Water meter installation underway
The installation of district-wide residential water meters is now underway.
Thomas Plumbing Ltd has the contract to install meters north of the Waikanae River. They began installing meters in the Otaki Beach area on August 1.
Downer Ltd has the southern contract. They began their installation work in the Raumati area this week.
Both companies expect to install around 200 meters a week with the northern contract running through to October next year and the southern contract to December next year.
Letters are being hand delivered to affected residents the week before installation begins. In most cases installations will take minutes if a manifold is already in the ground, but some may take a little longer.
“Most disruptions to individual water supplies will be very short,” said Sean Mallon, General Manager Infrastructure for Council. “If a manifold already exists in the ground, then it will only be a matter of screwing in the meter. If a manifold has to be installed, then the installation work will take a little longer.”
In most cases the installation will be on Council land where the water pipe enters the private property. “Secondary” or “check” meters will only be installed on private land where there are multiple dwellings, such as those on a cross-lease.
“The only precaution people need to take is to ensure appliances that draw down water, such as dishwashers, are left off when the installation work is under way at their property. We will not need to enter your property.
“The situation is slightly different for multiple dwellings on the same property. We will be writing to each property owner in advance to seek permission to install a “check’ meter close to their house and agreement over the positioning of the “check” meter.”
Each contractor will be carrying formal identification. “They are only working during normal hours and no water will be turned off after 4.30pm unless absolutely necessary. The contractors are very aware of their responsibilities.”
A letter will be left at each dwelling once a meter has been installed. An information package will also be sent to the dwelling owner shortly outlining how to read the meter, tips on saving water, and a letter outlining when the new volume charge will begin.
“We are a long way from billing under the new system,” said Mr Mallon. “The contractors won’t have finished installing meters till late next year. We then plan a trial period when property owners will receive a “dummy” bill based on the water they have used. We plan two trial billing periods before we formally move into the new system from July 2014. This will give everyone plenty of time to get a good handle on how much water they are using in their household, ways to reduce water use and how much the new system will cost them.
“We are keen on their being no surprises and we will have staff on hand to help as we move through this phase.”
If residents require information, then they should phone Council on 296 4700 or 0800 486 486 in the first instance, or check out the Council website on www.kapiticoast.govt.nz.