PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Some Washington County residents whose water bills accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic could have their outstanding expenses covered thanks to American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

The county announced Wednesday its partnering with Clean Water Services to reduce the number of low-income households experiencing past-due water bills. 

People who qualify to have their account cleared will be contacted directly by their water utility service provider. 

“The goal of this initiative is to provide some economic relief that will benefit populations traditionally underserved by application-based programs, and to remove barriers to access including Washington County communities who may not have internet access at home or have limited English language proficiency,” said Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington. 

Anyone who is not contacted but still needs assistance paying for water should contact their utility provider directly to see what financial assistance opportunities are available. 

Clean Water Services, which provides sewer and stormwater services in Washington County, is working with city water providers and the Tualatin Valley Water District to collect data and will work with the district to distribute the money. 

Assistance for other utility bills such as gas or electricity is available through Washington County’s Community Action web portal. People can also call (503) 615-0771 for help filling out an application.