Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does Water4All work?
Water4All uses a formula to calculate the maximum amount residents should pay for annual water and sewer services, based on a percentage of their annual income. Depending on income and household size, the maximum percentage could be 1%, 2% or 3%. The difference between this calculated maximum amount and your estimated annual water and sewer bill amount would determine your annual discount.
What happens with BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus, the current water assistance programs? Does Water4All replace them?
Yes, Water4All will replace BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus. See more specific questions about what the program change means for BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus customers in the BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus-Specific Questions section below.
Who is eligible for Water4All assistance?
Baltimore City residents may qualify for Water4All assistance if:
Their income is less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines. Updated
- For example, for a 4-member household that would be less than $55,500 a year
They are either:
- Homeowners whose name is on the water bill
- Tenants whose name is on the water bill and who pay the city directly for water and sewer service
Tenants whose name is NOT on the water bill, who do NOT pay the city directly for water and sewer service and who can provide both:
- A lease that clearly states the tenant is responsible for paying water and sewer services separately from the rent, and
- A lease that clearly states the amount to be paid monthly by the tenant for those services or a copy of the monthly invoice for water and sewer services from the landlord or the landlord's management company
Final determination of eligibility will be made when applications are submitted.
How can I apply for Water4All?
City residents can begin applying for Water4All by clicking this link: cityservices.baltimorecity.gov/water4all/.
Will the Water4All assistance be in the form of a bill discount or credit?
Water4All assistance will be a discount to participants who are billing account holders with Department of Public Works. Tenants who are eligible to participate but who are not account holders will receive their subsidy through our partnership with Edquity, Inc.
If I cannot access the online application is there a paper version I can use?
Yes, you can download and print a paper version of the Water4All application. If you are a Home Owner or Tenant with a billing account in your name, you can download here. If you are a tenant without a billing account, you can download a paper version here. You can drop off your completed form at 3939 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD 21215.
Can people without a SSN apply?
If my name is not on my water bill, how do I get my name on it so I can get the discount?
Tenants who live in single-unit rentals may ask their landlord to put their name on the water and sewer bill and pay the bill directly to the City. The landlord then can request to add the tenant’s name to the water account by:
Emailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- The water account number
- The water account holder's contact information (full name, address & phone number)
- The tenant's name
- Completing an online form at publicworks.baltimorecity.gov/water-billing-questions
How long will the Water4All discount last?
Water4All eligibility lasts for one year. You will be asked to re-apply before your expiration date.
Once I apply, how long before I see the Water4All discount on my water bill?
After you apply, it may take up to three months to see the discount on your bill.
Who do I contact if I have questions about Water4All?
If you still need more information, dial (410) 396-5555.
Why should I submit W-9(Applies to Tenants only)
The Water4All discount will come in the form of monthly or 1 time payment (Your option) that will be counted as additional income for you over the next 12 months which needs to be record for our third party vendor who is assisting with making this discount possible.
The W-9 form is a form that request a Taxpayer’s Identification Number and Certification, it serves two purposes. First, it is used by third parties to collect identifying information to help file information returns with the IRS. It requests the name, address, and taxpayer identification information of a taxpayer (in the form of a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number). The form is never actually sent to the IRS, but is maintained by the person who files the information return for verification purposes. The information on the Form W-9 and the payment made are reported on a Form 1099. The second purpose is to help the payee avoid backup withholding. The payer must collect withholding taxes on certain reportable payments for the IRS. However, if the payee certifies on the W-9 they are not subject to backup withholding they generally receive the full payment due them from the payer. This is similar to the withholding exemptions certifications found on Form W-4 for employees.
BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus - Specific Questions
I am currently enrolled in the BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus water bill assistance program. What does this mean for me?
Your BH2O Assists or BH2O Plus assistance program enrollment will end July 1, 2022. To continue to receive water billing assistance, it is recommended that you apply for Water4All assistance. Water4All assistance will have to be renewed yearly.
Will the Water4All assistance be more or less of a discount than BH2O Assists/BH2O Plus?
Because the Water4All discount will tied to your annual household income, it may be more of a discount for some and less for others. But most importantly, and because it is tied to income, it will be a fair and equitable discount, regardless of amount.
What if I submitted an Expression of Interest form (EOI) earlier?
If you have submitted an EOI form earlier, please use your WFA Reference ID you received in your email when applying for Water4All application. You may apply now for Water4All but will be receiving an email-reminder to apply.