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Benefits of Lakewood's new water and trash billing system

Benefits of Lakewood's new water and trash billing system

Lakewood was founded in 1954 as the first “contract city” and became famous over time for its flexibility in finding a good balance between the use of contractors, city staff and other government agencies to deliver the best possible service to residents.

Lakewood is now issuing utility bills for water and trash service with the assistance of the city's new billing contractor, Fathom. The city previously used another contractor to assist with water and trash bills.

Benefits of Lakewood’s new water & trash billing system

• More customer service representatives to answer customer questions more quickly than with Lakewood’s prior system. That means better and faster service for you. Call 1-855-785-4021 or go to https://lakewood.u2you.gwfathom.com. We know that web address is a bit long, so we've also created an easy "quick-link" way for you to get to the Fathom website by going to www.lakewoodcity.org/UtilityBill.

• When new “smart water meters” are installed at every residence and business between January and May 2018, customers will be able to get hour-by-hour water usage data online, which can help identify leaks, help you conserve, and help you reduce your water bill. (You will receive a letter about two weeks prior to the installation of your new smart meter. There is no charge for the new meter.) 

• The new smart meters are automatically read, with information transmitted by radio signal. In the past, with meters read by hand, there was always some percentage of accidental misreads or numbers recorded in error. The new smart meters will be much more accurate with far fewer errors.

• The new Lakewood billing website has more helpful information than the old city utility website. It will contain even more information once your smart water meter is installed.

• More options to pay, including a new pay-by-phone option. But, residents can still pay at city hall or by mail just as they always have. Residents can also sign up for credit card or bank account auto-pay just like they could in the past. Call the number or go to the website above for details and help.

What you need to do during the transition to the new billing system

• If you pay by mail or in person at city hall, there’s no change required at all. Just write down the new customer ID number you see on the new Lakewood water & trash bill you will receive in the future and pay as you always have.

• If you pay online or use auto-pay, go to www.lakewoodcity.org/UtilityBill or call 1-855-785-4021 to see if you need to enter your credit card into the new system or make any other changes. In some cases, you won’t need to make any changes.

• Be a little bit patient… As with any large new system (in this case a system serving 26,000 households and businesses) there may be a hiccup or two with a few customers. But the City of Lakewood and our contractor Fathom are committed to getting everything right, correcting any errors, and making sure this new system works out well for our residents. If you are ever less than satisfied with an answer from new Lakewood billing website or customer service team, please contact Lakewood city staff at 562-866-9771, extension 2140 or at Service1@lakewoodcity.org so we can look into it and make sure we’re getting you the best possible answer.

Lakewood’s tradition of service to residents

• Lakewood—as the pioneer in the “contract city” model of local government—has always utilized contractors to cost-effectively assist in the delivery of city services, be it contractors for trash collection, street sweeping, tree trimming or law enforcement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Fathom is Lakewood’s newest contractor, assisting the city in its utility billing and water meter servicing. This is not new--for several years prior to Fathom, Lakewood had another contractor assisting with utility billing. 

• The City of Lakewood still owns its water system and water rights. Lakewood personnel continue to staff the wells, reservoirs, water mains, water treatment and testing, planning and administration, and hundreds of other tasks involved with providing water service to Lakewood customers. With the inclusion of Fathom, the only thing that’s changing is having a new city contractor for the billing side of water and trash service, and a partner in providing customer service.

• Trash service continues to be provided by EDCO Waste Services. For questions about your trash and recycling service, such as needing new carts, reporting a trash skip, or requesting a bulky item pickup, please continue to contact EDCO at 562-531-3054 or www.edcodisposal.com. For questions about your billing for trash service, contact the new customer service number and website listed at the top of this article.

• Water service to the area of Lakewood located east of the San Gabriel River continues to be provided by the Golden State Water Company, which will bill its water customers separate from this new City of Lakewood billing system. Golden State can be reached at 1-800-999-4033.