On March 10, 2020, the Company announced its decision to suspend water and wastewater service disconnection in order to provide critical sanitation and potable water services for all customers during this public health event.
This moratorium should remain in place until May 1, 2020, or until the Governor announces the end of the COVID-19 state of a public health emergency, should the state of emergency remain in effect past May 1, 2020. In conjunction with this decision, customers who recently have been disconnected for nonpayment were reconnected at no charge, at their election, and collection of any outstanding balances and late fees will be suspended during this time.
Also, we are trying to avoid temporary interruptions of service do to planned or unplanned work in your area. We are also waiving late payment charges and returned check fees, and have been in regular communication with the Illinois Commerce Commission advising them of the steps we have taken to date and our plans for the future.
Please adhere to the social distancing recommendation issued by healthcare experts and refrain from approaching our employees while they are working out working on the system.
At the Corix Group of Companies, which includes Utility Services of Illinois, Inc., the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities is our top priority. This commitment guides our efforts to mitigate any public health or business impacts the COVID-19 outbreak may cause as we continue to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services.
Core to our COVID-19 response is the creation of a company-wide Incident Command Task Force, charged with planning and executing the recommendations, actions, and protocols below. As this is an evolving situation, please continue to refer to this webpage for updates.
COVID-19 and Water and Wastewater
We are continually monitoring and following directives from primary public health authorities – the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – for any new guidance on water and wastewater treatment protocols. These authorities have declared:
• A source of clean, reliable water for drinking and personal hygiene is considered a fundamental necessity in the fight against COVID-19.
• According the World Health Organization(WHO) there is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water or sewage.
• Water treatment and handling protocols used in North American water and wastewater plants are highly effective against biological pathogens.
For further information about COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater, please refer to this statement from the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
Our Water Treatment Protocols
• All our systems are regulated by state, provincial, and/or federal water agencies. We continually meet or exceed established regulatory requirements with regards to water treatment and testing.
• Most of our systems source their water from deep underground wells.
• We use treatment protocols (including filtration and chemicals, such as chlorine, if required) to address any pathogens present in source water before it is distributed to customers.
• Our systems operators and field workers follow strict protocols in their operation of water and wastewater systems. This includes the mandatory use of protective gear and clothing, which is highly effective against the transmission of water-borne pathogens.
Our Incident Command Task Force has mandated the following company-wide actions:
• Suspension of Customer Disconnections and Late Fees
In recognition of the essential services we provide, we have suspended disconnection and late fees as of March 10, 2020. Release here.
• Remote Work
Remote work has been identified as core to the company’s Social Distancing practices, and all staff able to work remotely are doing so as of March 16, 2020.
• Customer Contact Centers
Our customer contact centers are fully operational, but longer than normal hold times may occur during the current conditions. Please bear with us as we work through all inquiries. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation.
• Office Closures
We remain fully operational and performing routine maintenance to ensure our systems are functioning normally, however, all our offices are closed until at least March 30, 2020. If you need to deliver something to one of our offices, please call/email first to arrange delivery or make alternate arrangements.
• Facility Emergency Action Plans
We are reviewing and updating our Emergency Action Plans to ensure appropriate measures are taken to safeguard employees and customers should one of our employees test positive for COVID-19. No infections have been reported to date.
• Critical Inventories and Spare Parts
Chemicals and critical spare parts inventories are being assessed to ensure supplies are on-hand to maintain essential business operations.
• Staffing Continuity
Essential job functions are being identified to prepare for potential large-scale absenteeism in our workplace.
• Business Travel
We have suspended all business travel until further notice. This suspension does not include essential operational and field activities that can be performed using recommended social distancing measures and established workplace health and safety protocols.
• Resource Sharing with other Water Service Providers
We have been reaching out to neighboring private and public water services, to recommend system operator and field technician sharing assistance should either become subject to staffing shortages.
The Corix Group of Companies takes pride in providing the communities we serve with safe and reliable water and wastewater services. We are taking the appropriate, science-based actions to mitigate the impacts the COVID-19 on our employees and customers. We are committed to the global effort to protect public health and ask that you do your part as well. Thank you.
Should you require more information regarding this notice, please reach out to us via phone at (800) 831-2359 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org