Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Albert Hill Middle School Students Mark Drains

One of Stormwater's community projects is to affix markers on drains reminding people that the water in the drain travels back to the river and only rain should go into the drain, not litter, trash, and yard waste. Stormwater recruits community groups and volunteers to help mark the thousands of drains around town. Here students from Albert Hill Middle School pitch in on a spring day in March.

MetroCare Golf Tournament is Fri. May 19 at Providence Golf Course

The MetroCare program was designed to provide bill-paying assistance to eligible families that have special needs or who are experiencing a hardship during the winter heating season. Recipients of MetroCare live within the Richmond Department of Public Utilities’ service area.

The program began in 1999, started by a dedicated group of DPU employees in an effort to help meet the needs of customers who were experiencing problems paying their heating bills. They organized MetroCare’s flagship event, the MetroCare Golf Tournament -- scheduled for May 19 this year -- to provide an additional source of funding for the MetroCare program.

Additional funding for MetroCare comes from DPU customer bill contributions, contributions through the United Way campaign, the DPU Matching Funds Program, DPU Friday Jeans Day, and individual and/or company donations.

MetroCare is administered by the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg and its partner agencies (Capital Area Network Uplifting People and The Salvation Army). It is listed as a qualified agency through which donations are accepted in the annual United Way campaign. The agency code is 0246.

All donations are used to aid in the payment of primary home heating bills that may include, but are not limited to, natural gas, oil, electricity, propane, wood, coal or water (hot or steam) and disbursed under the program from December 15 to April 30.

No funds contributed to MetroCare are used for administrative expenses. After expenses, the 2015 MetroCare Golf Tournament raised $18,823.18, bringing the year-to-date total to $260,347.09.

Since its inception, and through March 2016, MetroCare has raised more than $749,142 and assisted more than 2,373 families. This includes $267,250.41 provided by DPU through its Matching Funds Program that was established during the 2005-06 program period, as well as the MetroCare Golf Tournament funds raised.s.

We Accept Donations!

DPU employees and other donors provide support to MetroCare through DPU-sponsored events such as the spring golf tournament and other special event fundraisers. Additional support is provided by customers through donations made through their utility bills and from contributions to the annual United Way Campaign (agency code #246). Direct contributions can be made by sending a check to DPU/MetroCare, 730 E. Broad Street, 6th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219.

How to Apply:

Application Period:  December 15 - April 30

1. Whose eligible? Any person who lives in the DPU service area who have a combined household  I
     income equal to or less than 225 percent times the federal poverty guideline, or who are
     unemployed, or who have a demonstrated family crisis, may receive MetroCare assistance.

2. Persons must be determined by an authorized intake and disbursing Agency (see agencies below)
    to meet eligibility guidelines.

3. Participants must first have used any federal/state/fuel assistance, EnergyShare or other similar
    program, or have been determined ineligable for such programs.

4. MetroCare will pay one bill payment of last resort up to $500 per heating season.

If your income falls below the Federal Poverty Guidelines, you are unemployed, or have a family crisis, apply at one of the following locations:

Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People (CAPUP)
1021 Oliver Hill Way
(9:30 a.m.- Noon and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.)

Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command
2 W. Grace St.
(804) 225-7470
(8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.)

For more information, call DPU's Customer Care (804) 646-7000

How to Participate:

Date:  Friday, May 19, 2017.

Time: 12 p.m.  Shot-Gun Tee-Off

Location:  Providence Golf Course
                  1160 South Providence Road
                  Richmond, VA

Cost: $80 entry fee includes green fees, cart, prizes and cookout and awards ceremony afterward.

In addition to donations from sponsors and players, individuals and businesses are welcome to make tax-deductible contributions that will go directly to the MetroCare program.

To register for this year’s event, or for donation information, call 646-1120 or e-mail

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Water Smells and Tastes Like Bleach

Occasionally we receive calls from customers complaining that their water smells or tastes like bleach. People often associate the smell of chlorine with bleach. Chlorine is added to public water systems as a disinfectant to eliminate any possibility of waterborne disease. Small traces of chlorine in your water is not harmful and is actually required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

If it is too much for your taste, try boiling your tap water or chilling it in the refrigerator. Both methods will remove the bleach smell. Filtered water coolers or pitchers with carbon filters will remove the smell and taste of chlorine. You can also install carbon filters at the tap.

Sensitivity to the odor of chlorine varies among consumers, so you may find your water disagreeable, but your neighbors may not notice.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Customer Photos

Customer Dannita Trice stores tap water in the refrigerator to refill her own water bottles instead of buying bottles of water.
Teresa Strickler's cat Stormy helps her recycle.
Customer Aaron Bond discards his cooking grease in the trash can, not down the drain.

Customer Mark Meier uses heat vented from baking to make his own yogurt on his natural gas stove.

Steve Perky never pours any leftover water down the drain. His family saves it all to water the plants, "like indoor rain barrels."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Customer Photos

Customer Candy Buchanan uses this bin next to her trash can for recycling. "I've found this to be the easiest way to collect recycling since it's so close to my trash can. I take my recycling to our local fire station drop-off bin. I always have so much more to recycle than I do trash."
Customer Molly Brannan makes loose leaf tea for her children and herself on her natural gas stove.

Jerri Buford wanted recycling containers that went with her kitchen decor. These are recycled fabric storage vessels from England. The one labeled P is for paper and PL for plastics.

Jeff Morley's son Jack recycles.

Jeff Morley's son Jack smells the foul odor of natural gas.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Update on the Church Hill Water Tank Replacement

The city is replacing the five million gallon ground storage Church Hill tank located at 714 N. 30th Street between 29th, 30th, M and N streets. The tank holds drinking water provided directly to customers.

The existing tank was built in 1954 and has been in service 61 years, reaching the end of its useful life. Replacement work involves building a new tank and demolishing the old tank once the new one is in service. The new tank is anticipated to be south of the existing tank, behind the Church Hill Pump Station building.

Construction of the new tank's concrete foundation has been completed and construction of the tank walls is expected to start this month (March 2017) and take about six months to complete.

The construction will be within a fenced area and public access will not be allowed due to safety considerations. Full use and access to the Ethyl B. Furman Park remains unchanged. Some short-term lane closures will be needed. Lane closures will be scheduled for minimal disruption during peak traffic hours.

During construction, on-street parking on N. 30th between M and N streets will be restricted on the northwest side, closest to the tank. Lane closures and restricted parking may span over multiple days and weekends. Signs will be posted two days before work starts.