As a resident of Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood, I’ve seen Denver Water crews in my neighborhood the last couple of summers. I’m generally pretty engaged in my community, but never bothered to look into what they were actually doing since their activity never made its way to my street. Not until now, anyway.
And in truth, I never had to. Denver Water beat me to the punch.
As I was out mowing my lawn a couple of weeks ago, I saw a man dressed in standard white collar working attire (dress shirt tucked into khaki chinos) walking up my street knocking on doors and placing a manilla envelope on each doorstep. Since we’re gearing up for campaign season, I figured he was handing out literature for one of the 3,000 ballot measures (approximate) we’ll be voting on in Colorado come November.
I turned off my lawnmower and he introduced himself as a representative from Denver Water. He asked me if I had received their initial letter talking about the project they’re working on this year (I had), and if I had any questions about it (I didn’t). He then gave me an envelope, gave me a brief rundown of what’s happening, told me his business card was inside, and encouraged me to contact him with any questions or concerns. Terrific!
So what’s Denver Water up to?
Between the end of April and the end of August, Denver Water will (taken entirely from the material they gave me in the envelope):
- Clean and re-line the water main under your street as part of a project called pipe rehabilitation. Crews will drain water mains, clean them by removing mineral buildup from the past 100-plus years, and then line the mains with a specialized mortar to extend their lifespan by decades. See step-by-step photos of the pipe rehabilitation project at http://denverwater.org/PipeRehab.
- Replace lead water service lines in the project area.
Given that lead water pipes have been in the news recently (and especially due to what appears to be a dereliction of duty from certain municipalities), it’s good to see this is and has been a priority for Denver Water.
The ensuing five pages included in this material discuss what they plan to do, how they’ll do it, how we’ll be impacted, how to manage those impacts, and, again and again, how to get in touch with them should we need to for any reason.
It’s not often as a PR practitioner I encounter proactive, transparent, and repeated outreach on a project of civic importance that affects me directly such as this. And it’s even less frequent that the agency conducting a project with this type of impact receives any praise for their efforts whatsoever.
And that’s why I’m happy to offer a sincere thank you to Denver Water for their efforts to make sure me and my neighbors are well-informed about improvements made to our water and working to ensure the impacts during those improvements are as painless as possible. Here’s to hoping the project goes as well as the outreach!