Richmond VA > Public Utilities > Utility Talk

Last Updated: 2016-11-15

MetroCare Water Assistance Program

If you are having trouble paying your water utility bill, you might be eligible to receive financial assistance. The MetroCare Water Assistance Program offers a discount to customers who meet qualifying criteria. Whether you have delinquent water bills, are at risk of being disconnected, or struggle with paying on time, you are encouraged to apply. The program is available for Richmond Public Utilities customers.

To be eligible, the account must be in your name and you reside at the address on the bill, you have not received assistance during the current program year (July to June), your water bill balance has not been charged off to collections, and your total gross household income is at or below 225 percent of the federal poverty level.

If you meet the requirements, contact your nearest intake agency to schedule an appointment. The application and all necessary documentation to take to your appointment are listed at or on the DPU website under Billing Inquiries>Affordability Programs.

Intake agencies are:

  • Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People (CAPUP), 1021 Oliver Hill Way, 788-0050
  • The Salvation Army, 2 W. Grace Street, 225-7470
  • Richmond Department of Social Services (for existing clients only) at 900 E. Marshall St., 4100 Hull Street Road.

Customers receiving assistance are subject to all provisions of applicable city ordinances. If you need more information, contact one of the partnering intake agencies.

Residential Gas Meters Are Being Updated

The Department of Public Utilities’ four year maintenance project to up­date residential natural gas meters has been ongoing since July 2015 and is scheduled to be completed in July 2019. During this time, subcontractor Vanguard Utility Service, Inc. is updating the Encoder Receiver Transmitters that electronically report natural gas usage for monthly billings.

Vanguard may require access to properties where meters are located in­side or behind a locked gate. Doorhangers with contact information will be left to schedule alternative times if customers are not available when tech­nicians arrive.

All natural gas meters will be serviced including those in the city of Rich­mond, Henrico County, and part of North Chesterfield. For questions con­cerning this project, call DPU’s Customer Care Center at 646-4646.

DPU Wins Water Quality Award from AMWA

DPU was one of 20 public drinking wa­ter systems recognized by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) for its utility management with the Gold Award for Exceptional Water Utility Perfor­mance. Gold Awards recognize outstanding achievement in implementing nationally recognized attributes of effective utility management, product quality, customer satisfaction, employee and leadership de­velopment, operational optimization, fi­nancial viability, infrastructure stability, operational resiliency, community sus­tainability, water resource adequacy, and stakeholder understanding and support.

Clean Water is Essential

Clean Water is Essential for Richmond’s Future Whether it’s watching what goes down our drains or monitoring what flows into the James River, improving Richmond’s waterways elevates the quality of life for everyone. Richmond is one of the largest producers of water in Central Virginia. Our water treatment plant, built in 1924, is capable of treating up to 132 million gallons of water every day from the James River.

To keep our tap water safe, the EPA requires routine testing of drinking water to identify potential contaminants such as bacteria and pesticides. The City of Richmond’s water is continuously tested and always meets or exceeds EPA standards for safe drinking water.

Clean drinking water is something we expect to have access to every day, but let’s not take it for granted. A lot of work goes into keeping water safe for drinking, and there’s always more to be done.

Richmond’s wastewater treatment plant can treat up to 75 million gallons of sanitary sewage and stormwater every day. Treatment of wastewater is critical to sustaining aquatic life and supporting recreation.

DPU also manages Richmond’s Combined Sewer System (CSS), which carries wastewater to the treatment plant. When we experience heavy rainfall, rainwater from storm drains can flow into the CSS, causing Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). This overflow of untreated water exits the system at various overflow points on the banks of the James River and Gillies Creek.

You can learn more about CSOs and Richmond’s CSO control program at and learn how we can work together to achieve cleaner water faster at

City Participates in National Flood Insurance Rating System

Flooding is the most common natural disaster. Flooding can happen anywhere, especially in low-lying areas near streams and rivers. In 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston caused $130 million in property damage and nine people died. The City of Richmond urges everyone to be aware of the risk and what you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property.

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program sponsored by the National Flood Insurance Program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It promotes and encourages community floodplain management activities that go above and beyond what is required.

For each activity that educates citizens about flood awareness, how to protect themselves and their property and the benefits of flood insurance, flood insurance policy holders receive a discount.

If you are in a special flood hazard area (SFHA), you may be required to carry flood insurance. Basic home owners insurance does not cover flooding. There are several ways to find out if you are at risk. Floodplain maps are available for viewing on the City of Richmond’s website

For more information about the CRS program

Or you can contact the Water Resources Division at 646-7586.

There are many ways you can help reduce your risk. Purchase or build homes away from high risk flooding areas. “Turn Around Don’t Drown” when streets are flooded rather than drive through standing water. Protect waterways by not dumping trash or tires in streams or creeks. Remember “Only Rain in the Drain” prevents trash accumulations in storm drains from creating localized flooding on streets. Be safe Richmond!

RVA Impact Map displays projects (i.e. gas, water, paving, etc.), events (i.e. parades, races, block parties, etc.) and right of way impacts (i.e. detours, partial and full lane closures, barricades, parking restrictions, etc.) as an interactive map for informational and navigational purposes. Data displayed is refreshed as changes are made.

Contact Information:

Public Utilities
City of Richmond
900 E. Broad St.,
Room 115
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
Map It
Phone: (804)646-4646
Interested in learning about how our award winning water is treated and transported to your home or how the water that leaves your home is treated and placed back into the James River? Request a tour of our Water Treatment Plant or Wastewater Treatment Plant. Click here to fill out the form.

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