Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
To comply with the mandate provided by Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, beginning Wednesday, July 22, 2020, masks will be worn by employees in all Consolidated Utility District (CUD) facilities when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Masks will be worn by employees in CUD vehicles transporting two or more persons. Masks will also be worn by employees in customer-facing roles unless there is a solid barrier, such as glass, between the employee and the customer.
CUD wants to share some information about steps we’re taking for the health of our customers and our employees. Our intention is to do our part to keep our community safe and prevent any spread of the COVID-19 virus.
For the latest information about the virus and efforts being made to counteract it, please the websites for the Centers for Disease Control, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the World Health Organization.
For our ratepayers, we are taking the following steps …
Public health is reliant on potable water. Therefore, CUD is an essential service to Rutherford County. The following are the measures CUD is instituting:
- In support of Governor Bill Lee’s order during the weekend, we are closing the lobby to customers. We’re taking this measure as a reasonable step to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. When we receive updated guidance from our elected leadership and state health officials, we will look to re-open the lobby.
- We have cleaning personnel onsite who are continuously cleaning during the day, and we will encourage customers to use our drive-up systems or online payment portals to manage their accounts.
- Hand sanitizers will be placed in areas throughout the lobby.
- Sanitary wipes will be stationed at our payment kiosk.
If any of our ratepayers have concerns about the safety of our drinking water, let us offer these key points …
- According to the CDC, the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water.
- Conventional filtration methods used by water utilities either remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
- CUD uses chlorine in its treatment processes. Chlorine is highly effective in removing or inactivating viruses that are even more resistant than COVID-19.
- Tap water is more highly regulated than bottled water and is subject to more state and federal regulations. By the time water reaches your tap at home, the chlorine has done its job and removed viruses and bacteria.
A quick word about paper products: Given how quickly items such as toilet tissue, paper towels, baby wipes, and napkins are being purchased in our area, we want to remind our ratepayers that paper towels, baby wipes, and napkins are NOT designed to break down like toilet paper. Flushing them will result in blockages and expensive plumbing problems, particularly with septic tanks.
CUD is also taking steps to protect our employees so that our utility can maintain its workflow. These steps include …
- At-risk employees will be asked to work from home, if possible. If that is not possible, they will be eligible to use sick leave and vacation days until they can return. NOTE: There is a bill currently in the U.S. Congress that may make these days compensable, though it requires approval by both houses and the president’s signature before it becomes law.
- Air purifiers with HEPA filters and UV-C light capabilities have been installed in areas of the Administration and Engineering buildings to maintain high air quality.
- Remote work environments may be set up for employees, should this be required.
- Employees are not to report to work if running a fever.
- All employees should take extra precautions by (1) standing or sitting at least 3 feet from other persons; (2) performing frequent hand washing hygiene (washing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds or cleaning hands with a minimum 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer); (3) regularly disinfecting work surfaces.
- Out of an abundance of caution, employee meetings/gatherings have been suspended until further notice.
Finally, we will continue to provide regular updates and access to resources for our employees and our customers, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).