About Senate Bill 998 (SB 998)
SB 998 provides that a customer must be at least 60-days delinquent in payment of a utility bill before the water provider may terminate his or her services. This 60-day requirement before discontinuation of water service will apply to all of the City’s residential utility customers.
City Council Resolution
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SB 998?
Senate Bill 998 (SB 998), signed into law in September 2018 and is referred to as “The Water Shutoff Protection Act”, sets new restrictions on residential water service termination for non-payment of a water utility bill.
SB 998 requires all public water systems to have a written policy on water service discontinuation for nonpayment which must also be available in several languages. Specifically, the provisions of the bill require the adoption of a written policy. The policy would be applicable to all residential water customers which will result in expanded notification procedures prior to service shut off for nonpayment.
How does SB 998 impact Oxnard Water customers?
The City currently allows 45 days prior to shut-off for non-payment; the bill requires the City to extend the number of days of delinquency before it shuts off service to 60 days.
This 60-day requirement before discontinuation of water service will apply to all of the City’s residential utility customers. Additionally, the bill prohibits discontinuation of water service if all of the following conditions are met:
- A primary care provider certifies that discontinuation will be life-threatening or poses a serious threat to the health and safety of a resident on the premises where service is provided; and
- A customer demonstrates he or she is financially unable to pay; and
- A customer is willing to enter an amortization agreement, alternative payment schedule, or plan for a deferred or reduced payment.
When does SB 998 take effect?
The City must comply with SB 998 by February 1, 2020.
The City of Oxnard will be required to report the number of annual discontinuations of residential water service for inability to pay on its Internet Web site and to also report this information to the State Water Resources Control Board (“Board”) where the Board will also post on its Internet Web site the information reported to the Board by urban water suppliers.
Where can I find a copy of the City’s SB 998 Water Shutoff Policy?
The City’s water shutoff policy is available here.