The City of Sacramento has filed a lawsuit against Teichert Construction for non-compliant work and fraudulent billing related to Teichert’s work on the Accelerated Water Meter Program.
The City’s lawsuit contends that Teichert used improper construction materials and methods, that its work did not meet contract specifications and that Teichert billed the City for materials and labor not used in its work.
These issues do not affect how the meters track water usage for households. However, they undermine the longevity and durability of the installation, meaning the City will face excessive costs for replacement or repair sooner than intended.
“Teichert’s deficient work and ongoing refusal to comply with the terms of its contract has left the City with no other option than to file a lawsuit,” said City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood. “We have tried multiple times to address this with Teichert but have found over and over again that the City is alone in the desire to do the right thing for the ratepayers of Sacramento.”
Teichert was one of several companies that contracted to install water meters throughout the City in 2017-2020 under the Accelerated Water Meter Program. As part of its $62 million contract with the City, Teichert was hired to install approximately 13,000 water meters in the South Land Park, Tradewinds, North Sacramento, Meadowview, Golf Course Terrace, and Lemon Hill neighborhoods.
In 2019, the City became aware of improper installations at several residential properties in Teichert’s contracted areas. The City repeatedly asked Teichert to disclose all locations where it deviated from the contract specifications, but Teichert refused to provide the information.
The City ultimately launched a comprehensive investigation into Teichert’s work, through which the City found a 90% rate of non-compliant work. Examples of the deficient work by Teichert included, among other deficiencies, not installing special equipment designed to hold meters in place, backfilling excavations with unapproved materials, and using plastic pipe instead of copper pipe.
“It is unfortunate that Teichert decided to cut corners and misrepresent its work to the City,” Alcala Wood said. “By filing this lawsuit, the City is holding Teichert accountable for violating its contract and for depriving ratepayers of materials and services they paid for.”
If residents have questions about their meters, they should call 3-1-1 or email email@example.com. The City also has developed this FAQ.
Under AB 2572, the State of California has mandated that all urban homes and businesses have metered waters by 2025 to reduce water waste and encourage conservation.