Asheville Water Resources employees serving vital roles during COVID-19 health emergency

China Tickle water production lab
Lab technician China Tickle continues her work in the Water Production lab during the pandemic.

 

Water Production and Maintenance staff continue their work during  this pandemic to ensure safe water supply. The City of Asheville is following CDC, state and Buncombe Health Department guidelines in all of our operations. The health and safety of our communities and employees is our highest priority.

 

Here’s a look behind the scenes of Water Production employees serving vital roles in our Water Production Division, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the photo above, China Tickle is analyzing a finished water sample for water quality control purposes.  Prior to the testing portion, she had been in the City’s water system collecting compliance water samples, new lines and customer concern samples.  

Reggie Widemon
Reggie Widemon

Reggie Widemon is an operator at North Fork Water Treatment Plant.  His job entails monitoring the treatment process and water distribution system, adjusting chemical feed system, performing water analysis on the finished water, backwashing filters, communicating problems and solutions with his co-workers.  In this photo, Reggie is shown monitoring real-time readings for the water treatment process.

While some City employees have transitioned to a telecommuting workstation from home during the COVID-19 public health emergency, others are needed to show up as usual.  And those are two examples. Many Water Resources employees, for example, are needed to work in our water plants and in our laboratories every day to ensure that our water is safe to drink. The City’s standard disinfection and treatment practices are effective for inactivation and removal of viruses, including COVID-19.

The Water Production Division remains vigilant in our workplace cleaning processes and frequency.  We have adjusted our staffing in order to have limited contact with one another. We are increasing the physical working space for safe social distancing among employees and modifying operations for the safety of everyone.

Customers can be assured that our water is safe to drink.  Our standard disinfection and treatment practices are very effective for inactivation and removal of viruses, including COVID-19.

 

Additional Water Resources information

    • As announced March 13, Asheville Water Resources continues to  suspend all water account disconnections and are waiving late fees due to non-payment of City of Asheville combined utility bills.  In suspending water disconnections and waiving late fees, the City hopes to ensure that all members of our community are able to practice good hygiene by washing their hands frequently. This is not a cancellation of any combined utility bills; payment options will be made available. Find more information at this link. Also, on March 31, Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting utility disconnections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

    • All other Water operations will continue as normal, except for payments accepted at City Hall.

 

    • We encourage all customers to consider using alternate payment methods, including by mail, our online portal, the payment drop box located at 161 South Charlotte Street, or by calling 828-251-1122.

 

    • Leak repair and restoration call response will continue, but on a prioritized basis. There may be a delayed response for minor issues.

      Water repair
      Asheville Water Maintenance crews remain on the job, fixing any water line breaks that may occur. 

 

    • We are limiting employee-to-employee contact and employee-to-public contact using the social distancing guidelines of maintaining 6 feet apart to discourage transmission of COVID-19.

 

  • In-person water tap sales are suspended.  These requests are being handled remotely.Again, all essential City of Asheville police, fire, sanitation, transit and water services are being maintained as we continue to serve and protect this community, during the COVID-19 public health emergency, serving you, our residents.

For resources on COVID-19 prevention best practices and news updates, visit Buncombe Ready. Additional guidance is on the Buncombe County Public Health website.

 Information regarding the steps that the State is taking to address the spread of COVID-19 may be found on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.

For information on how to sign up for City and County government alerts, visit this link.