Public Works Director Resigns After Water Meter Probe

An investigative report has found smart meters in Tinley Park, Illinois inaccurately record how much water a household uses, resulting in overcharges
Public Works Director Resigns After Water Meter Probe

Interested in Flow Control?

Get Flow Control articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Flow Control + Get Alerts

Dale Schepers, public works director for the Village of Tinley, Park, Illinois, has resigned amid a controversy over how the village’s electronic water meters chronically overcharge residents, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Schepers, who announced his resignation Monday, July 20, was suspended with pay following an investigative report by the newspaper last month. He allegedly told an independent water meter testing company to not report if the meters passed or failed.

The Tribune’s investigation found the village’s smart meters, purchased at a cost of $1.8 million, to be inaccurately recording how much water a household has used, resulting in overcharges, a recurring problem for years. It also found that the village rarely tested meters but when they did, the meters frequently failed national standards.

At least 355 meters were found to have faulty readings — more than twice the number the village had reported to residents. In explanation of this discrepancy, Schepers and other officials said they decided the meters didn’t need to meet national standards post-installation.

“Whether it was myopic on Dale’s part, or just a conviction that the technology was in fact better than it was … it’s hard to say,” Acting Mayor Dave Seaman told the newspaper. “[Our focus] is on remediating the situation, identifying the extent of the problem and making sure people are treated fairly.”

The village interviewed four consultants this week with the goal of hiring at least one independent consultant to audit the water meter program.

“We want all the answers we can get in terms of the extent of the meter problem, what their recommendations are going forward and how we resolve resident issues where there are questions with billing,” said Village Manager Dave Niemeyer. Replacing all the meters could cost residents $4 million, according to the newspaper.

Assistant Village Manger Steve Tilton will manage the department while the village identifies an interim director, officials said.

Source: Chicago Tribune


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.