Missouri American Water makes changes to handle higher call volu - KMOV.com

Missouri American Water makes changes to handle higher call volume

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

Homeowners in the 1600 block of Blacksmith Court in unincorporated west St. Louis County waited two weeks for repairs to a ruptured water main break.

Before Missouri American Water could get out to make repairs it reduced the water flow to cut down on the amount of water being wasted.

 Customers told News 4 they were left with only a trickle of water coming from the tap. 

"We collect water in a little pitcher and we pour it in the back of the toilet so that we can flush them," said Jim Lowry.

"Every night, every other night we have to pack up all our bath and shower related items and go impose on a family member to take a shower or bath," said Sean Hayes, father of three.

Missouri American Water said the rate of water main breaks caused by the extreme cold has slowed to about 35 a day. A crew was out Tuesday to make repairs on Blacksmith Court.

But customers say whenever they'd called to ask when repairs would be made, they got stuck on hold and never got the answers they wanted.

The company admits its new automated answering system was overwhelmed by the volume of calls. Spokesman Brian Russell said the calls were coming in at a rate about ten times what the system was set up to handle.

Russell said the company's making improvements to handle higher volumes in the future.

He said the automated answering system would be reprogrammed and 50 new customer service representatives would be hired to staff Missouri American Water's call centers 

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