Many New York City homeowners don't realize that if a water and sewer lines leading to their home breaks, they are responsible for repairs.
And these repairs aren't cheap: Fixing a broken water line costs between $3,000 and $5,000 and sewer line repairs average $10,000 to $15,000, according to the NYC DEP.
To help homeowners plan for such expenses, in January, the New York City's Department of Environmental Protection launched the Service Line Protection Program, and so far, more than 56,000 people have signed up.
“Until they experience a service line emergency, many homeowners are unaware that they are responsible for these repairs and that their homeowners’ insurance typically doesn’t cover them either,” said Sharon Cameron, President of American Water Resources in a news release from the NYC DEP.
In 2012, the DEP responded to more than 3,000 leaks, of which 77 percent were discovered to be private service line problems, according to the release.
The plan costs $3.99 per month for water line protection and $7.99 per month for sewer line protection. Beginning July 1, the rate will be $4.49 per month, plus tax to protect the water line and $7.99, plus tax for the sewer line. They may also discontinue their involvement with the programs at any time if they no longer wish to participate.
The plan was praised by several city council members.
“I commend the Department of Environmental Protection on this successful program, which over 56,000 New York property owners have already joined, said Prospect Heights Councilwoman Letitia James. “Many property owners are not aware of the astronomical fees associated with water and sewage repairs. Affordable protection is deeply needed to keep property owners out of debt and in their homes.”
"I'm excited to see so many homeowners enrolling in the service line protection program,” said Park Slope Councilman Stephen Levin. “I want to thank Commissioner Carter Strickland and American Water Resources President Sharon Cameron for their great work to help homeowners save money and obtain the protection they need."