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Note from WSSC Meeting 10/13/2016
Town of Cheverly
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Officials from WSSC attended the Town of Cheverly’s Work Session on 10/13/2016 to discuss a number of topics ranging from Brown Water, Leaking Fire Hydrants, Water Bills and Road Projects in town.  The entire conversation can be viewed via the internet @ http://cheverlymd.swagit.com/play/10142016-588.  As you know, all recordings of all town meetings can be found on the Cheverly Website. 

 

The following Frequently Asked Questions summarize the content of the meeting.   It should be noted that WSSC consistently spoke to the fact that their customer service processes needed significant improvement, and that recent organizational changes made by the new CEO Carla Reid are focused specifically at improving customer service.  Many of our questions focused on communication and timeliness, and WSSC readily admitted that improvements were required. 

 

Discolored Water:

1)    Why have certain residents experienced discolored water conditions? 

WSSC has replaced a significant number of pipes in the community, which has increased flow in our water pipes.  The increased flow has in some cases dislodged particles in the pipes that cause the water to be discolored. 

 

2)    Is this discolored water safe to drink? 

WSSC clearly stated that they consider any discolored water scenario a serious problem that needs to be addressed.  However, the water is actually safe. 

 

3)    Why did it take so long to address the issues that were raised in the Euclid Ave area? 

Typically in a situation like this WSSC flushes the pipes by opening fire hydrants to clean out the particles.  Every time there were contacted they followed there standard process.  Unfortunately, there was never any closed loop communication and the problem was handled each time as a new issue. 

 

As it turns out WSSC now attributes the issues to the fact that valves at different intersections were closed, not allowing the water to flow correctly.  The valves have been opened, and WSSC committed to addressing the lack of a closed loop communication on discolored water issues. 

 

4)    How frequently is water tested and is this done locally in our area?

WSSC tests water throughout their system weekly, and to date there has never been a water quality issue identified in their pipes.  Water Quality is tested at a water main on Kenilworth Avenue.  Water problems have been found in homes, but have been attributed to told pipes from the system to the home. 

 

Fire Hydrants:

 

1)    Why was the Fire Hydrant open for so long on Euclid Street? 

This hydrant was left open to address the discolored water issue.  Escalation processes were not utilized, and given they had turned the hydrant off and on many times they simply left it open. 

 

2)    Does leaving Fire Hydrants open affect the bills of neighbors in the area? 

No! Each customer has their own water meter any loss of water from a fire hydrant or burst pipe occurs on the other side of your meter.  Loss of processed water is handled as an administrative cost on a company wide level.  The administrative cost of “un-billed water” is 17%.  WSSC is working to address this metric.

 

3)    Does chlorinated water enter our waterways via storm drains causing danger to wildlife?

No!  WSSC treats the water so that when it enters the atmosphere it is de-chlorinated.  Therefore, water leaving the hydrants is not polluting our streams!

 

BILLING:

 

1)    What types of Audits does WSSC have prior to delivering invoices to customers? 

WSSC has limited audits of invoices prior to bill delivery.   WSSC recognized that their customer service process for customers with billing problems needs improvement. 

 

2)    Does WSSC charge to re-read your water meter? 

WSSC does not charge a fee for re-reading you meter, however they do have a charge if you request them to inspect your home to identify any leaks.  WSSC does presume that when a water bill is high there is a leak somewhere in the home owner’s side of the water meter. 

 

3)    Can the policy of demanding payment prior to processing a customer complaint be changed? 

WSSC indicated that all policies are being reviewed and thanked the council for all of the suggestions that were made. 

 

4)    The council asked if WSSC would accept a batch of complaints compiled by the town to determine if there were any systematic issues here in Cheverly? 

WSSC agreed that they would look at all issues assembled by the council to see if there were any common threads they could find. 

 

Projects

 

1)    Cheverly Avenue: Are there any remaining issues? 

Yes, there are some minor issues that need to be addressed by the subcontractor prior to repaving the road.  WSSC is attempting to accelerate this action.

 

2)    Laurel Avenue: Why has this taken so long?

WSSC is waiting on a contractor to complete issues, prior to repaving.  At this point WSSC and the contractor are in negotiations regarding the fixes.  WSSC does not want to pave until the fixes are complete.  



 
Cheverly Executive Offices:   6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785  (301) 773-8360
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