On March 18, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-23, (as amended/extended by Proclamations 20-23.1 through 20-23.6) pertaining to Utility Ratepayer Assistance and Preservation of Essential Services. Skyway Water & Sewer District is committed to keeping our customers connected to essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This Proclamation does not relieve customers from the obligation to pay for utility services. However, if you experience hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for support, including long-term payment arrangements or bill assistance.
If you feel you will have difficulty paying your bill, please contact our office at 206-772-7343 so we can make arrangements that will work for you.
It is unknown at this time what the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the world and our District. During these extraordinary times, it is our goal to ensure continued operation of our water and sewer systems. We are committed to being responsive to the needs of our customers and promoting a safe work environment for our employees, and have taken the steps listed below on behalf of our customers:
Declaration of Emergency
On March 24, 2020, Skyway Water & Sewer District’s Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. At that time, the Board authorized staff to implement temporary billing and collections policies and practices in response to the pandemic. In compliance with proclamations of the Governor, the District has previously suspended water service termination and the accumulation of interest and penalties on unpaid water and sewer bills as outlined further below. Note: These interim billing and collections policies are now identified and incorporated into the District’s COVID-19 Customer Support Program. The Board of Commissioners of the District reserves the right to modify such temporary policies/programs as deemed appropriate.
Temporary suspension of service terminations
The District has temporarily suspended water shutoffs or lock offs for non-payment, including rental homes, for a period not to exceed 60 days beyond the date the District withdraws its declaration of emergency or modifies its temporary billing and collections policies and practices.
Re-establishment of service
If the District becomes aware of an existing locked off account needing access to water, the District will re-establish service for a period not to exceed 60 days beyond the date the District withdraws its declaration of emergency or modifies its temporary billing and collections policies and practices.
Temporary suspension of late/penalty fees and interest charges
The District has temporarily suspended the charging of late/penalty fees and will not impose interest charges for past due water and sewer accounts for a period not to exceed 60 days beyond the date the District withdraws its declaration of emergency or modifies its temporary billing and collections policies and practices.
Payment Plans - Extension of flexible payment terms
The District will work with customers who are unable to pay their bills for water and/or sewer service in a timely manner due to the impact of COVID-19 by offering long-term payment terms for a period not to exceed one (1) year. For extenuating circumstances, the General Manager has the authority to approve longer-term payment arrangements of up to eighteen (18) months. Payment arrangements where the customer consistently pays the agreed monthly amount will not be disconnected. If agreed payment arrangements are not kept, water service may be interrupted once the arrangement becomes sixty (60) days past due.
The District can extend flexible payment terms to customers in response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, however the District cannot “forgive” water and sewer service billings under Washington State law.
Existing Customer Assistance Program
The District has an existing assistance program with Salvation Army for qualifying single-family residential households. Information on SKYWAY CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP) can be found under "How Can I Get Help With My Bill?".
Existing Low-Income Senior/Disability Discount Program
The District has in place a rate reduction program for qualifying low Income seniors and disabled individuals. More information and application form.
The Department of Health (DOH) serves as the single point of contact for information sharing, guidance, and technical assistance for community water systems and their customers. You can reach DOH at 800-525-0127 or see FAQ for Water System Customers.
Customers may also be eligible for assistance through St. Vincent de Paul by calling 206-767-6449 or Catholic Community Services by calling 253-854-0077.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Disaster Cash Assistance Program helps people with their basic needs during this emergency. Apply online at www.WashingtonConnection.org and then call the Customer Service Contact Center at 1-877-501-2233 to complete the required interview. Or call 877-501-2233 to complete the whole application process. For more information, visit: DSHS Disaster Cash Assistance Program (DCAP)
March 1, 2021Web & Pay-By-Phone Restored
The District’s Online and Phone Payment Portals are now available for payments following a Cyber Security/Data Breach Incident at AFTS, Inc.
As of March 1, 2021, the District’s online web-pay and phone-pay portals are now available for customers to submit utility payments.
Skyway Water and Sewer District was notified of a cyber security/data breach incident at our utility billing vendor, Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc. (AFTS), immediately suspended our online and phone payment portals, and monitored (and continues to closely monitor) the situation through regular communication with AFTS. The District contracts with AFTS to process customer web and pay-by-phone payments. AFTS's network servers were compromised and encrypted by ransomware on February 4, 2021.
AFTS maintains District customer data as part of our payment processing services, including a customer's District account number, service address, name, and balance due. Potentially breached customer information from the AFTS database may have included customer utility account numbers, names, addresses, and customer bank or credit/debit card account information.
The investigation into the breach is ongoing and, at this time, it appears that the customer’s personal information noted above and provided to AFTS may not have been impacted by the cyber security /data breach. Customers are encouraged to monitor their payment accounts for unusual activity and report anything suspicious to their credit card company or bank right away.
This District will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. For more information, you may contact the District by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 206-772-7343.