- District operations (970) 468-0998 or (970) 390-7688
- District office (970) 513-1300 or (970) 409-0270
Water/Sewer Service Lines
Property Owners are Responsible for Maintenance & Repairs
Did you know that as a property owner in Wildernest you are responsible for maintenance and repair of your outside underground water and sewer service lines located between your home and where it connects to the utility main line? Property owners at condo complexes (HOA’s) are also responsible for lines servicing the complex. This article explains customer responsibility and ways to prepare for leaks and/or breaks on outside service lines.
The service line is the portion of pipe which is buried approximately 10 ft. underground, is connected to the public utility main line (usually near or under the street), and runs into your home. Depending on how far your house or condo is from the street, your service line can be anywhere from 20 ft. long to well over 200 ft. long.
Over time, unpreventable environmental conditions may cause your service line to deteriorate or crack. Leaks or breaks are usually caused by age, temperature changes, pipe material, ground shifting/settling, soil conditions, or tree roots.
Identifying a Leak
If you notice water leaking from the ground please call the District at 970-513-1300 or 970-468-7688. A technician will be dispatched to the area to assess the situation.
Does Your Curb Shut-Off Valve Work?
If the District identifies a leak on or near your property, a technician will attempt to turn off your service line by shutting off your curb valve. The curb shut-off valve is used to turn the water service on and off to your property at the District main and is usually located in the public right-of-way near the street.
It is critical that your curb shut-off valve be operable at all times. If a service line leak is occurring at your property, you must be able to shut your water off at the curb valve to stop the leak and mitigate damage to neighboring properties.
If the District is unable to determine in its sole discretion whether a leak, break, failure, or other condition exists within a District main or within a service line, and your property does not have a working curb valve to isolate your property, the District is authorized to immediately perform an emergency repair. If the source of the leak, break, or failure is caused by a personal property service line, all such emergency repair costs will be the responsibility of the property owner.
72 Hours to Conduct Repairs
If a leak is occurring on a service line, the property owner must commence repairs within seventy-two (72) hours from the time of notification by the District. If satisfactory progress toward repairing said leak has not been accomplished within such time period, the District may shut off service until the leak has been repaired, or the District in its discretion may proceed to repair the leak or break and charge the full cost therefor, plus ten percent (10%) to the property owner.
Do You Know Where Your Service Lines Run Underground?
It can be a difficult process to locate the source of a leak or break. To reduce repair costs, it is critical that you know where your service pipes are generally located between the houses and where it connects to the utility main near the street. Knowing the location of your service lines may save you thousands of dollars in excavation fees.
Every property owner should have a copy of the property site plan showing the location of the water/sewer service lines. This will be a valuable tool in an emergency situation when the plumber or excavator must know which direction your underground lines run. Contact the Summit County planning or building department to request a copy of the property plan.
Do You Have Insurance Coverage?
The District recommends you contact your homeowner insurance carrier to discuss coverage. In the event of an unexpected break, leak, or clog on your outside water or sewer service line, repair costs can be substantial. In an emergency situation, the cost to repair a service line can cost anywhere between $3,000-$15,000 in Summit County. In some cases, repairs costs are even higher if your service line is located under a public road and you do not have a working curb valve.
If your property is 35 years or older, it is strongly suggested that you start planning for a service line replacement or save for emergency repairs. If you need assistance identifying a water leak, please call BMMD at (970) 513-1300.