How long have you worked for City of Springfield/MWMC?
I’ve been with the City of Springfield for five years, and I’ve been in my current role for three years. My first position at the City was in finance, and then I moved over to this job. I was a stay-at-home mom for about 14 years, and I loved every minute of it. Best job I’ve ever had. When I went back to work, I was the market manager at the Lane County Farmer’s Market for several years before I came here.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I have a lot of reoccurring tasks every month. I do industrial billing for stormwater and wastewater for eight accounts every month, and I manage billing of about 40 commercial accounts. During the wintertime I get tons of calls. That’s because people have leaks, and up until November they’ve been on their summer average billing, so oftentimes people won’t even realize they have a leak until they get their December billing, and suddenly their usage goes from five units on average to 40 units. So most of wintertime is spent reaching out to people that call and working with them to get wastewater credits for leak issues they’re having. And I’m the only person that handles the whole city of Springfield, so it gets really busy!
Can you explain what the water leak relief process is like for people who don’t know?
People contact me after Springfield Utility Board
has contacted them to let them know they have a leak or after they get a bill that shocks them, and then we start the investigation process. We can go through their water usage history and see what happened. So if you were at 5 units average usage per month, and now you’re at 45, then it’s pretty obvious that something is going on. We don’t require any paperwork, we just gather what the nature of the leak was, the date of repair, and who did the repair. After that repair is done, we wait 30 days to make sure that the usage is back down to normal, because we want to make sure the issue was fixed. Then we issue a 100% credit to them for the difference between the high-read wastewater bill and their average usage.
I just recently had one that was like a $2,000 leak, and when they’re used to a $56 wastewater bill, they can’t afford to pay it. SUB is really good at working with people and helping them through that process. If they know a credit is coming in a month, they’re not going to expect the whole thing to be paid up front. So I really do enjoy helping people in that regard.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I’m a numbers person, so any chance I get to put data together. I’m just a nerd like that. I do enjoy talking to people, because I feel like I’m really helping them. A lot of people are stressed, because when you have a bad water leak it can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, so they’re in a panic. And I like being able to walk them through the process and let them know we’re going to take care of it, because then they’re just relieved. It’s a burden off their shoulders. It’s nice to feel like you’re actually helping the community.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I play golf and I love hiking. I go to Mt. Pisgah a lot, and one of my favorite places in Oregon is Silver Falls. I’m a sucker for waterfalls, so if a hike has one, I’m down. I love the sound of waterfalls. I also like hanging out with my son and daughter any chance I get. My daughter is a pediatric ICU nurse in Portland, so it’s a little tricky finding time with her. My son is here in Eugene. He’s a senior at U of O. We have a routine: every weekend we go out to eat somewhere together.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve encountered working at MWMC?
I got a call from a gal who wanted to potty train her cat, and she was asking if she could flush kitty litter down the drain. I was like, “Don’t do it!” She was trying to teach her cat to use the toilet. Even if it says, “flushable kitty litter”, it’s so hard on the wastewater system.
You can learn more about what the entire MWMC team does on our website.