Who's Responsible for Pipeline Repairs?

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Service Pipelines Are Private Property

Many property owners are unaware that they own the pipes—called private service lines or laterals—that bring water into their homes and carry wastewater away. If service pipelines clog, leak or break, it is the property owner’s responsibility to contact a plumber and pay for repairs. DSRSD is responsible for maintaining the public parts of the water and wastewater systems, including the larger “main” pipelines.

Where does ownership divide along water and sewer service pipelines? It’s not at the property line or the curb, as many people assume.

Water: The property owner is responsible for the service pipeline between the house and the water meter, which is usually located in the front yard, close to the sidewalk. DSRSD is responsible for the pipe between the meter and the public supply line (main) and for the meter (unless a customer tampers with the meter and breaks it).

Sewer: The property owner is responsible for the service pipeline between the house and the sewer main, which is usually located in the center of the street. DSRSD is responsible for the sewer main that carries the wastewater from individual residences to the plant for treatment. (See Taking Care of Your Sewer Lateral for ways to prevent clogs and repairs.)

Sewer and Water Laterals Web

If a Service Line Needs Repairs

Please call us if you suspect a service pipeline problem is our responsibility or if you’re unsure.
  • During business hours: (925) 828-8524
  • For after-hours emergencies: (925) 462-1212 (Alameda County Sheriff Dispatch)
We will assess the problem and determine if it’s appropriate to send out District staff.

ALWAYS call us if water needs to be turned off at the meter. Please do not shut off your water at the meter box or tamper with the meter. If you (or your designee) damage the meter or other District equipment, you will be billed for the cost of repairs or replacement, which can be $250 to $1,000 or more, depending on the damage.



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