By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 1/10/21
Getting the routine monthly bill for services like trash pickup, natural gas, water, and sewage may be the most interaction a customer may have with Las Cruces Utilities (LCU). However, there may be other instances where customers may need to reach out. Some of those times may be a potential emergency – like when a water main breaks or you smell a gas leak – that would be the time to call the 24-hour Utilities Emergency Dispatch at (575) 526-0500. LCU associates are ready to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“A rotating crew is available night and day to respond to customer calls and dispatch utility crews depending on the nature of the call,” Michelle Figueroa, LCU dispatch supervisor, said. Figueroa said that the team of seven associates have resources available to solve everything from broken utility pipes (gas, water, and wastewater), to traffic light malfunctions or street sign problems. They can respond to and dispatch the appropriate on-call personnel for after-hour emergencies. “Unfortunately, they can’t answer questions about billing” she said.
If there are questions about a bill, perhaps a sudden jump in the water bill portion for one month, would be best addressed to call Customer Central at (575) 541-2111, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A jump in the water portion of the bill can be a caused by an unknown leak on a customer’s property. Calling Customer Central is also best for questions on trash pickup, recycling, new connections, to updated contact information, and to sign up for alerts.
Rhonda K. Diaz, LCU water conservation program coordinator, explained that she also gets calls reporting water waste that would be better served as an inquiry into a leak. “With reference to water off the property, the customers should call Dispatch (526-0500) first and we will respond based on the situation and urgency of the matter, by either sending utility crews or contacting water conservation to notify customer,” she said.
If a customer does suspect active water waste, for example a broken sprinkler running at all hours, the Water Waste Hotline is (575) 528-4444, which is monitored by Diaz.
“Dispatch is the point of contact to call about gas or water emergencies and to notify customers of unexpected outages to their specific neighborhood using the LCU Alert System,” Figueroa said. “Customers are automatically included in the LCU alerts by signing up for utilities, either a quick text and/or email will notify the customer of a short outage that may affect them.”
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU Dispatchers Jeff Madrid and Brad Brooks are ready to take your call as a part of LCU’s 24-hour Utilities Emergency Dispatch if you suspect a gas or water leak, or a backed-up sewage line.