Located along the Washington coastline, the City of Bellingham is known for its vibrant culture and diverse offering of outdoor activities. With a population of almost 89,000 people, Bellingham is the last major city before the Canadian border.
Every Tuesday, the City would need to shut-off anywhere from 15 – 90 water accounts due to non-payments, a time-consuming process that required a lot of resources. Two field crews would rely on their own knowledge and experience to plan the routes manually on paper. Because the two crews planned independently of each other, these routes would often overlap.
To further complicate the process, there were often last-minute payments that were tracked by the City’s finance department. In these cases, field crews had to be quickly notified by phone. As a result, members from the finance department were tasked with managing the water shut-off operation, and field crews on the road had to be ready to pull over at any time to safely receive these calls.
To make this process more efficient and less stressful for both its staff and citizens, the City of Bellingham turned to Geocortex to streamline the operation.
The City utilized a Geocortex application to make it easy for its staff to log into the Bellingham Water Shut-off Map application, which can be accessed on both desktops by the finance department, and on tablets by the field crews. The non-payment addresses are now displayed on a map, and the app features live interaction capabilities. This means updates are seen in real-time, so last-minute payments are logged and marked accordingly on the map.
The City of Bellingham felt the benefits of Geocortex immediately. The field crews estimate that they now finish their water shut offs two hours earlier than before, and the finance department only needs one employee to be tasked with managing the operation, where three were previously needed.