By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 11/3/19
Among the usual active bustle of the Saturday Farmer’s Market in downtown, there was a different booth: Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) was seeking face-to-face responses to a Customer Survey. The booth was manned by students from New Mexico State University’s Chi Epsilon, an engineering honors group. The students could not only hand out the English/Spanish surveys; they could also help on the fly with questions or surprises that the public might have.
The reason for the annual survey: “Each year we can set different benchmarks for our different Lines of Business and our survey helps us measure what customers know and where we might need to do more public outreach,” explains Jorge A. Garcia, PhD, P.E., LCU director.
The 12-question Survey asks things like: What color bag should you use to bag your yard waste? And what type of compost does the City give away free - there are two different types! One results from the Green Grappler green waste pickup and the other comes from highly processed and dried sewage.
The survey also asks about residents’ confidence on the quality of our drinking water and whether or not the cleaned water from Jacob Hands Wastewater Treatment Facility is sent safely back into the environment.
Not only at the Farmers Market, but at other locations like the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, NMSU engineering students were also stationed to hand out surveys and LCU goodie bags as well as answer questions about why to make the free 811 call before digging in your yard.
Over at SaveMart and at Toucan Market, another batch of students handed out more surveys and answered even more questions about what can and cannot go down your drain and toilet. The survey asks about things that you might think are flushable, and might even be marketed as such, but can cause many problems for homeowners, business owners, and the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Lastly, the survey investigates whether or not residents know about the second customer service location for LCU off US 70. “We do hope that those residents are making use of the center that has some adjusted hours,” said Dr. Garcia.
If you missed the face-to-face surveys, please look for it in your November Utilities bill as an insert to be mailed in or dropped off at one of the two Customer Central locations or go online to: http://www.las-cruces.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1371
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
Photo 1: The Buchanan’s, Ryan, Kaitlyn, and four-month-old Blake, spare some time to answer the 12-question survey for Las Cruces Utilities. Even though Blake slept through it in the arm of his mom, Ryan and Kaitlyn were able to help LCU understand what customers do and do not know about utility services.