Property Owner Responsibility for Water and Sewer Service Lines

sewer work WLWater and sewer customers are often unaware that they are responsible for sewer and water service lines that go from the utility connections on the street to their homes. The lines are located underground and often enter homes from beneath the basement floor. If these lines collapse, break, or leak, repairs can necessitate ground excavation, basement floor removal/replacement, and sometimes street repair/replacement. Repair and replacement of service lines can be expensive.

Due to the location of these service lines, most property owners are not in a position to know the condition of their service lines or even their composition. Service lines that were installed by builders have evolved in recent years. Depending on their age, buildings in the area may have Orangeburg, cast iron, clay, tile, PVC, or service lines comprised of other materials. The composition of these lines can impact their longevity. In addition, the lines can be damaged in various ways including, but not limited to, root damage, settling, rust, decomposition, and/or intrusion by surrounding soil content. While no service line is immune from the need for repair or replacement, older homes, of course, have older lines.

While service line failures are not widespread in Grimes, some residents may be interested in options available to mitigate potential costs should they experience the need for a service line repair or replacement. The City of Grimes is aware that warranties are offered in the private marketplace which may provide warranty coverage for water and sewer service lines. One such company that you may receive solicitations from is Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) which has been recommended by the National League of Cities and has been offering service line warranties nationally since 2003. SLWA currently provides warranties to residents in at least 50 cities in Iowa.

The City does not endorse any service line warranty or company. All citizens are encouraged to conduct their own research to determine if, and what, service line warranty or company might fit the needs of respective properties. Investigate and read any service line warranty program’s information carefully to determine the applicable coverage and exclusions. It may even be worth a call to your current home insurance provider with questions about your specific property.

The City of Grimes would like to reiterate that participation in any such service line warranty is completely voluntary