Shonky meter job claims rejected
An apparent water meter insider has branded installation in Kapiti as ''quick and dirty'', with hidden spending.
Kapiti Coast District Council is refuting his claims.
The Kapiti Observer was contacted by a person, who wished to remain unnamed, raising concerns about installation that appeared to come from inside the project.
He said some installers are not meeting minimum qualifications for working on a public reticulation system, and the true cost of installation would be hidden because council servicemen are already being used to help with the work, only a month into the project.
He said the cost for this work would come out of council budgets, not the price for the contracts.
The accusations drew an angry response from council infrastructure services group manager Sean Mallon.
He said installation staff were not required to meet the qualification level suggested by the source.
''The comment that this is a 'quick and dirty' installation is completely out of order and a real issue for council, Thomas Plumbing and Downers [the contractors].
''We are all extremely aware of the need for quality and are doing everything to ensure we get a quality job done.''
However he said council staff are being used to locate existing services, which the contractors cannot find.
''We offer this support to all utility services, such as power companies, as well as private property owners on an ongoing basis.''
He said council staff replace existing services where the water main [a pipe] is required to be shut down or physical works are required on the main.
Mr Mallon said the work is ''part of our normal day to day operations'' so is funded by the council.
''If the anonymous person who contacted the newspaper had any real concerns, then why didn't that person raise their concerns directly with council, and why the anonymity?''
He said each installation is inspected by the council clerk of works, photographed and the location and details recorded on a GPS data logger.
''They can then scan a barcode on each meter and load the meter details against each property.''
Thomas Plumbing will install meters in all properties without meters north of Waikanae River for a maximum $2.7 million.
Downers will cover Kapiti south of the river to Paekakariki, installing meters for a maximum $2.47m.
Work is set to be completed by the end of next year, followed by two rounds of dummy billing for residents before mid-2014.
- Kapiti Observer
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