Water authorities in the capital city of the United States face an interesting decision (ish) - should a non-bill-paying White House be cut off from water supply? The Board of Directors of DC Water is currently considering the point at which supply to a customer may be cut off for non-payment of bills. The notable customer owes $16.5 Million USD - it's the shuttered federal government of the US and its Washington DC facilities, including the republic's executive mansion.
Could this be another fallout from the US government shutdown, now entering its fourth week?
The question has arisen as Matthew Brown, CFO, has received notice from the Treasury Department that $5 Million USD will be withheld this quarter. (Law & Crime.)
While some of the debate surrounding the question appears to be a joke, it was decided that the White House (despite some thoughts to the contrary) does not enjoy any special customer consideration—it is not above the “law”.
“Conceivably, DC Water can shut off service for nonpayment to any customer,” DC Water spokesperson Vincent Morris said. “We don’t do it very often, it’s a last resort, we never want to do it.” “[the government shut down] would probably be, just off the top of my head, approximately a year before [non payment] begins to be a real problem,” Morris said.
Curiously, though, DC Water buys their water from the federally-owned Washington Aqueduct, a treatment plant run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That means that while DC Water may be able to shut off the White House’s water, the White House could also cut off DC'’s entire supply.