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Frequently Asked Questions

City of Sacramento lawsuit against Teichert Construction

The City of Sacramento has filed a lawsuit against Teichert Construction for non-compliant work and fraudulent billing related to the company’s construction contract on the Accelerated Water Meter Program.

Here are frequently asked questions and answers for customers about City water meters and this lawsuit:

Which neighborhoods could be affected by the improper work?

Teichert installed more than 13,000 water meters in Tradewinds, South Land Park, North Sacramento, Meadowview, Golf Course Terrace, and Lemon Hill.

Will improper installations affect my water meter?

The construction methods used by Teichert were not compliant with contract terms, but will not immediately affect customer water meter readings. However, some customers may observe water meter boxes that sink below the grade level of the sidewalk or yard. If that occurs, they should contact the city for inspection and repair.

What do I do if I notice a sinking meter box?

The City can inspect meters that could lead to tripping or hazards from sinking into the ground more than a quarter inch. Residents with questions about sinking meter boxes can call 3-1-1.

Will an improperly installed meter affect my water service or bill?

The City does not expect this issue to affect your current water service or bill. If you have a question about your water bill, please contact the Department of Utilities customer service.

Will an improperly installed meter affect my water quality?

This issue currently does not affect drinking water quality.

Will the construction deviations cause leaking at my home or property?

Based on investigations to date, the City does not expect an imminent failure of the infrastructure at this time. However, in addition to maintenance concerns, the longevity of the infrastructure has been compromised and it will need to be replaced by the City decades sooner than intended.

Could ratepayers end up footing the bill for the improper work?

The City is committed to protecting ratepayer money by ensuring that Teichert fixes improper work and refunds the false billings.

If my meter was improperly installed, when will it be fixed?

The City intends to hold Teichert accountable and ensure the construction defects are repaired as soon as possible.

How do I know if my meter is one of the incorrectly installed meters?

The City has been requesting that Teichert provide information on where they used incorrect materials and improper installation methods, but Teichert has not disclosed that information. The City launched an investigation and found a non-compliance rate of 90% for the Teichert installations. The City’s investigation of Teichert installations will be continuing.  Teichert’s contracts covered installations in Tradewinds, South Land Park, North Sacramento, Meadowview, Golf Course Terrace, and Lemon Hill.

Why do the construction materials and methods matter if my meter is still working?

Teichert contracted with the City to provide materials and perform installations designed to allow the meter support infrastructure to last for approximately 80 years. However, the City found many material deviations associated with Teichert’s work. These deviations are a problem because: 1) they were not allowed in the contract, 2) Teichert billed the City for more expensive services and materials that were not actually used, and 3) the deviations will reduce the lifespan of the meter support infrastructure so that it will need to be replaced decades sooner than intended, and at a greater cost.

Why is a lawsuit necessary?

The City has been trying to work directly with Teichert for more than two years to get it to provide information, fix the non-compliant work, and refund the City for the inappropriate charges. Unfortunately, Teichert has been unwilling to work with the City to resolve these problems, so the City must now pursue litigation in order to protect ratepayer dollars.

 

Below is a map of areas where Teichert Construction performed work. (Click to enlarge)