As a customer-owned utility, the safety of M.U.D.'s customers and employees is a top priority so we can continue to reliably deliver natural gas and water services. Sharing information about what we're doing to reduce the risk of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) exposure is critical.
As part of our emergency preparedness plans, we activated a multi-level response plan to proactively address the situation. M.U.D. is following its Business Continuity Plan as it relates to pandemic preparedness, and is working closely with local, state and federal agencies.
We have plans in place to support our business operations. In addition, many of our employees are cross-trained to provide support to essential operations.
M.U.D. does not expect this health outbreak to disrupt service to our customers.
- First and foremost, coronavirus has not been shown to be a water borne disease and our water distribution system has not been compromised.
- We use multiple barriers of protection from pathogens including disinfection and filtration that remove viruses and other contaminants.
- M.U.D. delivers only the highest quality water and meets all state and federal drinking water standards, which is detailed in our annual Water Quality Report available here.
- Our dedicated team of water quality experts are continually monitoring the water system. Water samples are checked routinely over 1,000 times a day to ensure a safe supply for all the communities we serve.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages the continued use of tap water, as COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water supplies. EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. COVID-19 is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective. Updated information from EPA on COVID-19 can be found here.
Customer service branch closed until further notice
For the safety of our customers and employees, M.U.D. is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and asking customers to use alternate pay options to avoid person-to-person contact. The downtown customer service branch is closed until further notice. We encourage customers to do business online or via email and phone. Here are additional ways to pay your bill:
- Pay online
- Call Customer Service at 402.554.6666 or toll-free at 800.732.5864 and use the automated system.
- Mail check to M.U.D.
- Use drop boxes for cash payments at the Operations Center, 3100 S. 61st Ave., Gate 1, or the Energy Plaza drop box near 16th and Harney St. (north side of building).
Disconnections, late payment charges
Metropolitan Utilities District understands times have been difficult and has taken steps to assist its customers during the coronavirus crisis. On March 17, disconnections of gas and water services for non-payment were deferred to ensure customers had access to life-sustaining resources. To further assist customers, late payment charges were suspended beginning April 13.
As the nation slowly begins to reopen, M.U.D. is taking a slow approach in resuming disconnections and late payment charges:
- Starting with the invoices dated July 6 and after, late payment charges will recommence if they are not paid by the due date on that bill.
- Gas disconnections will resume August 3.
- The District’s priority is to ensure customers continue to stay safe and have access to water during this trying time. Water disconnections will resume no sooner than September 1.
Payment arrangements, financial assistance
M.U.D. is ready to assist all commercial and residential customers with past due balances. Customers are asked to call 402.554.6666 to make a payment or discuss payment arrangements. They also can pay online at www.mudomaha.com.
For residential customers in need of financial assistance, they should contact the Nebraska Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at 800.383.4278 or apply online with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at Access Nebraska.
If customers are not eligible to receive assistance through DHHS, they are encouraged to call 402.554.6666 or visit www.mudomaha.com/homefund to determine eligibility through M.U.D.’s Home Fund, which was established to assist customers suffering severe financial hardships.
Don’t fall for scams. Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak to send fraudulent emails, texts and social media posts. Beware of scams asking for personal information or immediate payment, and never click on suspicious links or attachments. If you have questions related to your utility services, please contact us at 402.554.6666.
We understand that this situation can change, and we will continue to monitor city, county, state and federal guidelines to adjust and improve our response plan with the goal of protecting our staff and maintaining our core services to customers.
M.U.D. relies on its employees to deliver safe, reliable natural gas and water to the communities it serves. While M.U.D facilities are open, we are restricting access to essential personnel only. Out of an abundance of caution, we have implemented precautionary measures to ensure the timely and effective operation of our systems, including:
- Requiring employees to stay home if they have any form of illness that is contagious.
- To further ensure safety and reliability, the District took the proactive step of isolating staff members at its three water treatment facilities.
- Social distancing as a precaution, including:
- Cancellation of non-essential external meetings, community meetings, conferences and business travel.
- Limiting in-person meetings and instead using phone, video or web conferencing to collaborate.
- Working from home for those whose job functions allow remote access capabilities.
Increased cleaning of our facilities.
- Continued encouragement of good hygiene practices to stop the spread of germs.
- Requiring the use of face masks and hand sanitizer by employees, visitors and contractors when in District job sites, facilities and vehicles.
We are evaluating how to best balance employee and public safety with adherence to open meeting laws for M.U.D. board meetings moving forward. Meetings are recorded and posted on our website for the community to access.
Check our board meeting page for the latest information.
In addition, all tours, presentations and events by our Employee Speakers Bureau are currently cancelled until further notice. Our participation in educational and community events, including the mobile hydration station, is also discontinued.
We will post information here, including our news releases:
- July 2, 2020: Utility assistance gets a $4 million boost from CARES Act funding allocated by Douglas County
- June 30, 2020: M.U.D. to take slow approach in resuming disconnections and late payment charges, ready to assist customers with past-due balances
- May 1, 2020: M.U.D. announces launch of refreshed utility assistance program
- April 29, 2020: M.U.D. recommends customers flush plumbing lines when reopening buildings
- April 17, 2020: M.U.D. suspends late payment charges, disconnections during COVID-19
- April 1, 2020: M.U.D. releases annual water quality report; continues to provide safe, high-quality water
- March 18, 2020: M.U.D. provides update on COVID-19 response; April board of directors meeting delayed
- March 16, 2020: Downtown customer service branch closed until further notice
- March 12, 2020: M.U.D. responds to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19); following preparedness plans to ensure safety and reliability of services
- To learn more about COVID-19 and stay updated on the latest information, visit the City of Omaha's dedicated page: https://www.cityofomaha.org/coronavirus-covid-19-information.
- Visit the CDC website: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.