Thursday, June 29, 2017

Water Quality Report Now Available

The 2016 Consumer Confident Report on Richmond's water quality is now online.

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act requires water utilities to provide consumers with a yearly report on the source and quality of the water they drink. 
The state allows us to monitor for some substances less than once per year because the concentrations of these substances do not change frequently.
The Virginia Department of Health conducted a source water assessment of our system during 2002. The Richmond Water Treatment Plant was determined to be of high susceptibility to contamination, using criteria developed by the state in its EPA-approved Source Water Assessment Program. The assessment report consists of maps showing the source water assessment area, an inventory of known land use activities of concern, and documentation of any known contamination within the last five years from the date of assessment. This report is available by contacting the Department of Public Utilities at 646-5777.
This information is a snapshot of the city’s drinking water quality over the past few years. Included is information about your water, what it contains and how it compares with standards mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Health. This report is being provided to comply with the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act. Landlords, businesses and other property owners are encouraged to share this drinking water quality report with tenants.
For free additional copies or more information about your water and this report, call the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities at 646-5224 during normal business hours.
For information about public participation opportunities, visit the DPU website. Additionally, you may also visit the city of Richmond blog for meeting announcements.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Customer Photos

Customer Christine Williams' son Walker uses natural gas to make a "Depression meal" for his social studies project.

Kevin and Michele Harver show you should not dig before you call 811 to have underground utility lines marked.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Redd Elementary Teachers Talk about the Rain Barrel Contest



Order of appearance: Gay Stokes, City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities, Public Education and Outreach; teachers: (left) Heidi Parker, 5th grade science teacher, Jamie Twist, Exception Education.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Introducing Richmond Gas Works

It’s an exciting time to work at the City of Richmond, especially at the Department of Public Utilities! Moving forward, the natural gas utility will be known as Richmond Gas Works.

Why a new name?
It was time we looked at the service we provide with a more customer-focused, market-driven approach. We may be in the public sector but that shouldn’t preclude us from implementing some of the effective, business-building strategies used in the private sector. The reality is that our natural gas utility customers could walk away today and still have their energy needs met by electricity and other fuel sources like oil and propane. So, we need to focus on customer service and promote the many benefits of choosing natural gas in order to build preference for our services. Branding the natural gas utility is our mechanism to achieve a stronger, more agile, market-driven and customer-focused organization.

In addition, more than 70 percent of our customers reside in Henrico and in Chesterfield. The name Richmond Gas Works is reflective of our regional reach and speaks to all who call Richmond home.

Same service commitment to our customers.
We want you to know that this new name will not impact how customers interact with us on a daily basis. There will be no interruption of service. Account numbers will stay the same, and customers can pay their bill the same as they always have. Because many of you are also customers, we want you to remain confident in your natural gas service and help spread the word to others when you can.

Same organizational framework within DPU.
Organizationally, DPU has been here since 1851 when City Gas Works was created. We’ll retain our organizational structure around our five lines of business – natural gas, water, wastewater, storm water and streetlights.  Only the natural gas division will be known as Richmond Gas Works. 

Then, what’s different?
In the coming months, as part of the new brand, we’ll launch social media platforms, a new website (RichmondGasWorks.com), and rollout out a dedicated Richmond Gas Works customer service phone number (804-646-4646). Customers can choose to use the existing website and phone numbers they’re accustomed to – or can handle all their gas-related needs at the new options. As some of you already know, we’re starting to update employee uniforms to reflect the new brand and soon we’ll update our fleet.

Thank you for your work and service. We’re looking forward to this new chapter as Richmond Gas Works.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Making You Aware...Keeping You Safe!

The Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program of the City of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities is here to educate our customers and non-customers – all those who live, work, shop, worship or play near natural gas pipelines – about natural gas safety.

Watch this brief 17 minute video that will offer a brief history of the natural gas distribution system, and a detailed overview of the public awareness component of our overall safety program. Feel free to show it at your next neighborhood association meeting and let us know you watched it. DPU can get credit from our regulatory agencies for our Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program. The link to share is https://youtu.be/mAnmhQZYFKs


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Water Fill Station Rental

DPU has water fill stations for rent for various community events in the city of Richmond. These stations can supply the City's award-winning drinking water to your event attendees.

The free water supplied through the water fill stations is a great way to add value to your event. The stations have both drinking and spigot taps, suitable for a quick thirst quencher or to refill a water bottle. There's even a bottom spigot to collect water for dogs.

The stations are built of powder-coated steel and heavy duty plastic to withstand any weather, and nothing spills to create mud around the station. The molded splash pan catches the extra water and the drain hose moves it away from the fountain.

Water stations minimize waste and reduce clean-up by encouraging people to reuse their plastic water bottles. Use the stations to reduce your event's environmental footprint and promote sustainable practices.

The stations have been featured at the UCI Bike Race, Carytown Watermelon Festival, Bon Secours Washington Football Training Camp, and come with 10-foot flags so they can be easily located.

The requirements for a station are:

  • Event must be in the city of Richmond
  • Event must be family-friendly and open to the public
  • Event must occur during daylight hours
  • Desired station location must be within one foot of a fire hydrant, the water source for the unit
  • Desired station location must have adequate clearance for a service truck to deliver and remove it
  • The event promoter must have a $1 million general liability insurance policy that will cover the cost of repair and/or replacement of the station if they are damaged or destroyed during the event
  • Requests must be received at least three weeks in advance of the event
For more information or to submit a rental request, call 646-5200 or contact the Events Office, 646-0524.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Richmond Introduces New Utility Bill Format

Customers of the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will notice their bill format has received a facelift! The new bill format went out with the May 2017 utility bills. The new layout has been designed to provide more transparency, be easier to read, give historical information for comparison, and be more user-friendly and efficient for customers. All utility services, including natural gas, water, wastewater, stormwater, solid waste, and recycling services are featured on one bill.

“Improving the lives of our customers is at the heart of DPU. This new format will help customers understand their usage and manage their bill,” said DPU Director Bob Steidel.

The new design is in direct response to customer feedback and best management practices from other utility companies. Only the newly formatted design has changed; everything else regarding your public utility bills and payments will remain the same. You may continue to pay your bill using the following options: 
  • Automated Utility Payment Plan (AUPP) that allows customers to receive a paper bill and authorize DPU to deduct the monthly utility charges from their checking or savings account when the bill is due. 
  • Online bill payment at www.RichmondGov.com/DPU 
  • In-person at City Hall in Room 115, 900 E. Broad Street, East District at 701 North 25th Street, or Southside Community Center at 4100 Hull Street.
  • Payment drop box at City Hall after hours located on 10th Street between Broad and Marshall streets. 
  • Western Union – Over 100 payment locations throughout the city of Richmond and Henrico County. (Locations available on DPU’s web site) 
  • Mail your bill to City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities, P.O. Box 26060, Richmond, VA 23274-0001 
DPU has a variety of ways for customers to manage and pay their utility bills. The EMPP (Equal Monthly Payment Plan) calculates and divides residential customer utility bill charges into 12 equal monthly installments, so no surprises. 

Please continue to contact the 3-1-1 Call Center at 311 (for customers within the City of Richmond) or DPU Customer Care at (804) 646-7000 with any questions regarding your bill. Utility bills continue to be due within 30 days of receipt. If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the bill will be due the next business day.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

DPU Makes Adjustments to Streetlight Performance Metrics

Several factors are contributing to a longer response time from the Streetlighting Division of the City
of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Customers can expect the following response times when calling to report streetlight outages:
  • 15 days: Initial response, assessment and evaluation
  • 16–30 days: Repair of general outage repair time for issues that do not involve infrastructure
  • 90–180 days: Repair of outages that involve infrastructure issues
“DPU’s streetlighting department is working to manage expectations until we are able to augment the above-mentioned factors. We expect this to be a temporary situation,” said DPU Director Robert Steidel.

The reporting mechanism for streetlight outages is the same. Streetlight outages may be called in directly to DPU’s City Streetlight division at (804) 646-8555, into DPU’s Customer Care Center at (804) 646-7000, or 3-1-1 for Richmond city residents. Information about streetlight outages may also be placed in RVAOne by visiting richmondgov.com and clicking on the RVAOne logo on the top right side of the page.