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The original item was published from 5/6/2022 5:07:19 PM to 5/18/2022 6:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: May 10, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday's Water Wisdom

Tuesday's Water Wisdom

 Water Treatment Plant Logo 

 For Immediate Release:  5-10-2022

For more information contact: 

Keri Navratil

712-732-8000

navratil@stormlake.org 


Tuesday’s Water Wisdom

Storm Lake Water Wisdom #52 brought to you this fine Tuesday from the City of Storm Lake involves Customer Satisfaction.


At the Storm Lake Water Department, the onslaught of water main breaks that the previous winter brought is behind us and spring hydrant-flushing and water treatment plant maintenance items are in full swing. Just another day, week, or season in the life of a water operator, right? Maybe. Each day, every decision at the water treatment plant is made with the goal of providing sufficient safe, clean drinking water to satisfy the needs of the community that we serve in the most efficient ways possible. All of this said, while striving to accomplish this mission of supplying high quality drinking water, the Storm Lake Water Department operates in the real world and faces the same COVID-19, tight labor market, supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures, and other current challenges that every business is experiencing. Additionally, increasingly stringent federal drinking water regulations, new federal rules, cyber threats, and the extended drought period also add to the complexity of operating the water utility. Changes in the water utility sector, just like the rest of the world are coming fast. 


A recent J.D. Power survey released on May 4, 2022, measured 2022 U.S. Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction in water utilities that serve at least 400,000 customers and found that customer satisfaction with water utilities dropped when compared to the survey results from the previous year. While the City of Storm Lake Water Department serves a much lower population than the utilities in this survey, it is not a stretch of the imagination to consider that these opinions may, at least partially, translate to smaller water utilities such as Storm Lake. Six factors were reviewed in the survey. These factors were delivery, price, conservation, billing and payment, communications, and customer service. Customer satisfaction declined in every factor of the survey, but the declines were largest in communications and price. Storm Lake water rates remain in the bottom half of water rates of comparably sized cities in Iowa even with the recent increase in an ordinance that passed the first reading at the May 2, 2022 City Council meeting. Communications are something that every organization struggles with and continuously tries to improve, and Storm Lake is no exception.


While the survey results do not offer specific actions a water utility can take to improve their level of customer satisfaction, it does give an insight into what customers are thinking which in turn gets the water utility considering what they can do to improve, and this continuous effort to get better and more efficient is what drives a water utility forward. For more information, please visit www.stormlake.org or contact City Hall at 712-732-8000. The survey results can be viewed at: www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-water-utility-residential-customer-satisfaction-study. 

 


  

Tuesday's Water Wisdom

More tips regarding voluntary water conservation measures and tips for reducing water consumption will follow each Tuesday.  Ensuring wise use of our water resources is in the best interest of the community. 


Being Storm Lake Proud is not one day, one week, one month, or one event.  Being Storm Lake Proud is a magnificent lifestyle!  More information about the City of Storm Lake can be found on the city’s website at www.stormlake.org.

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