Maintaining the flow with Aqua’s maintenance and repair crews

 

Water, for the most part, seems to be fairly ubiquitous.

Think about it. We shower with water, we drink water, we cook with water, and we clean with water.

But, believe it or not, there’s actually quite a bit of work and maintenance that goes into supplying all that water.

From underground wells and pipes to treatment facilities and tanks, our drinking water goes through a lot of hoops and hurdles to get to us. Not to mention how much goes into the purification process to ensure we are delivering safe, reliable water.

So, what happens when there's a sudden service disruption? Like when there’s a power outage. Or a big storm. Or a water main break

While it’s no fun to experience some of these disturbances, Aqua has a talented team that carefully monitors and carries out our daily operations so you can go about your life with the water you need.

We’ve got your back

Overall, Aqua operates 2,738 treatment facilities, with locations in Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas, says Justin Kauffman, director of asset management and field services at Aqua.

In most of our states, Aqua has a centralized maintenance crew that we deploy whenever there’s a system issue. Over in Texas, however, they do things a bit differently. Unlike the other states that have a large maintenance hub, Aqua Texas is comprised of many small, rural water systems spread out over a large geographic area. So, in order to meet such a high demand, Aqua employs numerous contractors in Texas to stay on top of all the maintenance and repairs.

To better understand about the upkeep and maintenance of all of the water systems and equipment, we spoke with Dan Rimann, vice president of operations and engineering at Aqua Texas.

Finding the problem

First, whenever there’s a glitch in a water delivery system, it’s necessary to figure out what’s going on.

This can be difficult as most of the equipment we use is located underground, after all. On top of that, it can be tricky to know what equipment is your responsibility as a customer, and what is Aqua’s.

 

For example, Aqua is responsible for the company service line, curb stop, and meter, while the customer service line, meter pit, pressure reducing valve, and the backflow preventer are upkept by Aqua’s customers.

When Aqua experiences a glitch, most often it is a maintenance issues occurring in our water distribution systems, specifically with the pipes, which are responsible for collecting water from ground and surface sources and transporting them to your home.

“In Texas, the majority of pipe breaks are caused by the ground shifting during long periods of hot, dry weather — think drought-like conditions,” Rimann told us.

 

Fixing the glitch

According to Rimann, most of the piping we have in the ground is small diameter plastic pipe, which can be affected under by extreme weather conditions.

When a pipe breaks, we quickly assess the damage and send out a repair crew to get things back in order.  Most of the time, this entails installing a repair clamp in the pipe or sleeving in a new section of pipe.

And while we may not be able to predict when, exactly, these issues will occur, we know our maintenance and repair teams will work quickly so you (and your water) get back to business as usual.  

Thanks for tuning in to another step of our Aquastructure journey. We’ll see you next time!

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Aqua’s commitment to customer experience

 

By Aqua Chairman & CEO Chris Franklin

In October of each year, thousands of companies across the United States and around the world celebrate Customer Service Week to acknowledge the effort of employees who work in the field of customer service. Proclaimed a nationally recognized designation by the U.S. Congress more than 25 years ago, CSW provides us at Aqua an opportunity to honor our incredible employees who work tirelessly each day to provide an excellent experience for our customers, both directly and behind the scenes.

We have a terrific group of talented employees on our Aqua Customer Operations team who are deeply dedicated to effectively engaging with customers each day. These employees carry on a commitment that has been fundamental to our company’s 130-plus year history—so important to Aqua, in fact, that it is an essential element of our company’s vision.  

 

And while we rely on these team members to serve on the front lines of our customer service efforts, we know excellent customer experience requires a company-wide commitment. Our entire workforce is responsible for helping to carry out Aqua’s customer service vision.

Fortunately, we have more than 1,600 employees across our footprint who are dedicated to protecting and providing earth’s most precious resource for our customers, with integrity, respect and excellence. They work toward continuously improving our customer experience  through diligent maintenance on our infrastructure that ensures reliability and avoids service interruptions; testing at Aqua Labs and throughout our service territories to search for potential contaminants in our water supply; enabling the WaterSmart suite of e-billing, alerts and tips that help customers pay bills, learn of service interruptions; responding to customer service requests via  social media through our Aqua social team; and educating customers with campaigns that provide tips including how to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease during the holidays to prevent clogs, water conservation suggestions and how to avoid frozen pipes during cold months.

As part of our ongoing commitment to customers, we have an obligation to constantly improve our processes to respond to changing customer expectations.

This CSW, we celebrate our company’s ongoing commitment to customer service, an incredible ACO team and a workforce that is wholeheartedly dedicated to providing the best possible experience for all Aqua customers.

 

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