Situation Analysis: In 2013, the EPA changed notification and outreach requirements regarding water quality reporting. What used to be mandatory to deliver by mail to every water user now offers an option to deliver via website if specific stipulations are met. As with many utilities, the City of Snohomish, Pasco and Nortlake TX, wanted to make the change to save in printing and postage but was hesitant due to requirements of notifying every user, not just every account. Each city had different concerns and issues and therefore each solution ended up being a bit different; customized to best fit their water customers.
Brunswick Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission, GA: BGJWSC had traditionally done the minimum and posted a black and white copy of the legal language and table on their website. They then notified customers through a newspaper ad that the report was available online. This did satisfy the EPA requirements. Yet, black and white, unbranded communications are not read as much, nor do they represent the hard work and professionalism the utility exemplifies by offering clean water day in and day out for the community. Therefore, Goldstreet offered a new look and feel to their report and newspaper ad while meeting the requirements of online reporting.
City of Snohomish, WA: Snohomish wanted very clear tracking and recording that each user had been notified of the change and that reports were now available online so their solution resulted in a postcard being sent to customers notifying them of the direct link to the online report. They were also notified to call if they’d like a full report mailed to them. This saved in postage and printing because instead of full reports being printed, a small post card was the printed along with about 10% of their normal full water quality reports.
North Lake, Texas: The City of North Lake TX wanted to ensure every water user was notified but also wanted to save paper, time and money by not mailing out a full report. Therefore, to save on the biggest expense, postage, Goldstreet offered a bill insert as a notification tool and then developed a customized online report. The insert was branded to match the report so customers recognized it based on the insert they had already received. By mailing it out; requirements of the EPA were met with notification of the water quality report to every water user.