South City residents hit with bombshell bill after water line br - KMOV.com

South City residents hit with bombshell bill after water line breaks

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Many local residents have discovered the city is not responsible for maintenance on water lines near their home. Credit: KMOV Many local residents have discovered the city is not responsible for maintenance on water lines near their home. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A warning for homeowners. You could get hit with a bombshell bill if a water line breaks near your home.

The problem all comes down to what kind of line is in your neighborhood.
    
"It is such a waste of water," says resident Christine Cronin. 

She bought her townhome a year ago. They are what's called " fee simple". That means owners are responsible for paying for the exterior maintenance. 

But when water started gushing out on the street Sunday, she thought the city would be on the hook to fix it. 

"We are pretty sure it is the main because we are all affected, about 13 units affected," she says. 

But News 4 learned it's not on the city to pay to for repairs.

"This is a private service line on private property. It is the property owners responsibility to address it," says Director of Public Utilities Kurt Skouby. 

Skouby says most homeowners are responsible for the service lines that run from the street into their homes. But on Park Avenue, the developer ran one combined water line in the alley, instead of separate lines.

"The common line goes up in between the houses and out to the individual units. That service line is part of the private properties of those homes," he says. 

Cronin says she and her neighbors hired a private plumber, but it's unclear how much this will now end up costing them. 

"It could be anywhere between $3,500 and $6,000. We will just split it up and put the invoice in everyone mailbox," says Cronin. 

A real estate agent says typically issues such as this are in the sellers disclosure, so read the fine print.

How can you find out what kind of line is in front of your home? You have to call the city water department, give them your address and they'll be able to look it up for you. There's not an online resource. 

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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