The Water And Sewerage Authority (WASA) has implemented initiatives to reduce its overhead expenses and ramp up efforts to collect outstanding rates.
In a statement on Wednesday, it said 45 per cent of the authority’s customer base of over 400,000 are two or more billing cycles in arrears on payments.
“Only 55 per cent of our customers are contributing to their supply of water, which severely constrains the authority’s efforts to providing regular and reliable water supply.”
It said non-paying customers are affecting operations and its ability to service customers who are up to date on their payments.
It pointed out, “The Water and Sewerage Act gives the authority the ability to implement several punitive action to recover payments including disconnection of service and sale of property, amongst others."
But it said unlike other utilities and service providers, it has been "measured" in using them, as it is "mindful of the social and health implications" associated with a water supply.
But it said the non-payment has accelerated its debt burden and it is now calling on its customers with accounts in arrears to pay their bills.
It also said to reduce cost, WASA has already implemented measures to deal with transport, overtime and inventory management.
“Other areas such as the organisational structure and existing terms and conditions are being reviewed and will be addressed in time.”
It was important to note, it said, that all this was taking place in an environment oft financial constraints and an ongoing pandemic, which had led to a reduced subvention from government.
The statement said WASA has also been negotiating payment terms for outstanding debts to suppliers.
Customers can pay bills can be made through WASAs customer portal https://customerportal.wasa.gov.tt, the WASA Service app, commercial banks, SurePay, Western Union, and at WASA service centres.
Customers who are unable to clear their arrears immediately should contact email@example.com or WhatsApp 709-7793.