Testing the Waters: Will You Focus on Compliance or Equity?
Posted on September 19, 2018
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The Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article exploring a powerful question when it comes to public understanding of the quality of drinking water in our homes.
“‘I think there’s a distinction between being compliant and being equitable,’ said Bianca Butts, manager of climate resiliency and sustainability at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Butts also serves on the US Water Alliance’s Cleveland Water Equity Taskforce.
That larger water testing conversation, she said, can create an opportunity for education and awareness in neighborhoods and also for larger institutions to show they can be more transparent and more proactive in establishing trust as a two-way path.”
While there is an active national conversation about how the current Lead and Copper Rule should be modernized, we see forward-thinking utilities creating programs that address customers’ concerns and needs. For instance, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority began offering free lead tests to ensure anyone, regardless of income level, had access to know what was in their water. Not only was this a service to the customer, but the data collected helped Pittsburgh refresh their Lead and Copper Rule sites and make informed decisions as they embarked on their Lead Service Line replacement project.
Ultimately, the offering of a free customer request program is the right step to show the value of water and that you, as a utility are thinking beyond bare minimum compliance.