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Engaging spanish-speaking residents in lead pipe replacement in Wellington, CO

Wellington, CO 80549, USA
120Water

Government Champion

Public Works

Cost

Initial:
15 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2021

At a Glance

Wellington simplified Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) logistics and future-proofed the program by creating Spanish versions of implementation protocols. This built community trust and equitable access for Spanish speaking residents, a population which has seen significant growth over the past decade.

Problem Addressed

The Town of Wellington, CO experienced significant growth over the past decade-- and with that growth came increased demand. The utility worked to build trust and exceed resident expectations for their drinking water, with a focus on continuing to meet compliance mandates and provide easy, accessible experiences for their customers.

Because of the influx of new residents, with many of them being primarily spanish-speaking, the town of Wellington faced increased difficulty reaching their citizens. As a result, they worked to prioritize communication and education around Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) testing. Many residents were non-responsive to sampling efforts, causing utility workers to spend precious time knocking on doors to explain the sampling requirements and meet the mandates. This outreach took them away from the day-to-day plant operations, which were already stretched thin because of COVID-19.

Additionally, the revised LCR is now officially signed into law and implements new mandates such as the creation of a Lead Service Line Inventory and testing in schools and daycares. The Town of Wellington needed a solution to tackle these challenges and continue in their mission of providing safe water and building trust with their community.

Town of Wellington used/is using 120Water's LCR testing solution to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

The Town of Wellington partnered with 120Water to help simplify testing logistics for their LCR program and implement a comprehensive solution including kits, software and services. 120Water’s dedication to outreach and education aligns with Wellington’s goals of increased transparency.

“Transparency and creating easier access for our residents is a huge priority, any help we can get to meet that mission is essential," said Mahalia Henschel, Communications Specialist for the Town of Wellington. "We want to invest in accessible processes that serve every member of the Wellington community–this is why 120Water was a great fit."

The Town implemented solutions that saved the utility team time and increased safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, like contactless shipping of kits and clearly labeled bottles with easy instructions for residents to fill and properly return samples.

In order to better facilitate equitable resident communication, the 120Water team brought on Spanish-speaking employees to support implementation. This enabled the town’s employees to more effectively implement the technology, as well as engage the Spanish-speaking community members to utilize the testing kits.

Additionally, the Town utilized 120Water's software to centralize data and provide an easy-to-view snapshot of the compliance program status.

Outcomes

  1. Simplified testing logistics for the Town's Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) program through (1) water testing kits, (2) software to centralize data and (3) education resources for residents.
  2. Contactless shipping kits saved time for utility workers and increased transparency with town residents through clearly labeled bottles with instructions to ensure proper filling & return.
  3. Resources and collateral for community outreach increased resident education about LCR testing.
  4. Centralized software brought together scattered data and provided a comprehensive view of the Town's compliance program.

Lessons Learned

  1. Creating a Spanish version of implementation protocols made testing accessibility more equitable across the city's population

Something Unique

One key differentiator of 120Water’s professional services team was the ability to maintain accessibility for Wellington’s Spanish-speaking community, providing translated documents and educational materials.

Who Should Consider?

Any city looking to simplify testing logistics for their LCR program, meet compliance mandates, and prioritize transparency with residents.