When a Water Main Leak Is The County’s Responsibility or Yours

Municipal supply lines bring fresh water to our homes. They’re a vital part of everyday life and one that we don’t often think about. Sometimes, these lines need to be repaired, or even replaced altogether. Depending on where the leak or issue occurs, the responsibility may fall on you, the homeowner, or the municipality. Here’s how to know whose responsibility a water main leak is.

What is a Water Main?

A water main is a large underground pipe that supplies drinking water to homes, businesses, and other areas. Water mains are typically made of plastic, concrete, or metal. They transport water from sources such as springs, rivers, and lakes to the point of distribution in residential, commercial, and public settings. Some municipalities use a combination of several types of water mains to meet the demands of their communities.

Water mains come in different sizes and lengths, depending on the size of the community being served. Generally, water mains are buried deep underground and can be up to several feet wide. The larger pipes carry a larger volume of water over greater distances than smaller pipes. 

County’s Responsibility

Your front yard may contain meters designed to determine how much water you’re using. A pipe runs from these meters to the water main, usually underneath the street. A service pipe connects you to the main line, providing water to your home. 

Leaks that occur between the meters and the water main are usually the county’s responsibility. An exception to this would be if you don’t maintain the area around the meters, as they’re incredibly important to make sure you get water and must be accessible to the county at all times. 

Your Responsibility

As a homeowner, you actually own the water service lines that run through your front yard. As such, you’re responsible for the lines that run from the meters to your home. If there’s a leak in your yard, it’s most likely going to be your responsibility, and you’re going to need to call in a professional plumber to take care of the leak. 

Signs of a leak in your yard include pools of water on the ground, sinkholes, dirty water in your home, or an unusually high water bill. If you think you have a leak, turn off your water main supply, and contact a plumber as soon as you can. Letting a leak go can cause damage to your home, or your neighbor’s home and property. 

Steps You Can Take to Avoid Water Main Problems

Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of water main problems.

1) Regularly inspect your property for any signs of a water main issue, such as pooling water or saturated ground around pipes. If you notice anything suspicious, contact a professional plumber right away.

2) Ensure that all your plumbing fixtures are regularly maintained and serviced. This will help reduce the chance of a broken water main due to corrosion or wear and tear on the pipes.

3) Have backflow prevention devices installed in your home to prevent contaminated water from entering your drinking water supply.

4) If you are planning any renovations or construction projects, ensure that all the necessary permits are in order and the contractor is aware of any local regulations regarding water main lines.

5) Make sure your landscaping does not interfere with or damage any underground water mains, sprinkler systems, or drainage systems.

6) Have a professional plumber inspect your home’s plumbing system at least once a year, and have any necessary repairs made immediately.

By following these tips, you can help reduce the risk of water main problems in your home. If you do experience a problem with your water main, it is important to act quickly and contact a professional plumber as soon as possible. Doing so will help ensure the damage is minimized and the problem is resolved quickly. 

Professionals Can Help Keep Your Water Lines Up And Running.

If you think your water pipes may be in need of repair, it’s important to call a professional. At Rick’s Plumbing, we’ve been helping homeowners in New Haven and Fairfield Counties since 1992. To schedule a look at your pipes, call us today at 203-874-6629.