Vaitele resident raises faulty water meter claims

A Vaitele Fou resident has expressed concern about what he says is a faulty water meter and the Samoa Water Authority's (S.W.A.) response to his concerns that the issue may be widespread.

Lemalu Faioso Sione told the Samoa Observer of an experience three weeks ago when, he claims, the Authority had turned off their main switch for maintenance cutting out water supply in his area for at least three hours. 

But despite the switch-off at the main, Lemalu alleged that his meter continued to run fast causing him to be concerned.

He says he raised his concerns with the Authority the same week, asking for a survey of the meters in his area to see if the faults he alleged were widespread. 

That was almost a month ago. But Lemalu said no survey or call-back from S.W.A. management has been received.

In a letter to the management from Lemalu, dated June 11 this year, he outlined his concerns, saying while the main was switched off, he tried turning off the safety key located in front of the water meter but it continued to run. 

"I called the office and reported what I [had] witnessed but the lady said, my concern will be noted down and workers will visit me the next day to investigate as they [had] gone home for the night. The water was not on at 1am as she assured me," he wrote.

"The S.W.A. team came and I explained to them what had happened. One of them mentioned that it was the air pressure that causes the meter spinning. I wonder if this happens to all water meters connected to this main that night."

Lemalu said he was seeking a simple assurance from the S.W.A.that the matter was being investigated and was disappointed to not have received as much. 

"I am afraid this will keep happening to our meters whenever you shut down your main for whatever reason and we will pay the price for your faulty meters,” he said.

"They said they will write a report and come back yesterday to me to explain their findings. I am still waiting.”

Lemalu said his concern is that customers may be paying more than they use due to faulty meters.

"The faults from these [allegedly] faulty meters result in us paying more than what we should pay and I wonder how you can calculate the difference from these faults," his letter to the Authority continues.

"I, therefore, ask to replace my water meter as I found this old one faulty, and please see if you can do a survey of the rest of the water meters to make sure we customers only pay what we use. I appreciate your good work to cater for our people."

In the past few weeks, the Samoa Observer has sought comments from the Samoa Water Authority in response to Lemalu’s allegations, but has not received a response

"I told them they can verify my claims by switching off their main again and watch how my meter runs, and I want to ensure whether or not I am the only one affected,” he said. 

"And the worst thing is, the manager does not want to face us when we come, the billing section manager. It's such bad customer service."

Lemalu has also advised the general public to “keep an eye on your meters when the S.W.A. turns off their main switch.”


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