                    $78,339
  • 7                                    $80,120
  • 8                                    $81,900
  • 9                                    $83,681
  • 10                                  $85,461

Will It Cover Unpaid Bills or Property Liens?

It's available to any income-qualified household who receives their water through public water or wastewater utilities and who has an account in their name. (In other words, if your landlord pays the bills, you wouldn't qualify.) It covers unpaid bill balances, property liens for water utility non-payment, and bills for customers who are facing a disconnection notice. The program may also provide a credit to eligible households in order to defray future costs.

How Do I Sign Up?

Apply soon because this offer is only available for a limited time. You'll need a completed application, a water or wastewater bill with your name on it, proof of income or benefit letter, and proof of citizenship for all household members, which would include social security cards, birth certificates, or passports. In lieu of that, documentation issued by the USCIS as proof of non-citizenship is acceptable.

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