491 

 

key to wellness. Our “Choose Tap” campaign seeks to educate the community on the health and 
economic benefits of tap water as their beverage of first choice.  Efforts include educational materials, 
new water fountains/bottle filling stations in schools and public areas, and the conspicuous presence of 
our “water wagon” offering “original” and “chilled” tap water at public events. 

Water Matters: In 2015 we launched a program called “Water Matters,” an interactive six-week public 
education initiative that highlights what we do as a utility from the watershed to the tap.  The first class 
of 25 customers received an inside look at the work we do on a daily basis, with a particular focus on 
water treatment and water quality, infrastructure rehabilitation and renewal, fire service, green energy 
and watershed maintenance, including a field trip to visit the R.B. Simms Water Treatment Facility and 
the Lake Blalock Dam.  The first round was well received, and will become an annual event. 

The New and Improved SpartanburgWater.Org: In 2015, Spartanburg Water launched a new web site 
with full social media integration, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The new website 
provides a digital home for the deployment of messages and tactics that will engage and inform 
Spartanburg Water stakeholders. 

Business and Customer Information Computer Systems Upgrades: In addition to the internal financial 
and information sharing benefits described in Activity 1, these new systems are significantly improving 
the customer’s experience when interacting with the utility, providing an enhanced portal with a more 
user friendly format for customers to view and pay bills online, view consumption and billing history, 
view account information, and report outages or other problems.  Mobile applications enable, 
customers to view & pay their bill, and report outages or other problems from their smart phone or 
tablet, and an enhanced Interactive Voice Response system makes our automated telephone services 
more useful. 

Facility Tours: Tours of our major facilities are available to schools, colleges and community groups upon 
request.  Within the bounds of customer safety, groups are shown the treatment processes and 
sequence, and have the opportunity to have any questions answered by our staff of water professionals. 

Speakers Bureau:  We have a group of employees well versed in water issues and processes who stand 
ready to provide formal or informal talks, host Q&A sessions, conduct school presentations, judge 
science fair projects and meet other requests from the community. 

Participation in local, state and federal government: We take an active role at all levels of government, 
maintaining contact with elected officials, providing data and testimony before committees as required, 
and participating in various civic, business and technical organizations.  Examples include local and state 
Chamber of Commerce, workgroups sponsored by state environmental agencies, DOT, state 
Environmental Technical Committee, Water Utility Council, and SC Water Quality Association.  

Project Communication: When we perform projects that may directly impact our customers in some 
way (water service, traffic disruption, aesthetic impacts, etc.), we employ a variety of communication 
tactics to keep them informed from start to finish.  These may include letters, e-mails, meetings, 
published schedules, project updates on our website or social media outlets, press releases and even 
door-to-door notifications as appropriate to the situation.  Our goal is to assure that our customers 
know what we are doing, why we are doing it, when we start and finish, and what impacts and benefits 
they may expect.