Delivering much more than water service

Denver Water’s customer service field crew makes 90,000 house calls a year.

December 28, 2017 | By: Jay Adams

Being a water service provider means much more to Denver Water than delivering safe drinking water to more than 1 million people in the Denver metro area.

That’s why Denver Water has a customer service team out in the community, providing homes and businesses with in-person assistance when our customers need additional support.

“We’re on the go every day,” said Jim Rael, a 16-year customer service field technician at Denver Water. “Our team travels across the metro area to help people out.”

Rael is part of Denver Water’s field service team that visits more than 90,000 customer properties every year.

The field team gets called out for a variety of water service questions and concerns. For example, when a customer calls with an unusual spike in water consumption, the team will respond to search for water leaks or other potential problems.

Jim Rael, senior customer service field technician, meets with a Denver Water customer to check for leaks inside the home.
Jim Rael, senior customer service field technician, meets with a Denver Water customer to check for leaks inside the home.

“High bills are usually the result of some sort of water leak inside the home or business,” Rael said.

“One time we found a toilet that was leaking five gallons a minute, so it was a good thing we came out,” Rael said.

While most leaks involve toilets, field crews also find problems with irrigation systems, swamp coolers and faucets.

“Fixing leaks helps customers save money and water,” Rael said.

The field service team also installs taps for new customers to gain water service after a rebuild or new building needs to be connected to the water system. And, when a customer moves out and cancels their water service, the field team performs a final, manual meter read.

Denver Water’s customer call center receives about 900 calls a day, and when questions can’t be resolved over the phone, field team members are dispatched to investigate.

“I’ve met hundreds of people over the years,” Rael said. “We treat our customers the way we’d like to be treated ourselves.”

Denver Water added a central dispatch team in 2014 to improve communication, coordination and efficiency with field crews.

Jim Rael coordinates with Denver Water's central dispatch team throughout the day to maximize the number of customers he can visit.
Jim Rael coordinates with Denver Water’s central dispatch team throughout the day to maximize the number of customers he can visit.

“Each field technician can visit 15 to 30 customers a day,” Rael said. “Our dispatchers arrange our stops in the same part of town so we can spend more time visiting customers instead of sitting in traffic.”

Leaks aren’t always obvious, so Rael recommends customers always pay attention to their water bills to help identify potential issues. In fact, a leaking toilet pouring water down its outflow tube can easily waste 100 to 250 gallons per day – quickly increasing a water bill.

While it is the homeowner’s responsibility to fix any leaks on their service line or plumbing, the field service team is happy to identify potential issues.

“We’re always here to help,” Rael said. “It’s a good feeling to know we’ve helped someone with something as important as their water.”

Customers with questions about their water service or bills can call Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444 or send an email. The call center is open during regular business hours: Monday – Friday, from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

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