Latest Insights On Consumer Outreach

  1. Trailblazing Efforts In Utility-Community Relations
    7/9/2018

    Traditionally (and unfortunately), contact between water providers and their customers has been mostly negative. Utilities might only share news on rate hikes, health advisories, service or traffic disruptions, etc., and typically only hear from customers who have a complaint. However, there are utilities with great reputations and relationships in the communities they serve; and the key to their success, besides providing excellent service, is a focus on positive communication.

  2. A Model For Drinking Water Utilities
    5/4/2018

    There is a lot of talk in the water sector about the "value of water". We want the public to understand it — and pay for water's full cost, including collection, treatment, and delivery — but how many utilities really know the value of their own product? Would you ever think about branding it? Louisville Water Company did.

  3. Leveraging Federal Funds To Aid Local Sewer Improvements
    2/27/2018

    Inflow and infiltration (I&I) are ongoing concerns for many wastewater utilities. Even with diligent maintenance of infrastructure, there are limits to what can be controlled. One example of that is leakage in the lateral service lines connecting the sewer utility’s main to sewer customer buildings. Here is how one municipality took advantage of federal and local funding to encourage nearly 2,500 customers to upgrade deficient connections in their lateral service lines — to the tune of more than $4 million.

  4. Lessons From DC Water’s Rock Star, George Hawkins
    1/31/2018

    In just eight years at DC Water, which provides drinking water, sewage collection, and sewage treatment in Washington, D.C., serving more than 600,000 residents, George Hawkins transformed the utility from insular and guarded to open and innovative.

  5. How To Plan For Utility Disasters
    11/9/2017

    A utility in Indiana has bolstered its emergency planning by pretending one really did take place.

  6. How To Convince Ratepayers That It’s Time For AMI
    10/24/2017

    Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) can be a critical tool for water utilities as they look to improve efficiency. But AMI projects often run into obstacles set by the public at large. A new study looks at ways that utilities can get their ratepayers on board with AMI.

  7. B&V Talks CBP3s — Community-Based Public-Private Partnerships — For Stormwater Management
    10/24/2017

    Andrew Smith is the Watershed, Stormwater, and Flood Management Practice Lead at Black & Veatch, and was therefore a timely interview subject in the wake of hurricanes and storm damage still fresh in the minds of attendees at WEFTEC 2017.

  8. Fixing What Ails The Water Industry: Water Talk With WEF's Executive Director
    10/20/2017

    Water Online had the pleasure of chatting with Eileen O'Neill, executive director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), in the midst of the organization's premier event, WEFTEC — the world's largest annual water quality exhibition. O'Neill talks about the mission of WEF in the face of numerous industry challenges, and how WEFTEC helps to advance that mission. Among the issues discussed were how to replace a retiring workforce and how to maintain — and sometimes restore — public confidence in municipal water operations. 

  9. Moving Water Reuse Forward
    10/20/2017

    Andrew Gilmore, Vice President at Carollo Engineers, gives his perspective on water issues out West, where water scarcity has posed both challenge and opportunity. A licensed PE in Arizona, New Mexico, and California, Gilmore discusses the evolution of water reuse from both a technological and societal standpoint.

  10. In It Together: Water Pros Share Problems And Solutions
    8/25/2017

    You might say that there’s a lot wrong with the water industry — problems including infrastructure, financing, and scarcity — but there’s also a lot going right. In this Q&A, Water Environment Federation (WEF) President Rick Warner is a source of insight and optimism.