Who is Responsible For City Water and Sewer Lines?
Service lines are a network of underground utility pipes/lines that supply a home with electricity, gas, water, and sewer functions. These lines connect from the house to a municipality’s main supply for these services. For example, installed under the road, a water main is a pipe that delivers the water supply to a home via a water service line.
The American Society of Civil Engineers reports an estimated 240,000 water main breaks occur each year. This is in part due to aging pipe infrastructure throughout the U.S., and partially because of the cold winter temps that affect the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast. Of course, the city is responsible for the main lines, but what about the individual service pipes, which could be susceptible to the same failures?
Supply Line Repairs
If a water supply line break takes place on the service line to a house owner’s property, they (the property owner) are accountable for the repair work or replacement expenses. These kinds of damages can be extremely pricey, and troublesome and aren’t covered by a standard property owner’s insurance plan. Special machinery may be required to excavate pipelines from below the ground, which may need your house, garden, or driveway to be dug up, depending upon the area of the broken pipes.
When your home plumbing system ties into the city sewer, confusion can develop regarding who is responsible for what part of the system.
The sewage line is part of the system that carries wastewater from your home, through plumbing to the city’s treatment plant. Part of that system falls under the responsibility of the city while the other part is the duty of the property owner.
Determining duty might appear as basic as drawing a property line in the proverbial sand, but the sewer line includes particular elements owned by the homeowner that may not always fall within the property line.
Who is accountable for Sewer Line Fixes?
The common belief is that the city is responsible for keeping and repairing pipes that range from your property line to the community water pipe and drains. Homeowners are accountable for the lines that run from the residential or commercial property line into the home.
This is not completely accurate, however, since the city is only responsible for the sewer line starting at the primary underground sewer pipe that brings waste and wastewater to the city’s treatment plant. Homeowners are anticipated to look after any pipes that link to this main line.
The key to comprehending where sewer line repair work responsibility begins and ends for homeowners, it is very important to understand what upper and lower lateral pipelines are.
Upper and Lower Lateral Pipes
When it pertains to the pipelines that run from your home to the primary sewer line, there are 2 sections: the upper lateral and lower lateral.
The upper lateral pipeline contains the clean-out for your house and at your property line.
The lower lateral pipe runs from your property line to the primary sewer line. This may cause controversy regarding repair work obligation considering that this piece of pipeline is not necessarily situated on the homeowner’s residential or commercial property– but it is still the obligation of the homeowner.
Overall, the property owner is responsible for sewer line repairs from the beginning of the upper lateral pipe to the end of the lower lateral pipe.
Fixing Sewer Lines</2>
When the City is Accountable
When there is an issue with the town’s main sewer line, you will likely notice sewage in the street or that your neighbors are experiencing sewage stoppages at the same time.
In any of those cases, contact your city to report the problem. Wastewater crews will examine the city sewer systems and send a maintenance team if repairs are needed.
When the Property owner is Accountable
If the sewer line repair falls onto the property owner, they are responsible for having actually the issue inspected in order to identify the problem and its area.
Sewer line damage can be expensive however some issues can be fixed with sewer line jetting or easy repair work.
Whenever you experience slow drainage or think that your sewer line is obstructed or broken, get in touch with a sewer technician. Our specialists can perform a drain cam evaluation to diagnose the problem. With issues that exist in the lower lateral pipe, the city is likely to become associated with the repair if the problem exists under the road or sidewalk. Even if the city is involved, the homeowner is still responsible for repair work costs.
South End Plumbing specializes in sewer jetting, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in video sewer line inspection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.