The water service line provides potable water to a residence from the city’s water main. Like most pipelines, water service lines often fail due to poor installation methods or degradation of pipe material over time.
Under City Code 700.080, the city is responsible for the service line from the water main to the curb stop box or exterior meter box. This is generally near the right-of-way line. Per that code, any break in the service line beyond the curb stop box or exterior meter box is the responsibility of the customer. Those repairs could cost a customer a few thousand dollars.
During the April 6, 2021, general municipal election, voters approved Proposition W to offer residents a low-cost insurance plan that covers repairs to the customer section of those water service lines.
At its June 10 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council voted 8-0 to approve a bill (No. 7316) that will establish a $12 annual fee for the new insurance program. Council members Dave Hinman (Ward 1) and Katie Gatewood (Ward 5) were absent/excused. The bill was sponsored by Mayor Bill Hennessy.
The fee will be assessed on eligible properties. Those must be within the city limits with a water service line and having four or fewer dwelling units.
Fees will be first due in December 2021, with the program not expected to begin doing repairs until 2022. Two additional personnel will be added to the sewer lateral crew to complete repairs in both programs.
Eligible repairs include:
- Repairs to private water service lines that run between the water curb stop/exterior meter box and 1 foot outside of the exterior foundation wall, the first opportunity for a connection going into the property. (The portion formerly the customer’s responsibility.)
- Required street, sidewalk, or driveway pavement replacement.
- Seed and straw for yard repairs.
- Administrative cost.
Ineligible repairs include:
- Repair, relocation or damage to structures, retaining walls, swimming pools, sprinkler systems, electric dog fences and landscaping.
- Damage caused by water service line leaks or breaks.
- Repairs performed prior to application and acceptance into the program.
- Replacement of water service line through the residence foundation or in the interior of the residence.
- Repairs to irrigation systems or any other building or fixtures other than the primary residence.
- Water service lines shall not include any portion of the line located inside or under any structure such as but not limited to a carport, porch, deck, steps, air conditioning units and retaining walls.