Protect Yourself & Your Home From Water Utility Service Imposters
Water utility service imposters are trying to collect water bills or sell water treatment devices using false or misleading statements about the quality or contents of your water. These imposters may attempt to pass as a City employee to collect money or gain access to your home. As our customers, we want to assure you that the quality of your water meets all the state and federal drinking water standards. Refer to the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report.
Protect yourself and your home from water utility service imposters with these recommended tips and information:
- Report any suspicious personnel to the Police Department at their 24-hour non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000 or Public Utilities Department's emergency hotline at (619) 515-3525 as soon as possible.
- Check for an employee badge and uniform.
- Check their vehicle. Public Utilities Department employees usually drive a vehicle or truck displaying the City of San Diego logo. Some City employees, such as meter readers, drive personal vehicles; however, proper badge and uniform should be worn at all times.
- The majority of water samples are taken from outside of the home, so entering the home is usually not necessary.
- Usually water agency staff are not responsible for fixing problems or testing inside private residences and almost never have reason to ask for entry.
- Typically the Public Utilities Department schedules an appointment to discuss water quality or take a water sample.
- Employees do not collect a past-due bill in person or engage in door-to-door sales while on the job. In addition, a water utility employee does not deliver rebates or refunds.
- Ask for their supervisor's name and phone number.
- Never let anyone in your home if you are uncomfortable.
Report Suspicious Personnel
If you have any questions about whether a person at your door is a City of San Diego employee, please call: Public Utilities Department's Emergency Hotline at (619) 515-3525 or San Diego Police Department 24-hour non-emergency line at (619) 531-2000.
The Law is on Your Side
California State Law protects consumers from false and misleading advertising about water treatment devices. The California Department of Public Health must certify all devices that are sold to remove "health related" contaminants. Certification is NOT required for devices to improve the taste or odor of water. The law explicitly forbids sales people from making false or misleading claims concerning contaminants in the drinking water or whether or not the customer's health or safety is at risk.