Sewerage and Water Board Provides Updates on COVID-19 Response

The mission of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) is first and foremost to protect the health and safety of our customers, New Orleans residents and visitors. Our operations continue without any major interruption. We are providing drinking water and cleaning wastewater for every household and business.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we are taking the following steps:

Our two customer service centers – 625 St. Joseph Street on the East Bank and 4021 Behrman Place, Suite M-2 on the West Bank – are closed until further notice.

We encourage our customers to use the following methods to contact us during this emergency. Please note, we ask for your patience. Our staff is practicing social distancing and self-quarantining to protect each other from COVID-19. This means we have fewer reps in our call center to take your calls. You may experience longer wait times. We are looking to ease the wait times by creating an opportunity for customers to leave a voice message and our staff will get back to them. We will alert the public when this is implemented.

  • Continue to call 52-WATER (504.529.2837) to report issues, ask questions or pay bills.
  • You also can reach us by fax at 504.585.2455 or by email at customerservice@swbno.org.
  • To pay your SWBNO bill online, visit https://account.swbno.org/app/login.jsp. If you would like to pay over the phone, dial 52-WATER, press 2, then press 1 for automated services. You can also mail a check or money order to Cashiers Department at 625 Saint Joseph Street, New Orleans, LA 70165.
  • We are waiving processing fees for customers who pay online or at one of our satellite Fidelity Express payment stations – www.fidelityexpress.co/find-a-location – during this emergency.
  • You can reach the Plumbing Department at 504.585.2160 or planreview@swbno.org.
  • House Connections can be reached at 504.585.2164 or by fax at 504.585.2475.

Any customers who must reach us in person, such as to drop off documents, we will handle on a case-by-case basis.

We ask for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented emergency. Our meter reading team is experiencing severe staff shortages because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While very few employees have tested positive for COVID-19, several additional employees had direct contact with them and are now under precautionary quarantine.As a result, we are unable to complete our meter reading routes. We must estimate the water and sewer service bills for our customers.

To ease the burden on our customers, we will not be assessing new late fees in March and April, and our suspension of water service shutoffs will remain in place. Please continue to pay for your water and sewer service during this declared emergency. The funds help us continue to provide clean water so that you and your neighbors can protect your households’ health during this pandemic. Read more here: https://www.swbno.org/PressReleases/Details/3582

 

We have suspended in-person administrative hearings during this emergency for customers with disputed accounts. Our team will be calling customers with scheduled hearings to offer the opportunity to conduct their hearings by phone and to answer any questions.

We have limited our field work that requires disruption in water service to emergency responses only. These outages rarely last more than a few hours. We also are coordinating with DPW on joint projects that may involve water service disruptions to minimize any inconvenience to customers.

Our suspension of shutting off water to customers with delinquent accounts will continue while the declared emergency is in effect. We are actively working to restore water service to those customers currently without it to help them stay safe and healthy. We will prioritize customers who call to inform us that they or someone in their households is a senior or has a chronic medical condition.

We have waived all reconnection fees.

Meanwhile, we continue to encourage everyone to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19. This includes:

  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol.
  • If you’re showing symptoms, stay home.
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