Utility Service Partners, Inc.

Sharing industry news, best practices and program highlights from experts in the field,.

Out of sight, out of mind

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shutterstock_153692441When roads break beneath your tires, you see the wear. You know after a harsh winter or a rainy summer, potholes emerge and repairs are necessary. Roadways aren’t the only things crumbling though. Deep underground, water and sewer lines go unnoticed for years before failure occurs, likely resulting in expensive repairs, flooding, and customers without service.

Millions of miles of pipes distribute water to homes around the nation and maintaining these systems comes at a hefty price. Ignoring their needs costs even more. Without timely repairs to broken and leaking pipes, the failures can become catastrophic – such as collapsing roadways, creating sinkholes, wasted water, and ground pollution.

As many parts of the nation face one of the worst droughts in history, water conservation is of the utmost importance for communities – regardless of whether there is a shortage. Local leaders need to educate their community on the importance of addressing failing infrastructure – both public and private.

“We trade in our cellphones after one year. We trade in TVs because we want a bigger screen. But we’re content to live with more-than-100-year-old pipes,” New York Congressman Paul Tonko told the Lockport Journal in a recent article. “Believing they will be there forever is unreasonable.”

It’s a common misconception that water and sewer pipes are going to last forever. In recent years, our nation has experienced harsh winters; quick, drastic temperature changes; dry summers, and intense rains. These extreme weather conditions shave years off the life expectancy of the pipes. In addition to weather, ground shifting and root intrusion are other common problems.

There are studies that note the billions of dollars needed to fix the failing public infrastructure, but what about the homeowners’ service lines that are facing the same extreme weather, ground shifting, tree root intrusion, and age? When their lines fail there are no taxes to raise and no federal funding – it’s straight out of their pocket. Repairs to water and sewer lines could range from $1,300 to as much as $3,500 or more. Not to mention the time and hassle of finding a reputable plumber, lost time at work, and damage to personal property.

More than 270 communities around the nation are helping their homeowners through repair programs such as the National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program to provide a lifeline when they need it most. Let us help address aging infrastructure for homeowners in your community through affordable protection at no cost to the city. Learn more at www.utilitysp.net.

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