Big Park Water has new online web portal
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK - While a pandemic that leads to office closures isn’t what has primarily driven the development of a new online customer portal for one local utility, things sure seemed to pan out at an opportune time.
Big Park Water Company’s website, bigparkwater.com, made a switch to a new web look in February that includes a customer portal. And it came online none too soon, as the utility’s service office on Castle Rock Road closed not long thereafter to customer traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This is part of a continued effort to provide customers with modern technology,” said Big Park Water operations manager Nick Gudovic. “This was developed at customer request, and it’s something other utilities might not have yet.”
Gudovic said residents now have access to manage their accounts any time they have Internet access — on the device of their choice.
“Many years ago, we looked at offering the ability for customers to have online access,” Gudovic said. “When we surveyed our customers, we found that a majority kept asking for an online account. We went back to the drawing board and discussed our options with our current billing software company, Continental Utility Solutions, Inc.”
Continental had a product that had been out for a few years that was the upgrade to older software named UMS.
“It offered a better platform for online access for our customers,” he said.
Big Park Water purchased the upgraded UMS software and associated new hardware in 2019. Gudovic said making bill paying a simple process was a priority.
The “My account” button, in the top right-hand corner of the bigparkwater.com homepage, is meant to take customers anywhere they need to go to meet their needs.
Once registered, each signed-in customer sees a dashboard with usage history, account history message center and multiple ways to pay a bill.
“Usage history is a rolling 12 months of information, to allow customers to visualize their seasonal usage,” Gudovic said.
Gudovic said another benefit to usage data are customers’ abilities to monitor usage in order to conserve water consumption or to identify a water leak.
Customers can link multiple locations under one login. With this feature, if a customer has multiple properties, or the property has multiple services like some business accounts, it is all accessible on one webpage, at any time, by the customer.
Customers can also transfer service easily to another location, if they move within the Big Park service area, and can submit questions or comments about the website or water service.
The switch to the new website involved converting previous customer data.
“After the conversion of data to the new platform, we were up and running weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gudovic said. “Luckily for us, when we closed our office to the public, our customers were able to use the newly launched web portal. We were able to provide the ability to ensure account access from anyplace in the world.
“We wish to encourage our customers to use these new electronic services and at the same time support our environment by going green,” he said.
Big Park Water can still be reached by phone at 928-284-2298.
Here are some of the features of the new website
• One-step secure bill payment with the “Quick Pay” feature-Sign up for new service
• Transfer service
• Request a service call
• Pay a bill with credit cards, debit cards or an e-check autopay
• Use the electronic wallet feature to store payment methods
• Sign up for recurring payment options
• Account History including statements, usage and charges
• Sign up for paperless services via email
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