The safest way to pay bills in a pandemic

The safest way to pay bills in a pandemic

The safest way to pay bills in a pandemic is to stay home and do it online. Helix offers a variety of electronic payment (ePayments) options and two thirds of Helix customers use them to pay their water bill. The option we recommend the most, especially for customers trying ePayments for the first time, is eChecks. Here’s how they work.

What are eChecks?

eChecks are like paper checks, but easier, because you enter your checking account information just once in Helix’s customer self service portal and you’re good to go. No more check writing.

When you receive your water bill, you authorize payment with the click of a button. Then, we use your checking account information to start the transaction process. The payment is automatically withdrawn from your checking account, and the transaction is listed on your bank statement. eChecks are generally verified within 24 to 48 hours of initiating the transaction.

You can pay once, or enjoy the convenience of an online account

We offer both options.

Use our One Time Pay option to have a look around and kick the tires. Click Log In on hwd.com, then click One Time Pay on our customer self-service portal. There are no limits on the number of times you use the One Time Pay option, but you miss out on one of the best features of eChecks. When you use the One Time Pay option, we delete your checking account information after each transaction, so you have to reenter it each time.

If you want convenience, open an online account. We’ll save your bank account information so that you only have to key it in once, and we’ll maintain your payment history online so you can check it at any time.

The benefits of eChecks

The biggest benefit of eChecks — right now — is that you can pay your water bill without leaving your home. The all-the-time benefits are nice, too. No more writing checks and searching for a stamp, or waiting until the next day to go to the post office to buy stamps. With eChecks, you enter your bank account information once, and pay future water bills with the click of a button. Another benefit of eChecks is that your payment is confirmed in 1-2 days. No more wondering and worrying if your mailed check will arrive in time.

How to get started

Step one is to open an online account with Helix. 

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Click on Register
  3. Enter the account number and the last name or business name for your Helix account
  4. Choose a password and your email address

Watch our Create an Account video

How to set up eChecks

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on your account
  4. Click on Payment in the blue menu bar and Pay Online in the dropdown menu
  5. Select the bill you want to pay and click on the green button
  6. Click on the green button to proceed to checkout
  7. Click on New Bank Account
  8. Click on green button to continue
  9. Enter your bank account information
  10. Click on green button to review and approve payment

Too many steps? Don’t worry. It’s easier when you actually see it all on your computer screen (which is why we made an instructional video). You only have to enter your bank account information once. To pay future bills, simply choose this payment option and this information will already be there.

Watch our Pay With an eCheck video

In December, we upgraded our customer self service portal so that it displays correctly on any device, from a desktop computer to a smartphone. And, a few weeks ago, we posted the Ultimate Guide to Paying Your Water Bill Online so you can compare our ePayments options and learn about going paperless with eBills. We explain each option and provide step-by-step instructions and videos, like we did in this article.

Stay home, stay healthy and give eChecks a try. If you have questions or need assistance, call Customer Service at 619-466-0585. 

Coronavirus does not impact your tap water

Coronavirus does not impact your tap water

Your Water Quality

Helix wants to reassure the east county residents, businesses and public institutions we serve that Coronavirus (Covid-19) has no impact on the safety and quality of their tap water.

Our water treatment process includes disinfecting the water with ozone to chemically deactivate and physically remove viruses, bacteria and other organisms. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is susceptible to ozonation. We collect and analyze 200 water samples a day to ensure the effectiveness of our treatment process and the safety of our drinking water.

It is also important to note that there is no evidence that Coronavirus is transmitted through water. Coronavirus is a respiratory, or airborne, illness — like the flu — and neither are spread through tap water.

Your Water Reliability

We are doing everything we can to protect the health of our staff to ensure the reliability of your water service. In addition, we stopped all maintenance-related water shutoffs over the next two weeks, with the exception of private development projects and school projects that must be completed during spring break. Project schedules are subject to change. Water will be available to customers impacted by these projects.

Our Lobbies Are Closed — How to Pay Your Water Bill

Out of concern for our customers and staff, we have closed our administration office lobby in La Mesa and our operations center lobby in El Cajon until further notice. If you need assistance, please call Customer Service at 619-466-0585. If you pay your water bill in person, please use one of these alternative payment methods.

Use our payment dropbox
We accept cash, checks and money orders in our payment dropbox, which is located in the parking lot at our administration office at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. Write your name and address number on an envelope, seal your payment inside and drop the envelope in the dropbox during business hours.

Pay online
Click Log In in our main menu and One Time Pay on our customer self service portal. Pay from your checking account or with a credit/debit card. Our Ultimate guide to paying your water bill online provides step-by-step instructions and videos.

Pay by phone
Call 855-276-8053

Mail a check
Mail your payment to:
Helix Water District
7811 University Avenue
La Mesa, CA, 91942

Board Meetings

During this time, board members may participate in board and committee meetings by conference call.  Helix customers and the public can still attend  meetings in person, in our boardroom, and hear all board members.  Agendas are posted on our website homepage and on our board meetings webpage.

How Helix customers and employees can protect themselves and each other

Stay home when you’re sick
If you have a fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion or shortness of breath, please stay home.

Wash your hands frequently
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.

Clean frequently-touched surfaces
Use cleaning sprays and disinfectant wipes on door handles, countertops, telephones and keyboards.

Cough or sneeze into your elbow
Cover your mouth and nose.

Learn more about Coronavirus
We recommend monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and the County of San Diego for the latest news and updates.

Questions

Please call Customer Service at 619-466-0585.

Enter your poster in our contest by March 13

Enter your poster in our contest by March 13

Above: Winning poster from 2019 contest by Zoe Miles of Flying Hills Elementary School.

The deadline to enter Helix’s annual Water is Life Poster Contest is Friday, March 13.

Students in grades K-8 that live or attend school within Helix Water District’s service area are invited to enter the contest, which highlights the importance of using water efficiently.  Our service area includes La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, El Cajon and parts of Lakeside.

Posters should depict water being used wisely at home or at school or in industry, agriculture, the environment, recreation, outdoor water conservation, or in the use of native plants, and all posters must include a short water conservation message.

Prizes are awarded to winning posters within each grade level category, and winning posters may also be featured in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s 2021 Calendar.

See the contest flyer below for more details.

Flyer for 2020 Water is Life Poster Contest

Entry Form for 2020 Water is Life Poster Contest

 

Your 2020 census invitation is coming next week

Your 2020 census invitation is coming next week

The 2020 Census is mailing invitations to households March 12-20 and, for the first time, you’ll have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Your answers are completely confidential and critical to bringing federal funds to east county. To assist, Helix volunteered its La Mesa and El Cajon facilities for the training of new census workers.

Learn more at census.gov

Helix honors 10 high school photographers

Helix honors 10 high school photographers

Local high school students were honored for their winning photos at an awards ceremony during Helix Water District’s board meeting on February 26, 2020.

Sixty-nine students from three schools entered the annual high school photo contest, highlighting the importance and beauty of water in everyday life. The contest is open to any student living or attending school within the district’s service area. The following students took top honors:

Black & White Category

First Place – Rylee Koval, Santana High School, Grade 10

Second Place – Faith Farrell, Santana High School, Grade 12

Third Place – Bri Massaro, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Faith Rowe, Santana High School, Grade 10

Honorable Mention – Mirna Dawood, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Color Category

First Place – Avery McFedries, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Second Place – Emily McCann, Grossmont High School, Grade 10

Third Place – Fernando Lara, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Jaqueline Aguilar, Grossmont High School, Grade 12

Honorable Mention – Daneca Perez Opinion, Grossmont High School, Grade 11

The winning photos will be on display through May at the district’s administration office located at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. They have also been posted on the district’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/helixwater/.

The Winning Photos

1st Place, Black & White

Rylee Koval
Santana High School
Grade 10

1st Place, Color

Avery McFedries
Grossmont High School
Grade 12

2nd Place, Black & White

Faith Ferrell
Santana High School
Grade 12

2nd Place, Color

Emily McCann
Grossmont High School
Grade 10

3rd Place, Black & White

Bri Massaro
Grossmont High School
Grade 10

3rd Place, Color

Fernando Lara
Grossmont High School
Grade 12

Honorable Mention, Black & White

Faith Rowe
Santana High School
Grade 10

Honorable Mention, Black & White

Mirna Dawood
Grossmont High School
Grade 10

Honorable Mention, Color

Jaqueline Aguilar
Grossmont High School
Grade 12

Honorable Mention, Color

Daneca Perez Opinion
Grossmont High School
Grade 11

The ultimate guide to paying your water bill online

The ultimate guide to paying your water bill online

Helix offers both eBills and ePayments so that our customers can manage and pay their water bills online. eBills and ePayments are two different services, and we wrote this guide to explain the convenience and benefits each service offers, and how you enroll and get started.

eBills

What are eBills?

When you enroll in Helix’s eBills service, we stop mailing you printed bill statements, and we start posting an electronic version of your bill statements online. If you’re concerned that without a printed statement you might forget to pay your bill, don’t worry. Set up your online account at hwd.com and we will send you two email alerts with links to your online bill statement. We send the first alert when your online statement is posted, and the second alert at 21 days, when your payment is due. We also offer AutoPay, an automatic debit of your bank account each time your water bill is due. This option assures you pay your water bill on time and is our most popular ePayment option. Over 13,000 Helix customers use it.

The benefits of eBills

Enrolling in eBills is often described as going paperless, and there are good reasons to do it.

For you, going paperless means less time opening mail, organizing bills to pay, and filing your statements. Online, Helix organizes your water bills for you. We provide your billing and payment history for the last 36 months, and you can view and print your statements at any time.

Going paperless is also a good option for customers who travel and can’t check their mailbox each day. Our email or text message will reach you wherever you are, and remind you to pay your water bill.

For Helix, going paperless reduces the cost of printing and mailing water bills for 56,000 customers six times each year, and that cost savings contributes to lower water rates. And, when we use less paper, more trees stay in the forest. That’s one more step towards a sustainable future.

Helix offers two eBills options

Email
Helix will send you an email alert every two months when we generate a bill statement for your account, and a second email alert at 21 days, when your payment is due. Click on the link in the email to view your statement, then choose your ePayments option.

Text Message
If you prefer text messages to emails, we’ve got you covered. We’ll send a text message every two months when we generate a bill statement for your account, and a second text message at 21 days when your payment is due. The text message will include the amount of the bill and the payment due date. All you need to do is reply “OK” and we will collect payment using the ePayments method you already specified.

How to enroll and get started with eBills

Enrolling in eBills is simple. Step one is opening an online account on Helix’s customer self-service portal.

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Click on Register
  3. Enter the account number and the last name or business name for your Helix account
  4. Choose a password and your email address

Watch our Create an Account video

Step two is selecting our paperless billing option.

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on your account
  4. Click on Paperless Billing in the gray menu on the left
  5. Click “Yes” for paperless
  6. Click on the green button to save your changes
  7. Click confirm in the email we send you

Watch our Sign Up for Paperless video

If you would like to receive text messages instead of emails, follow these steps. Please note that when you pay by text you simply respond “Ok” to pay the balance shown in the text message. To see your online bill statement you would log in to your online account on hwd.com.

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on your account
  4. Click on Payment in the blue menu bar and Pay Online in the dropdown menu
  5. Click on My Profile at the top of the screen and Pay by Text in the dropdown menu
  6. Click in the Sign up for Pay By Text box and enter your mobile phone number
  7. Click the green button to save your changes
  8. Respond to the confirmation text we send you

Watch our Pay by Text video

ePayments

What are ePayments?

ePayments are electronic payments, and two thirds of Helix customers use our ePayment options to pay their water bill.

You can pay once, or enjoy the convenience of an online account

We offer both options. Click Log In on hwd.com, then click One Time Pay on our customer self-service portal and you can pay your water bill with an eCheck or a credit/debit card. You can use our One Time Pay option as many times as you like, but we won’t save your payment information. You’ll have to enter it each time you pay your bill.

If you register and open an online account, we’ll send you email alerts when your bill statement is ready and payment is due, and we’ll save your bank account or credit/debit card information so that you never have to key it in again.

The benefits of ePayments

The biggest benefit of ePayments is the time you’ll save. No more writing checks and searching for a stamp, or waiting until the next day to go to the post office to buy stamps. With an online account, you enter your bank account or credit card information once, and pay your future water bills with the click of a button.

Another benefit of ePayments is that your payment is confirmed in 1-2 days. No more wondering and worrying if your mailed check will arrive in time.

Helix offers four ePayments options

eChecks

eChecks are simpler than paper checks because you enter your bank account information just once in Helix’s customer self service portal and you’re good to go. No more check writing. You authorize payment of your water bill with the click of a button. Then, we use your payment information to start the transaction process. The payment is automatically withdrawn from the your bank account, and the transaction is listed on your bank statement. eChecks are generally verified within 24 to 48 hours of initiating the transaction.

Credit/Debit Card Payments

We accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover plus VISA and MasterCard Debit cards. You can use this payment option to make one-time payments or pay by phone. There is a $3.95 transaction fee and processing times vary by Credit/Debit card companies.

Your Bank’s Bill Payment Service

Most banks offer their customers an electronic bill payment service. You can set up one time payments, schedule future payments, or create recurring payments from your checking or savings account. Each bank has their own unique rules and processing times, so ask your bank how they handle these transactions.

AutoPay

AutoPay is used to set up automatic payments from your bank account. Helix will debit your checking or savings account on the day of your payment (or up to 3 days prior for some banks). AutoPay is faster, safer, and ensures that you never miss a bill payment. You can set up AutoPay by going to Payment options in your Helix account. AutoPay generally take over 24 hours for banks to process the transaction.

How to enroll and get started with ePayments

Enrolling in ePayments is easy. Step one is opening an online account on Helix’s customer self-service portal. If you already completed this step in order to enroll in eBills you don’t have to do it again.

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Click on Register
  3. Enter the account number and the last name or business name for your Helix account
  4. Choose a password and your email address

Watch our Create an Account video

How to pay your bill with an eCheck

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on your account
  4. Click on Payment in the blue menu bar and Pay Online in the dropdown menu
  5. Select the bill you want to pay and click on the green button
  6. Click on the green button to proceed to checkout
  7. Click on New Bank Account
  8. Click on green button to continue
  9. Enter your bank account information
  10. Click on green button to review and approve payment

When you register and open an online account, you only have to enter your bank account information once. To pay future bills, simply choose this payment option and this information will already be there.

Watch our Pay With an eCheck video

How to pay your bill with a credit or debit card

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on your account
  4. Click on Payment in the blue menu bar and Pay Online in the dropdown menu
  5. Select the bill you want to pay and click on the green button
  6. Click on the green button to proceed to checkout
  7. Click on New Credit/Debit Card
  8. Click on green button to continue
  9. Enter your card information
  10. Click on green button to review and approve payment

When you register and open an online account, you only have to enter your credit or debit card information once. To pay future bills, simply choose this payment option and this information will already be there.

Watch our Pay with Credit/Debit Card video

How to set up AutoPay

  1. Click the Log In button in the menu on hwd.com
  2. Complete the log in to your online account
  3. Click on Payment in the blue menu bar and AutoPay in the dropdown menu
  4. Click on “Please add a new payment method before signing up for AutoPay by clicking here”
  5. Click on Add New Bank to set up AutoPay with eChecks, or set up AutoPay with a credit/debit card
  6. Click on the green button to save your changes
  7. Click on Confirm in the confirmation email we send you

Watch our Setting Up AutoPay video

The Takeaway

Our goal in offering an eBills option and a variety of ePayment options is to make it easy for you to pay your water bill and manage your statements on any device, at any time of day or night, wherever you are. In December, we upgraded our customer self-service portal so that it displays on a phone, and we’re adding new features as quickly as we can. We hope this guide, and the step-by-step instructions and how-to videos are all you need to give eBills and ePayments a try.

Questions

Call our customer service team at 619-466-0585.

Helix college scholarship contest entries due February 28

Helix college scholarship contest entries due February 28

The deadline to enter Helix ‘s annual scholarship contest is Friday, February 28. The contest is for high school seniors who will graduate in spring 2020 and attend a four-year college or university in fall 2020.  Our Lillian M. Childs Scholarship and Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship are each worth $1,000. See the flyer and application form below.

Helix Water District 2020 Scholarships Flyer

Helix Water District 2020 Scholarship Application

FREE landscape design workshop Saturday, March 7

FREE landscape design workshop Saturday, March 7

Reserve Your Seats!

Learn everything you need to know — from a local landscape expert — about selecting and installing beautiful and water efficient plants. Our FREE 3-hour WaterSmart Landscape Design Workshop is on Saturday, March 7, 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 & designs that are ready for installation

5 reasons to go to Kids Day at Lake Jennings on February 8

5 reasons to go to Kids Day at Lake Jennings on February 8

Kids Day at Lake Jennings is Saturday, February 8, from 6 a.m. to noon. Here are five reasons to bring your kids, or let them bring you.

1,  We’re stocking the Kids Pond with Idaho trout. All kids under 10 can catch a fish free of charge until the fish run out.

2.  February 8 will be the only opportunity to try your hand in the Kids Pond in 2020 (don’t miss out!).

3.  You can also rent a boat and take your whole family out on the lake.

4.  Or rent kayaks!

5.  And stay the night!

Kids Day Permit Fees
$10 per Adult Fishing
$2 per Adult Non-Fishing
$5 per Child 10-15 years of age
FREE for Children under 10!

CA State fishing license is required for anyone 16 and over.

Boat rentals will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

Make a weekend of it and camp with us! Call (619) 390-1623  
or book online at
www.lakejennings.org