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20 May 2020

Installation of water meters in Masterton is progressing well, with extra contractors involved following the four and a half weeks of Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Up to six City Care workers are prioritising installing meters on the boundaries of properties, with more than 1900 installed to date, about 21 per cent of the 9,000 meters required.

Charging using water meters will not take begin until July next year, the start of the 2021/22 financial year.

The details of the water charges will be determined after a consultation with the community on revenue and financing, scheduled for July-August this year.

The first phase of meter installation involves installing meters under the familiar blue panels on footpaths, with the aim to have this work completed by September. To date, meters have been installed in Kuripuni and Lansdowne, with work beginning in Solway last week.

While most supplies are for individual properties, it is estimated about 1,000 properties in Masterton share a water supply.

The council’s intention is to install a meter for each household, and shared supplies will be the focus of the second phase of work, likely to start around September.

“Where supplies are shared, a site inspection will be carried out and discussions held with property owners,” acting Assets and Operations Manager Kaine Jaquiery said.

“We appreciate residents with shared water supplies will have questions, and we will be in contact before any site work is carried out.”

Urban ratepayers currently pay for water based on the rateable value of properties. When charging begins using water meters, it will replace this rate – it will not be an additional charge.

“Charges for water in rates are based on the cost of treating and supplying the water to households, and that will continue to be the case using meters,” Kaine said.

“Meters are not being installed to increase revenue.”

With water conservation an increasing requirement, particularly in summer, meters will enable better information to be gathered on water loss.

“We want to manage wastage and meters will be a key tool in identifying leaks in the water supply system.”

Meter installation work is being carried out in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines for Alert Level 2.