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Who Is Responsible for Water and Sewer Line Repairs?

View of rainy day from window

Water damage is a significant threat to your home, whether from rain, melting snow or underground water lines. Many homeowners mistakenly assume their water and sewer lines are the municipality’s responsibility. However, this isn’t always the case, and you could be stuck with a massive clean-up and repair bill if you don’t have the right home insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know.

Municipality’s Responsibility

The municipality is responsible for the water and sewer lines that extend from the main public lines to the edge of your property line. These typically include lines from the street and underneath the sidewalk. The municipality’s responsibility ends at your property line.

Homeowner’s Responsibility

Homeowners are responsible for water and sewer pipes that extend underground from the home to the end of the property line. The lines may be connected to municipal water and sewer services, but you must maintain them and repair them when necessary.

Preventing Sewer and Water Line Repairs

Sewer pipe and water line repairs are expensive and cost as much as $15,000. Plus, you’ll need to repair your landscaping with fill, grading and sod. Here are some prevention tips to help you avoid these costly repairs.

  • Schedule a professional plumbing or sewer line company to inspect your pipes annually. Using cameras and other technology, professionals can detect cracks, clogs and leaks in your pipes and repair them before they become big problems.

  • Ensure your home has a sump pump and backwater valve. A sump pump removes excess water from your basement and pushes it away from your home. A backwater valve connects to your sewer pipe and prevents sewage from flowing back into your home if there’s a clog or a heavy rainstorm.

  • Avoid harsh chemical-based pipe cleaners, as these can corrode your sewer pipes and cause leaks.

  • Insulate all exposed pipes before winter to safeguard them against freezing and bursting.

  • Don’t flush feminine hygiene products, wipes, paper towels, dental floss, cat litter, grease, oil, gum and cotton pads down the toilet. These items can clog your sewer line and lead to costly repairs.

Finally, check with your insurance broker if your house insurance policy covers you for sewer backup and other types of flooding. You may consider adding water service line and sewer coverage to your current policy.

Home Insurance in Nova Scotia

At Eisenhauer Insurance Inc., our experienced brokers can help protect your home and belongings from flood damage. You may be able to save 10 to 40 per cent on insurance by combining your home and auto policies with one company. Our insurance centres serve customers throughout Nova Scotia. Contact us today to speak to a broker.


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