City Care contract takes effect today

Christchurch City Council-owned company City Care takes over maintenance of Dunedin's water and wastewater network from today.

The main difference the public would see was vehicles branded with the City Care logo attending to network problems such as burst water mains or blocked sewers, Dunedin City Council water and waste group manager Laura McElhone said.

People should still call the DCC's customer services agency on (03) 477-4000 to report any issues and would still be dealing with DCC staff if they had specific complaints or queries. DCC staff would remain responsible for looking after treatment plants, pumping stations and water reservoirs.

Of the 30 DCC staff affected by the decision to outsource the water and wastewater network maintenance, 17 had been transferred to City Care. At most, two redundancies were expected, and the remainder of staff had been appointed to alternative roles within the DCC, Dr McElhone said.

The contract with City Care was expected to deliver annual savings of at least $350,000, as well as more assessment of sewer pipe condition, which would allow for better renewal planning.

Wastewater and stormwater sewers would also be cleaned more regularly, which would reduce the risk of flooding and the amount of sediment reaching Otago Harbour.

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