Report: More than 500,000 US households had water cut off

October 24, 2018 - 4:08 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A nonprofit says it has conducted a first-of-its-kind survey that shows more than a half-a-million American households lost water service two years ago because they couldn't pay.

The report released Wednesday by the Washington-based advocacy group Food & Water Watch says more than 1.4 million people living in those homes at least temporarily lost water service for nonpayment in 2016. The group sought shut-off records for residential customers that year from the two largest water providers in each state.

Food & Water Watch says some places have shutoff rates of 10 percent or higher, including Oklahoma City, Detroit, New Orleans and Springdale, Arkansas. But utilities in big cities including Chicago and Dallas say they had shut-off rates of 1 percent or lower.

The report notes that higher shutoff rates are frequently seen in cities with many poor people and large minority populations.

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