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CFU Prepares for COVID-19

Posted on Monday, March 16, 2020

Updated 3/31/20 2:00 p.m.

Cedar Falls Utilities COVID-19 Update

Cedar Falls Utilities continues to provide essential utility services and does not anticipate any disruption to electric, gas, water or communication services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) health threat.

“The safety precautions we are following to protect our employees and customers during the coronavirus outbreak will not interfere with our ability to provide reliable service,” said CFU General Manager Steve Bernard. “We are continuing to serve customers and respond promptly to outage and emergency calls.”

Cedar Falls Utilities wants customers to know that drinking water is safe. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has determined that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is very low. Disinfection methods used in drinking water treatment are effective for inactivation of coronaviruses and all other viruses. Residents can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.

Cedar Falls Utilities has made some changes as a precautionary measure due to the evolving COVID-19 health threat. Some CFU employees are working remotely to limit their risk of exposure and help slow the spread of coronavirus in our community. The CFU customer service office is closed to the public. The office will remain closed until it is appropriate to reopen based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

Customer service staff remain available to answer questions and accept payments over the phone Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 319-268-5280. Customers can also pay their bill online or drop their payment off at the drop box located outside the CFU office on Utility Parkway. Customers returning equipment may drop items off in the vestibule at our office.

CFU will work with Cedar Falls residents and businesses to maintain utility services as the community faces hardships in response to the COVID-19 health threat. Service disconnections have been suspended, late fees have been temporarily waived and flexible payment options are available. CFU will continue to invoice for services and process payments but will work with customers who are financially impacted during this time. Business and residential customers with concerns about paying their utility bill are encouraged to call the customer service office at 319-268-5280 to discuss options.


Cedar Falls Utilities Offers Payment Flexibility During Health Threat

CFU will work with Cedar Falls residents and businesses to retain utility services as the community faces hardships in response to the COVID-19 health threat. Service disconnections will be suspended, late fees will be temporarily waived and flexible payment options will be available.

“We understand our community is going through a difficult and unprecedented time and we do not want customers to have the added stress of choosing whether or not to maintain their utility services,” said Steve Bernard, CFU General Manager. “We will work with residents and businesses on a case by case basis to determine a plan to help get them through the current situation.”

CFU will continue to invoice for services and process payments but will work with customers who are financially impacted during this time. 

Business and residential customers with concerns about paying their utility bill are encouraged to call the customer service office to discuss options. Customer service staff will remain available to answer questions over the phone Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 319-268-5280.

CFU will continue to provide residents with access to critical utility functions with no risk to electric, gas, water and communication services and will deploy necessary staff to resolve emergencies and maintain vital services. 

For ongoing information, customers can visit cfu.net/update, follow Cedar Falls Utilities on Facebook, or follow on Twitter @CFUNews.


Cedar Falls Utilities Closes Office to Public

Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) will close the customer service office to the public beginning on Tuesday, March 17 as a precautionary measure due to the evolving COVID-19 health threat. Access to critical utility functions will continue with no risk to electric, gas, water and communication services.  The customer service office will remain closed until it is determined appropriate based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

“In the interest of the safety and well-being of our customers and staff, we are closing our office to the public and asking certain employees to work from home,” said CFU General Manager Steve Bernard. “As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, we feel compelled to practice social distancing and do our part to slow transmission.”

CFU will continue to provide residents with access to mission critical essential services and will deploy necessary staff to resolve issues.

Cedar Falls Utilities wants you to know that your drinking water is safe. As noted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is very low. Disinfection methods used in drinking water treatment are effective for inactivation of coronaviruses and all other viruses. Iowans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. 

“This situation is fluid and we will continue to monitor and look to the Centers for Disease Control and Iowa Department of Public Health for guidance and make changes as necessary,” said Bernard. “While it is our hope to continue to provide the same level of customer service we always have, some exceptions may need to be considered during this time.”

Customer service staff will remain available to answer questions and accept payments over the phone Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 319-268-5280. Customers can also pay their bill online or drop their payment off at the drop box located outside the CFU office on Utility Parkway. Customers returning equipment may drop items off in the vestibule at our office. Plastic bags and slips will be available, please place your equipment in a bag with your name and address. Receipts for returned equipment will be mailed to customers.

If you have a service call scheduled for non-emergency work, a CFU representative will contact you to reschedule the service call. Only mission critical service calls will be completed during this time while the office is closed.

Customers with TV, internet or phone tech support questions can contact the CFU Help Desk which will remain available weekdays from 6 a.m. to midnight and weekends from 8 a.m. to midnight.

For ongoing information, customers can visit cfu.net/update, follow Cedar Falls Utilities on Facebook, or follow on Twitter @CFUNews.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is drinking water safe?
Yes. As noted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is very low. Disinfection methods used in drinking water treatment are effective for inactivation of coronaviruses and all other viruses. Iowans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. 

How long will CFU remain closed to customers?
We remain committed to provide high-quality service to our customers, while doing our part to protect the health of our community. As the situation evolves, CFU leadership will continue to meet daily to ensure we are both addressing the needs of the community and following the recommended guidelines of the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health. For ongoing information, customers can visit cfu.net/update, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @CFUNews

How can I pay my bill without coming into the office?
There are many alternative methods for paying your bill:

  • Call our office at 319-268-5280 and pay over the phone with a debit/credit card or e-Check
  • Pay your bill online at cfu.net
  • Use our 24-hour, secure drop box at CFU’s office building under the canopy

Is CFU customer service staff still available?
Customer service staff will remain available to answer questions and accept payments over the phone Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 319-268-5280.

Will the Help Desk still be available for TV, internet or phone tech support?
Yes. Customers with TV, internet or phone tech support questions can contact the CFU Help Desk at 319-268-5221. The Help Desk will remain available weekdays from 6 a.m. to midnight and weekends from 8 a.m. to midnight.

I need to return my communications equipment.  What do I do?
A table will be set up in our office vestibule, along with plastic bags and slips to label the bag with your name and address. Receipts for returned equipment will be mailed to customers.

I need to pick up communications equipment.  What do I do?
If you need communications equipment, please call 319-268-5283. We will make arrangements with you to obtain what you need.

What if I can’t pay my bill?
If you are having difficulty paying all or part of your bill, please call our office at 319-268-5280.

Will you still read my meters?
CFU meter reading personnel intend to read all outside meters according to their normal route schedule. If you have indoor meter(s), you may call customer service at 319-268-5280 with your meter read or submit it online at cfu.net/water.

I have an install scheduled for communications services.  Will CFU keep that appointment?
If you have an installation scheduled that needs to be postponed, a CFU representative will contact you about rescheduling that appointment.

I have an appointment for a technician to come to my home for a non-emergency service. Will you be keeping that appointment?
If you have a service call scheduled for a non-emergency, a CFU representative will contact you about rescheduling that appointment.

I am experiencing an electric, water or a communications outage.  What should I do?
Please call our outage number as normal, at 319-268-6999. CFU personnel will respond as quickly as possible to resolve any service interruptions.

I smell natural gas or need help with my gas service.  What should I do?
If you smell natural gas or suspect a gas leak, please leave the building immediately without operating light switches or a telephone. Gas can be ignited with the slightest spark or nearby heat or flames. After you’ve moved to a safe location, call CFU at 319-268-5340. Gas services staff will still be available for mission critical essential services and will deploy necessary staff to resolve issues.


Cedar Falls Utilities Prepares for COVID-19

In following recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health and as a precautionary measure due to the evolving COVID-19 health threat we are asking customers to practice social distancing and limit visits to our customer service office.

In the interest of the safety and well-being of our staff and community we ask you to first consider if your business can be done over the phone or online before visiting the office. If you feel one of those options will not meet your needs, please first call our customer service office at 319-268-5280 to determine an alternative.

CFU will continue to serve the community of Cedar Falls and provide access to critical utility functions with no risk to electric, gas, water and communication services. As the situation evolves, CFU leadership will continue to meet daily to ensure we are both addressing the needs the of the community and following the recommended guidelines of the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health. For ongoing information, customers can visit cfu.net/update, find the Utilities on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @CFUNews.

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