Texas PUC launches website detailing water, sewer regulatory data

The Public Utility Commission of Texas has announced the creation of FaucetFacts.org, a website designed to reach the owners and operators of small to mid-size water and sewer retail public utilities across Texas with vital information regarding their regulatory obligations and opportunities.

“We realize that many water and sewer retail public utilities across Texas are small family businesses whose limited staffing is occupied with day-to-day operations,” said PUC Executive Director John Paul Urban, III. “Our goal is to help these entities understand the applicable statutes and rules so they can meet regulatory obligations and avoid becoming a distressed retail public utility.”

As part of the ongoing modernization of the agency, PUC leadership created a Department of Utility Outreach late last year, assigning the organization’s top water policy expert, Tammy Benter, to lead efforts. This department known as DUO promotes awareness of guiding regulations among small to mid-size water and sewer retail public utilities. Benter and her team have worked diligently to build stronger communications channels, including quarterly outreach events.

“Even though our agency has worked to simplify and clarify the regulations surrounding retail water and sewer utility services to consumers, utility regulation is not something one can learn at a glance,” said Benter, veteran of more than two decades of service to the state of Texas. “With our agency regulating the business aspects of water and sewer utility operations and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality keeping tabs on water quality, the retail public water and sewer utilities have their hands full. Our goal is to improve regulatory understanding so that the customer at the faucet ultimately benefits.”

Built by BrightLeaf Group Inc., an Austin-based website design firm registered as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) with the state of Texas, the brightly-colored site offers a focused view of guiding regulations, with separate paths of discovery for Investor-Owned Utilities, Water and Sewer Utility Districts, Municipal Water or Sewer Utilities and Water Supply Corporations. Companies can use the site to update their information, submit queries, watch informative videos or review applicable elements of the Texas Water Code.  The website also includes general cybersecurity information to help the user understand its importance and role in the industry.

“At the end of the day, we want the customers of Texas to enjoy water and sewer service that is reliable, affordable and predictable,” concluded Urban. “The more we can do to educate the companies that deliver the services, the better it is for everyone.”

About the Public Utility Commission

Our mission is to serve Texans by regulating the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implementing respective legislation, and offering customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. Since its founding in 1975, the Commission has a long and proud history of service to Texas, protecting customers, fostering competition, and promoting high quality infrastructure. To learn more, please visit http://www.puc.texas.gov.

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