Our Customer Survey Results Are In

Our Customer Survey Results Are In

We would like to thank everyone who responded to our 2017 Customer Survey.
We emailed the survey to the 27,000 customers who have provided Helix with an email address, provided a link to the survey on our website and made printed copies available in our lobby — and 2,366 customers responded.

Helix retained Probe Research, Inc. to conduct the survey, and according to Probe president Scott MacKay, 2,366 responses from across Helix’s five divisions provides a very good sample. MacKay explained to Helix’s Board of Directors on Wednesday that highly accurate reflections of public opinion across the U.S. — such as the findings from voter surveys during a presidential race — are often based on just 1,000 or 2,000 survey responses.

Here are a few of the key findings from Helix’s survey.

84%

Staff Interaction

84% of customers who interacted with Helix staff were satisfied with the experience, and 47% rated their interaction a 10 out of 10.
74%

The Value of Water

74% of customers indicated they are receiving excellent or good value for the price of their household water.
76%

Overall Service

76% of customers said they are satisfied with the quality of the service that Helix provides.
22%

Dissatisfied with Water Quality

22% of customers are critical of our water quality. When asked why, 50% said “taste”.
57%

Took The Garden's Advice

57% of customers who visited The Water Conservation Garden acquired information they were able to put into action in their own landscapes.
91%

Will Continue to Conserve

91% of customers said they will continue conserving water even though California’s drought is officially over.
The survey also asked customers what they would like to know more about, and the top four responses were water quality, how water costs are derived, water treatment, and conservation ideas and programs. Our public affairs staff will focus on these topics in the year ahead.

Review the Results of our Customer Survey

Spring Street Pipeline Project 50% Completed

Spring Street Pipeline Project 50% Completed

The San Diego County Water Authority’s major pipeline relining project in La Mesa — the ongoing construction on Spring Street — has reached a milestone, with 50 percent of the liners installed at the end of 2017.

The Lake Murray to Sweetwater Reservoir Pipeline Project will rehabilitate approximately 4 miles of the Water Authority’s 66-inch and 69-inch diameter pipe, extending the pipeline’s service life by 75 years. Construction began in September 2017 and is on schedule to be completed by summer 2018.

Click Here to Review the Project
Review the project details on the San Diego County Water Authority’s website and watch the video to see how large diameter pipes are relined.

Click Here to Watch the News 8 Story
News 8 produced a story on the project earlier this month.

 

How Beer Will Save Western Rivers

How Beer Will Save Western Rivers

From Outside Magazine — 
Six summers ago, Kim Schonek, her husband, and an intern slid their kayaks into Arizona’s Verde River, a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. As they paddled, above them rose a rare cottonwood-willow canopy that teems with the densest population of tropical and native birds in North America. Half a mile into their trip, the river slowed, then dwindled to a trickle, until their kayaks scratched against the rocks. Schonek suggested they portage to the next flow. So they dragged their boats—for five miles.

Read More

New study could change how we manage California’s water

New study could change how we manage California’s water

What if we could predict the size of the Sierra snowpack eight months in advance? If we could, we would know in spring how much snow was going to fall next winter. And, we could act on the information — conserving water ahead of a dry winter, for instance, in order to maintain reservoir levels.t the new study
A study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the snowpack in the mountains of the western U.S. over the last 30 years could be accurately predicted up to eight months in advance using climate models.

What are climate models? Climate models use mathematical equations to describe the behavior of the things that influence climate, including the sun’s energy, the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and sea ice. When scientists run a model, using supercomputers to solve the equations, they can simulate long-term climate conditions,

Scientists are intrigued by the study’s results — and so are water utilities like Helix.

Read the San Diego Union Tribune’s story about the new study

Was this last drought really the most severe ever?

Was this last drought really the most severe ever?

Photo: Daniel Griffen, University of Minnesota (right)

From Massivesci.com — The wildfires that torched California last fall came right on the heels of another calamity, a five-year drought that was finally washed away in early 2017. Much ink has been spilled trying to pin these extreme weather patterns on human-caused climate change, but such debates raise an even more basic question: how “extreme” are these events? Was this drought really that rare in notoriously arid California?

The answer is tricky. To make a well-educated guess at how often prolonged droughts have occurred in California’s past we would need centuries, if not a millennium, of climate data. Unfortunately, humans haven’t been measuring precipitation and temperature for that long. But thankfully, someone else has.

Read More

Hetch Hetchy: valley to reservoir in photos

Hetch Hetchy: valley to reservoir in photos

From the San Francisco Chronicle — It’s an environmental conflict that has been coursing through California for more than a century: the unrelenting thirst of San Francisco versus the pristine beauty of nature.

After years of debate, O’Shaughnessy Dam opened in 1923, holding back the Tuolumne River and flooding Hetch Hetch Valley, a Sierra gem compared in its grandeur to nearby Yosemite Valley. As final construction continued into the 1930s, San Franciscans began tasting water piped directly from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to their homes.

These photos were recently found in The Chronicle’s archive, and many haven’t been published in decades.

Governor Brown scaling back Delta tunnels project

Governor Brown scaling back Delta tunnels project

Photo: Public Policy Institute of California

From the San Jose Mercury News:
Faced with a shortage of money and political support after seven years of work, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is working on a plan to scale back one of his key legacy projects — a $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.

Instead of two tunnels, each 40 feet high and 35 miles long, Brown’s Department of Water Resources has been negotiating with major California water agencies in recent weeks on a revised plan to build just one tunnel at slightly more than half the cost of the original project.

Read the Story

 

Next Landscape Design Workshop is January 20th!

Next Landscape Design Workshop is January 20th!

Reserve Your Seats!

Learn everything you need to know — from a local landscape expert — to transform your yard into a beautiful, water-saving landscape. Our FREE 3-hour WaterSmart Landscape Design Workshop is on Saturday, January 20, from 9:00am to noon. 

You’ll Learn
— How to convert your turf area to a water efficient landscape
— How to select plants that will thrive in our Mediterranean climate
— How to analyze your yard, identify soil, remove turf & irrigate efficiently
— How to create a professional landscape, planting & irrigation designs ready for installation

The next Helix Water Talks is January 27th!

The next Helix Water Talks is January 27th!

Helix Then & Now —

Reserve your seats for the next Helix Water Talks on January 27 at our Administration Office in La Mesa. You’ll tour our 3-floor collection of historic photography and learn about the history of east county, Helix and our water supply, and what has changed over the years.

8:30-9:00am
Check-in, coffee and refreshments

9:00-9:15am
Welcome from Carlos Lugo

9:15-10:00am
Presentation on history of east county, Helix and our water supply

10:00-11:00am
Tour our 3-floor collection of historical photography

 

CLICK HERE to Reserve Your Seats