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Your chance to give feedback to PUC

Tuesday, April 22, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

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PUC customers will be asked to provide valuable feedback as part of the new Water Quality Improvement Project (the Project) that is already in progress.

This May, Ipsos Reid, the national public opinion research firm, will be conducting a customer satisfaction survey of randomly selected PUC customers.

The purpose of the survey is to establish a measurement of customer satisfaction as stages of the Project are implemented.

“Over the past few months our engineering team has been busy laying the ground work for the first stage of the Project which is now underway.” says Dominic Parrella, President and CEO PUC Services Inc.

The first step in Stage 1 of the Project announced this past February involves the eventual removal of the Lorna Wells from day-to-day service.

This first requires completion of upgrades to the Steelton Well, which are presently underway.

The second step involves the addition of two advanced treatment methods into the treatment and distribution systems.

Once fully implemented by end of 2014, this stage of the Project would address the main concerns of PUC customers regarding the colour, taste and odour of their water.

“There is a strong possibility that with the completion of Stage 1 the objectionable taste, odor and colour issues will be resolved.” says Parrella. “This is why we are looking for the public’s help through the customer survey". The Ipsos Reid survey that will run sometime in May will provide PUC with a baseline for customer satisfaction. “I cannot overstate the vital importance customer feedback will play in determining if we move forward with Stage 2.” says Parrella.

If it isn’t necessary to proceed with Stage 2 of the Project, it would mean a lower overall cost for the Project and therefore a smaller increase on water bills.

The preliminary budget to implement the first stage of the Project is approximately $2.7 million while the cost of the second stage is approximately $4 million.

“It’s obvious that in the past we failed to adequately address the water quality concerns raised by our customers, and for that we sincerely apologize.” says Parrella. “Learning a valuable lesson from this, we made it a priority to include a Customer Satisfaction component as a critical benchmark when we evaluate the success of implementing the Water Quality Improvement Project.”

In keeping with their commitment to improve the customer communication process, the PUC will also engage their customers further with monthly Project updates.

“Regrettably, we did a poor job of communicating with our customers during the transition to the free-chlorine treatment process.” says Parrella.  “Involving our customers in the implementation of our water quality solution is the best way we know to ensure that we don’t lose sight of their concerns again.”

Customers looking for more information on the Project are encouraged to visit the PUC website; www.ssmpuc.com or call Customer Service at 705-759-6522 Monday through Friday (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).

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Comments
31
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
guestwho 4/22/2014 11:30:10 AM Report

hiring a firm to see how people feel about brown water,REALLY,like there isn`t enough evidents in the writings of all those happy folks in town!!!!
anapeg 4/22/2014 11:34:27 AM Report

Good money after bad. Have to wonder how much this BS will cost. They could have sent out a flyer with a SASE and gotten all the information required.
Battler213 4/22/2014 11:52:10 AM Report

It has to be a third party doing this survey, or all you monkeys will cry that they selected certain residences on purpose. This could also be a case of 1000 people don't care, and the 50 that are crying about it are being heard. So should they fix something that only 50 people care about?

Look at the demonstration at the PUC building - how many people showed up again? Oh ya - 1. To me, it wasn't really a big enough deal to actually do something about. But, that would mean all you having to leave the comforts of your government subsidized living quarters.
eadiecougs 4/22/2014 11:52:59 AM Report

If I made a mistake like this I would have been fired a long time ,spend more money on experts BS for sure
Sam C 4/22/2014 11:54:38 AM Report

Well-said, Battler. But really, there is just no pleasing some people.
eadiecougs 4/22/2014 11:55:05 AM Report

battlers is right we all complain but do nothing I myself is one of them time to protest and get people on board.
Gurpy 4/22/2014 12:09:31 PM Report

PUC gets feedback from me on a regular basis. My latest question to them after checking my daily consumption on their customer/connect site was, why was I charged an on peak rate during an off peak hour?? Keep your eyes peeled people!
justsomeguy 4/22/2014 12:41:36 PM Report

@Sam C - I agree there's a lot of empty complaining in this city with substance or action. We do need to pressure for more accountability. I didn't show up on the day of protest because I had to work and couldn't get around it.

I've tried to start focus groups in the past with promises (I.e. I love that idea, I'll participate, I'll be there) and when it comes down to meeting or taking action, the greatest number of participants has been 3 including myself.

Complaints are nothing without action.
S.M.A.R.T. 4/22/2014 12:54:55 PM Report

Can't the local PUC get feedback from its local PUC customers without resorting to a costly outside survey firm? This water improvement project is going to be expensive, so let's make even more expensive by undertaking this proposed survey. Is there no one in that white elephant of an office building on 2nd Line (had to mention it) who can prepare and send out a survey to the target customers asking them for specific feedback on the quality of their water? It's not like we're looking for feedback on some controversial, far-reaching new law here. It ain't rocket science, but it is window dressing from the PUC, as usual.
Battler213 4/22/2014 1:13:10 PM Report

I'd like to retract my last line. It was out line. But my point stands - I've heard so much complaining, but nothing done about it. If it's that bad - you can make some noise. You don't have to throw swear words, or be viciously angry, but you can be annoying and bothersome until there is change.

This water nonsense is a first world problem. As people that live in the first world we shouldn't attack it like barbarians. Do the survey, and see what comes of it.
Green Eggs and Ham 4/22/2014 1:31:23 PM Report

Gurpy-I thought the same thing too when I first started checking customer connect. But looking a bit closer, off peak is from 7pm to 7am, high peak (winter) doesn't start until 8am on my customer connect screen.
Sam C 4/22/2014 1:34:04 PM Report

That we have clean, safe water -- yes, occasionally some areas have a chlorine smell, or discoloured water -- should be reason enough for people to be happy. When was the last time you had to walk a few kilometres to the communal well and haul water back home in a jug?

When you flush your toilet (wait! we have toilets and sewers!) it disappears, and you have to do nothing more than pay your bill. When was the last time you had to dig a new hole for the outhouse?

Can anyone recall the last time we had an outbreak of cholera or typhoid?

eadiecougs 4/22/2014 1:41:27 PM Report

Sam u is a fool we pay alot and we expect good water they screwed it up and now they have to cover their butts and by the way I had to walk to Korah road to the well in order to have some drinking water.
anapeg 4/22/2014 2:04:33 PM Report

This is the first I am hearing of a "demonstration" at the PUC. When was this? I obviously cannot be the sole individual that missed any notice of the demonstration.
MIG welder 4/22/2014 2:17:49 PM Report

Sam you are a dumb ass from way back.
Lone24 4/22/2014 3:09:38 PM Report

A lot of people in this city have no back bone. When it comes to something that is not like the way they want it they sit back and bitch and complain behind their computers. Instead of standing altogether as one like the natives do in something they believe in. Maybe instead of bashing the natives we should all learn from them on how they go about having something changed. You won't get nothing done with only a few people.
Battler213 4/22/2014 3:52:21 PM Report

Anapeg - a few months ago now I believe.

eadiecougs - Look at your bill on how much you actually pay for water. Compare that to bottled water. You do NOT pay a lot of water.
Gurpy 4/22/2014 4:54:01 PM Report

Green eggs and ham
Off peak is 7pm-7am. I was billed for on peak usage at 7pm which is off peak. I had an unusally high usage for a day when I did NOTHING! Contacted PUC and my usage mysteriously dropped for the day I brought to their attention.Something is really weird here!
chickenlittle 4/22/2014 5:04:28 PM Report

WHY DO WE NEED A FREAKIN SURVEY. HAS PUC NOTGOT THE MESSAGE YET!! UNBELIEVABLE
caper 4/22/2014 5:04:33 PM Report

Justsomeguy....you are right on. There is too much apathy in our city and thus there is a complete lack of accountability for public service such as the puc and of course the big one city hall.

Until we,the residents take up real action,waste will continue at city hall and places like the puc will continue to be inefficient at a big price to us.
chickenlittle 4/22/2014 5:08:22 PM Report

I PAY APPX $200 PER MONTH FOR WATER LIGHTS AND HAVE GAS HEAT - HOW IS THIS COMPARING.. I JUST MOVED TO SSM
chickenlittle 4/22/2014 5:09:15 PM Report

AND I ONLY DO LAUNDRY ON WEEKENDS
Dentone 4/22/2014 6:41:00 PM Report

I called the PUC last summer after i filled my pool and after letting my water run give or take an hour. I told them the water was rusty and they responded we will send someone out to check and see for themselves, they would be out Friday this was Monday,They never showed called back and was told by the receptionist they never had any complaints about water in this area.To make along story short i live on Royal York Blvd. talked to neighbor on Queens St. who had the same problem with his pool water they had told him the same so the PUC is full of BS.I asked for a refund for the water and the 12 filter cartridges i used trying to clear the water,plus all my bright white water inlets rust stained, then was told they do not refund. Total cost for water and filters was around 170.00 they robbed me for.
Gurpy 4/22/2014 7:19:23 PM Report

chickenlittle
I hear you! So do many others who froze all winter and do as much as humanly possible on the weekends and in the off peak hours. Best thing to do is monitor your usage on a daily basis and bring it to the attention of PUC when something is clearly off.Somebody is making a lot of dough while we shovel it their way. Keep your eyes peeled!
so-kendra 4/22/2014 8:12:06 PM Report

PUC should be held responsible for any damage done to ppl's property do to water damage and they should give ppl in this city a break on cost to because we're not responsible for them upgrading there building and there equipment. That's there problem! Not ours....... So a bit of a refund would do me some justice..... :)
nurse-boi 4/22/2014 8:52:03 PM Report

Third party investigation is actually removes any doubt of an actual or perceived conflict of interest ie PUC conducts it’s own investigation people do not believe it was fair, by utilizing a third party who is specialized removes the potential of perceived undermining of the integrity of a investigation of the complaint. If the PUC were in fact to do an sole internal investigation of the matter, the said complainants would continue to question a bias of that investigation that would linger leading to further complaints and disputes surrounding the initial complaint.
Secondly, as a practical matter, human resources personnel already have a role to perform within the PUC and are not “specifically trained” or in a position to “drop everything” they are working on (or planned to be working on) and devote nearly all of their time thereafter to conducting an investigation. Third party companies are cost effective as they are devoted and trained in the investigation process itself which is typically very labor intensive and time consuming. For example, investigations frequently require interviewing numerous different individuals, gathering and analyzing available evidence, making written findings of fact and determinations about violations or misconduct, and, in some cases, making recommendations about remedial measures, which can include changes in procedures and/or policies of practice.
So contrary to the expertise of the panel of reviewers in this comment section, there is reason why Third Party reviewers are retained.
S.M.A.R.T. 4/23/2014 1:53:24 AM Report

nurse-boi....What the heck are we trying to get information about here? Rusty, discoloured water or points of view and suggestions regarding a new National Constitution? You must work for one of these survey firms. Complicated, convoluted surveys and studies lead to digression and inaction. Questionnaires can be manipulated in their design and analysis to achieve a desired result. Cut the crap!
eadiecougs 4/23/2014 4:51:33 PM Report

battler no i dont pay alot for water its the freaking service charges its BS but I expect clean water not brown crap.maybe they should of fix this problem first before blowing money on a new building.
eadiecougs 4/23/2014 4:51:34 PM Report

battler no i dont pay alot for water its the freaking service charges its BS but I expect clean water not brown crap.maybe they should of fix this problem first before blowing money on a new building.
nurse-boi 4/23/2014 7:25:00 PM Report

@ SMART

It is views such as the one you are expressing as to why third party reviews are practical. As do I work for a third party review company, no, do I understand the concept yes. Do you?. When looking at the situation and the fact I am not an authority on “brown water” or for better terms public utilities and I am going to go out on a limb here and express neither do you. The use of a third party who has nothing to gain or lose with the findings and/or the ramifications of the problem or solution to the problem seems like a logical safe bet.
Tag33&1/3rd 4/24/2014 11:32:14 AM Report

Parking! Especially for people with walking disabilities!
Comments
31
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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