Connecticut Water Company has been honored as a 2015 Management Innovation Award Winner by the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC). NAWC is proactive in looking for new solutions to water-related challenges, including aging water infrastructure, limited water supply, and budget deficits that may prevent much-needed investments. Water companies safeguard public health and promote environmental stewardship, which was the catalyst for the Connecticut Water Utility receiving high honors. The utility which serves nearly 300,000 customer in 56 towns, was recognized for its industry leading Customer Protection Program. A key element of the program is the ability to email a photo of the Connecticut Water employee assigned to perform work at a customer’s home before they arrive. This innovative concept allows the customer to be sure the person at the door is a Connecticut Water employee before they let them into their home and provides protection for the customer. Employees have embraced the effort as they are committed to do what they can to keep customers safe. The initiative has also won praise from consumer advocates, public utility regulators and from the customers the program is designed to protect. In recent surveys conducted by an independent research firm, nearly 92 percent of the customers who were aware of the program supported it.
Currently, cities such as Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven are also adapting best practices to improve water quality within their communities. The run-off from stormwater, that potentially carries fertilizers and pesticides into rivers and the Sound, has been a cause for concern. According to state data, many rivers and shoreline waters fail to meet key water quality standards because of stormwater. Innovative green infrastructure concepts like rain gardens, rain barrels, downspout disconnections, permeable pavers, and green roofs, can help naturally manage stormwater, limit raw sewage discharges, and reduce flooding risk.