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Every day of the year, Auckland’s Watercare supplies 354 million litres of water and treats 392 million litres of wastewater.
The $8 billion of infrastructure assets which deliver these critical services are maintained around the clock by a team of specialists that includes Citycare Water.
Citycare Water holds one of Watercare’s two external contracts to deliver water and wastewater maintenance services to the city’s 1.5 million residents.
“Watercare relies on Citycare to protect and service our clients and our company reputation in the southern region of the city,” said Raveen Jaduram, Chief Executive Officer of Watercare.
“Our Citycare contractors wear Watercare branded uniforms and drive Watercare branded cars. They are, in effect, our customer service representatives, and the impression they create in our market is absolutely critical to us. Citycare is an extension of Watercare in so many ways. We expect – and receive – the highest level of service from them,” he said.
Watercare began providing water and wastewater services directly to homes and businesses throughout the Auckland region in November 2010. Previously the former Manukau City Council was served by Manukau Water and the former Auckland City Council was served by Metrowater.
Watercare, a council controlled organisation wholly owned by Auckland Council, split its water and wastewater services into three zones. Two contracts are delivered by external specialist contractors and the third by an in-house team.
Citycare had been a provider to Manukau Water Limited prior to the Auckland city integration. The original contract – now novated to Watercare – was for a five-year term, with the right to extend based on a number of financial and non-financial attributes.
“The fact that Citycare has secured every extension is a reflection of the quality of service that they have provided over a long period of time,” said Raveen Jaduram.
“Each commercial contract that we enter into has a presumption of knowledge as a given. All of our contractors have a certain level of technical capability that puts them into the choice set. Beyond that, an absolute focus on customer service is critical to Watercare.
“We also measure our contractors by the level of internal investment they are willing to make into their people and their systems and the level of innovation they bring to the table. Citycare is exemplary in their commitment and investment to make the partnership work,” he said.
Citycare Water’s maintenance contract – valued at more than $6 million per annum – covers the retail water and wastewater networks servicing their contract area, including pumping stations. The majority of the work is reactive to issues such as hydrants or valves leaking in the water network, pipe bursts or breaks in the sewage lines, but the contract also includes a routine of pumping station maintenance.
“Our call centre generally only gets active calls when there is a problem. At that time we need a contractor with the skills, the people and the equipment to quickly assess and remedy the problem,” said Raveen Jaduram.
“When it comes to water and wastewater, we do not want our customers waiting for a resolution – this is not an option.
“We feel that we are in good hands with Citycare,” he said.
Watercare has very stringent environmental standards and health and safety procedures that are important to the company and the communities they serve. Raveen says that Citycare shares a strong understanding of the purpose and value of Watercare’s obligations to its customers in terms of quality and safety and environmental performance.
“We are very public and visible and Citycare’s team are the face of our organisation in the area of the city they serve,” he said.
“Citycare Water is also innovative and responsive to change and opportunity. We feel a real sense of partnership with Citycare when they proactively suggest ways to improve service to our customers. They know their business inside-out and work very hard to be the best at it in the country. They assist Watercare in providing cost-effective water and wastewater services 24 hours a day, everyday of the year.