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State orders water shut offs stopped: City will work with customers on getting water service turned on

A new order from the state means that Ohioans won’t lose their access to water during the coronavirus crisis.

The order issued on Wednesday came from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to maintain public water service during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit said the city will abide by the rules sent by the state and had already ended water shut offs.

“The city had already suspended shutting off water on March 15 and that was in effect until May 15,” he said. “The city is committed to making sure that all residents have clean water and we are working with our customers to assure that.”

The state order prevents water systems from shutting off a resident’s water service due to non-payment during the declared state of emergency and requires water systems to reconnect water to anyone whose water was shut off dating back to Jan. 1 to make sure as many people as possible have safe water during the state of emergency. Those who qualify for reconnection must call their water utility company to request the reinstatement.

People will be reconnected without having to pay fees, but customers will be required to pay their water bill moving forward.

Cramblit said that it is important for customers who owe on their water bill to continue to pay as much as they can.

“It is critical for the day-to-day operations of our water system, it is a critical priority,” he said. “We need people to pay what they can. We have a few options for our customers and they can call the water department to discuss it. People will still have to pay their water bill, so you don’t want to rack up a huge bill.”

To ask about payment options or to get water turned back on, call 740-532-3353.

“The city, like many businesses and stores around here, the city is taking a hit,” Cramblit said. “We need to keep the water system funded. But together we will get through this.”

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.