Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
Faced with aging infrastructure and lack of funding, many systems are likely to turn to service rate increases to address pressing needs.
Although many water and sewer authorities are making an effort to connect with their customers in the form of public outreach programs, our industry still finds it difficult to explain to customers why their rates may go up to cover the costs of plant expansions and infrastructure improvements.
Unfortunately, consumers are not likely to dip into their pockets unless they can see a direct benefit. They need to feel confident that their questions, concerns and problems will be properly addressed.
Simple steps, such as frequently asked questions posted on your website, important water-saving tips or notifications of water emergencies that may result in service disruptions, can make a difference.