SAN DIEGO– The City of San Diego put out a warning for homeowners if they receive a “water update” notice from a private company to be aware.
“At first, like many people, I thought it was official communication from the water company or the city water department, but then I got a little suspicious over it,” said Robert Clark Young, a South Bay resident who received the unauthorized notice.
Young is among several neighbors in the South Bay who received the notice on their door this week. The notice reads “WATER UPDATE” and to “PLEASE CALL ASAP” written in English and Spanish. The flyer has a phone number: 877-977-8626, and a company name “Quality Water Testing USA, Inc.”
“So, I googled the phone number on there and it turned out they did the same thing up in Washington State, found a news story from five years ago up there. They were putting door hangers,” Young said.
According to the BBB website, the company received an A+ rating, despite two customer complaints this year for soliciting.
The city said they are not associated with the company and the company is not authorized to perform work on behalf of the city.
“These are just tactics that any business would use to promote themselves,” said Jose Ysea, City of San Diego Spokesperson.
Any notices from the city will have the city logo, and city staff will always identify themselves right away. The city said their personnel will also provide a supervisor’s phone number.
The city said they will not request access to your home to test water quality, but they already continuously test the water supply.
Detailed information about our water quality is available on the city’s Water Quality webpage.
“Regardless of what you are told the city does have water that meets the highest standards, all state and federal requirements and regulations, and in some cases exceed those requirements,” Ysea said.
“Is it concerning at all? You said some of your neighbors also got it as well?” FOX 5 asked.
“Well, it is because you don’t know who will fall for it. It’s in English and Spanish. I’m half Mexican myself and there are a lot of Hispanic people in this area, and if they don’t get you with the English they try to get you with Spanish. So they are targeting everyone,” Young explained.
FOX 5 has reached out to Quality Water Testing USA, Inc. via phone and email, and has not received a response back as of Friday.
The city is asking homeowners to call them if they have concerns about a notice.
Public Utilities Department customers can also contact the City’s Water Quality hotline at 619-668-3232 or email email@example.com during business hours.
Residents should check any phone number provided to ensure that it is legitimate. Anyone claiming to be a city employee who refuses to wait while the phone number is contacted for verification should be considered fraud. Report any suspicious personnel to the San Diego Police Department at its 24-hour non-emergency line at 619-531-2000 or the Public Utilities Department’s emergency hotline at 619-515-3525 as soon as possible.