Santa Fe’s water utility billing and customer service division is under new management as part of an effort to address customer complaints resulting from the replacement of the City’s decade-old defective data transmitting devices that failed to record all of the water consumed by customers.
Public Utilities and Water Division Director, Nick Schiavo has taken on the duties of day-to-day oversight of billing and customer service as the City works proactively to catch errors and make adjustments to water bills before they are sent to customers.
The utility division has also created a dedicated hotline, open during business hours at, (505) 955-4336, and a dedicated email address email@example.com for customers with billing concerns. Calls and emails received before 2 p.m. will be handled that day and those received after 2 p.m. will be handled the following day.
“The City recently became aware that nearly 3,000 accounts installed with the new meter system had fallen behind in our data entry system, creating a backlog that had to be manually entered,” Schiavo said. “It is a problem that we are working aggressively to fix. I understand our customers’ frustrations and we are confident the measures we are taking will send a loud and clear message that we are here to help.”
The backlog required the City to postpone billing for one month, or four billing cycles, and many customers will now receive two bills in the month of February for both December and January. The due dates listed on the bills are not accurate. Customers have three weeks from the date of receipt of their bill to make their payment. The City anticipates being caught up in March.
Once all 32,000 water meters have been installed, the City will be able to identify consumption trends and the top 1,000 leaks and proactively contact and work with customers before they receive their bill. Customers will also be able to keep tabs on their own water use and will be able to see their daily and hourly water use, receive an alert notification to immediately address trouble spots long before their billing.
The figures at left shows a comparison of water use, by hour, at two Santa Fe homes that have the new meter system installed. The first graph shows a normal trend of water use during the day. On the second graph, however, the water use data shows a continuous flow throughout the day which may be indicative of a leak or water that’s been left running.
The new meter system will allow customers to see their water use data in near real time, helping them catch leaks or other issues long before it shows up on their bill.
For more information on how to detect and fix leaks or install water saving devices, please visit Saving Water at Home.
Visit the City’s Utility Billing and Customer Service website for updates and information about the meter installation project.