8 things to like about your next water bill

8 things to like about your next water bill

Tomorrow, we start mailing our redesigned bill statement. We think the first thing you will notice, when you open it, is that it is easier to read. Here are the eight improvements we made.

1. The text is larger and easier to read on the front and back of the bill.

2. We moved the bill date and payment due date to the top of your statement so they are easy to find.

3. We reformatted this area of your statement to help you understand your water use. We recommend, each time you open a water bill, that you compare your water use in this 2-month period to this same period last year. The two numbers are easy to find, right below the graph. If your water use has increased, do you know why? Weather? More people in your home? If you don’t know why, check for a possible water leak on your property or call Helix at 619-466-0585 to schedule a free home water use evaluation.

4. Our water rates are on your statement so you don’t have to look them up. We charge by the unit and one unit of water is 748 gallons. We show how many units of water you can use within each of our three rate tiers, and the cost per unit in each tier.

5. In the bill details section, we show you how many units of water you used, in each rate tier, during the 2-month billing period. Any additional charges on your account are shown in bold, blue type. If you have questions about the charges shown, please contact customer service at 619-466-0585.

6. On the back of the bill, on the left side, we explain how we divide the costs of storing, treating and distributing water between our rates and our base charge.

7. On the right side, we list each of our bill payment options.

8. Below the payment options, we show you where to go on our website to learn how to save water indoors and outdoors and reduce your water bill.

How Our Water System Works – Join Us Thursday Evening at Helix Water Chats

How Our Water System Works – Join Us Thursday Evening at Helix Water Chats

You turn on your kitchen faucet and — through elevation, energy, gravity, pressure and engineering — water comes out. Join us this Thursday, December 5 at 6 p.m. and learn from Helix Water District’s Director of Engineering Jim Tomasulo how our complex distribution system delivers water, and how we plan, design and upgrade our vital infrastructure for today and tomorrow. This is our second Helix Water Chats event, where we have coffee and cookies, a presentation and a discussion. Our first Water Chats, in July, was a hit!

Delivering water is no easy task. It’s heavy – just over 8 pounds per gallon — and requires a heavy-duty system to deliver it across 50 square miles and up and down hills to 276,000 people. Our engineers also have to design the facilities we build today to provide the water El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley will need in 2070, and connect it to facilities we built back in 1970. What we’re building today is Helix’s fourth generation of infrastructure.

This should be good, and we hope you can join us for an insightful evening.

Date and Time
Thursday, December 5
6 – 7:30 p.m.

Location
Helix Administration Office
7811 University Avenue, La Mesa
(Parking in the back of the building)

Itinerary
6:00         Coffee and cookies
6:10          Welcome and introductions
6:15          Presentation
7:00          Questions and discussion

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

On behalf of all of us at Helix Water District,
I want to wish you a Thanksgiving filled with the happiness
of good friends and the joy of family.

Carlos V. Lugo
General Manager

How Our Water System Works – Join Us Thursday Evening at Helix Water Chats

Learn how to build a water system on December 5 at Helix Water Chats

On Thursday, December 5 at 6 p.m., Helix Water District’s Director of Engineering Jim Tomasulo will discuss how Helix’s complex water system delivers water to our customers and how we plan, design and upgrade our vital infrastructure for today and tomorrow. This is our second Helix Water Chats event, where we have coffee and cookies, a presentation and a discussion. Our first Water Chats, in July, was a hit!

On December 5 we’ll see what Helix’s civil engineers do. Delivering water is no easy task. It’s heavy – just over 8 pounds per gallon — and requires a heavy-duty system to deliver it across 50 square miles and up and down hills to 276,000 people. They also have to design the facilities we build today to provide the water El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley will need in 2070, and connect it to facilities we built in 1970. What we’re building today is Helix’s fourth generation of infrastructure.

This should be good, and we hope you can join us for an insightful evening.

Date and Time
Thursday, December 5
6 – 7:30 p.m.

Location
Helix Administration Office
7811 University Avenue, La Mesa
(Parking in the back of the building)

Itinerary
6:00         Coffee and cookies
6:10          Welcome and introductions
6:15          Presentation
7:00          Questions and discussion

Helix Collecting Toys for Tots

Helix Collecting Toys for Tots

Going shopping on Black Friday to get the lowest prices of the year?  Consider picking up an extra gift or two to make the holidays a little brighter  for less fortunate local families and donate to the Toys for Tots program.

Over the next few weeks, until Monday December 16, Helix is serving as a drop-off location for the 2019 Toys for Tots Program. You can bring in a new, unwrapped toy to the Helix Administration Office, and we will deliver them to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program.  On Christmas, Marine Corps coordinators will work with local nonprofits to distribute the gifts to families in and around East County.

Our Toys for Tots collection box will be in the lobby of our Administration Office at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. We’re open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Wondering what to buy? Here are some helpful answers from the Marine Corps:

Q: Is there a list of toys available to help me?
Toys for Tots does not publish a list of appropriate toys to donate.  If such a list were created, most would follow it, resulting in a limited selection of items to distribute in each community.  We would rather our donors consider what might be an appropriate gift for their own child/relative, purchase the item, and donate to Toys for Tots.

Q: Shopping for pre-teens and teens is especially difficult.  Do you have any ideas?
The Foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups.  In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to:  sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers.

Q: Are there toys or gifts that are not accepted?
Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic looking weapons and gifts with food.  If donated, such items will NOT be distributed.

Q: Should I gift wrap my donated toy?

No

Thank you, in advance, to all of those who donate.

How Our Water System Works – Join Us Thursday Evening at Helix Water Chats

See how our water system works — Helix Water Chats is on Thursday, December 5

Learn how our water system works and see how we plan, design, and upgrade our vital infrastructure for today and tomorrow. – at Helix Water Chats on Thursday, December 5.

Water is heavy – just over 8 pounds per gallon. That means we need a heavy-duty system to deliver it across 50 square miles and up each hill to 276,000 people. And, we have to design the facilities we build today to provide the water El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove and Spring Valley will need in 2070, and connect it to facilities we built in 1970.

Helix Water District’s Director of Engineering Jim Tomasulo will discuss how Helix’s complex water system continuously operates to deliver water to our customers and how we plan, design, and upgrade our vital infrastructure for today and tomorrow. This should be good, and we hope you can join us for an insightful evening.

Date and Time
Thursday, December 5
6 – 7:30 p.m.

Location
Helix Administration Office
7811 University Avenue, La Mesa
(Parking in the back of the building)

Itinerary
6:00         Coffee and cookies
6:10          Welcome and introductions
6:15          Presentation
7:00          Questions and discussion

Helix Helps plants trees at Harry Griffen Park

Helix Helps plants trees at Harry Griffen Park

Featured Photo:  Some of the Helix employees, retirees, and their families and friends who helped planted trees at Harry Griffen Park this past Saturday as part of the Helix Helps volunteer program. 

Helix Helps headed out to Harry Griffen Park last Saturday, November 9, for the City of La Mesa’s 14th annual Park Appreciation Day.

The city put on a great event, with over a hundred volunteers showing up to plant 200 trees throughout the park. Certified tree arborists gave everyone a step-by-step lesson in tree planting, from digging to mulching, and remained on hand to help volunteers as they got to work.

The newly planted trees will help La Mesa increase its urban tree canopy, which is one of the city’s climate action plan goals. Trees improve air and water quality, reduce heat island effects and provide important natural habitats.

Under the Helix Helps program, Helix employees, families and friends volunteer their time to help support the communities the district serves. Follow us on Twitter to learn about upcoming Helix Helps events.

Below: Helix Water District and City of La Mesa volunteers and representatives.

Thank You, Veterans

Thank You, Veterans

This is a military town and it’s likely you know a veteran – a family member, friend, neighbor or coworker.

Each year, approximately 15,000 personnel from the Navy and Marines conclude their military careers in San Diego. Some of those veterans transition into public service jobs, including water. We’re proud that 10 percent of current Helix employees are military veterans.

All of us at Helix Water District would like to thank U.S. military veterans, including our employees, for their service and their sacrifices. As a small token of our gratitude, all veterans and active-duty military fish free on Monday, November 11 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lake Jennings.

Additionally, for our military veteran customers, we are offering a free water conservation kit that includes a water-efficient showerhead, shower timer, aerators and more. Come by our administration building at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa to get yours through November 15.

We appreciate your service.

New law creates path to water industry jobs for military veterans

New law creates path to water industry jobs for military veterans

Assembly Bill 1588 has been signed into law, making it possible for veterans to receive credit for their military education and experience when applying for civilian water and wastewater system operator certifications in California.

State legislators, water industry leaders, veteran advocates, businesses and community organizations gathered at the Veterans Museum in Balboa Park on Wednesday to celebrate the signing of AB 1588 by Assemblymembers Todd Gloria (San Diego), Adam Gray (Merced) and Tasha Boerner Horvath (Oceanside).

The bill was co-sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority and Otay Water District as the water and wastewater industries face a wave of retirements statewide. Known as the “silver tsunami,” more than 30 percent of the San Diego region’s 4,500 water and wastewater professionals are expected to reach retirement age by 2024.

“What we are missing, and what this bill addresses, is a pathway in which we honor the experience of our veterans and allow that experience to qualify them for a career path in our civilian water systems,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “Thanks to Governor Newsom, that pathway now exists. California will now properly credit the service of our veterans and enable them to secure good-paying jobs here in our water system. In this time – when the importance of clean water and good paying jobs is undeniable – let’s create bridges not barriers.”

AB 1588 provides a pathway for veterans – who worked in water and wastewater while in the military – to apply their advanced skills and experience toward state and industry certifications in the civilian water and wastewater treatment and distribution operator fields.

Helix Water District’s board has supported AB 1588 since its introduction. “This bill is a win for both veterans and the water industry,” said U.S. Army veteran and Helix’s Board Vice President Mark Gracyk. “It provides veterans with a clear career path as they transition to civilian life, and it provides water agencies with an expanded hiring pool of experienced and dedicated individuals.”