As I talk to hundreds of cities and city officials each year about the National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program, I never dreamed that I would learn, firsthand the value of this service. We talk about the inconvenience of a failed water or sewer line, but until you or someone you love experiences a failure, you have no idea what a problem it is.
My mother is 91 years old and lives with my brother, who is confined to a wheelchair. They live in an older home and we do our best to keep everything in working order. Several weeks ago, my brother called and told me that the sink was draining slowly. I figured that it was simply stopped up and that I could fix it quickly with a small plastic ‘snake’ that I keep in my garage. After failing to clear it, we decided to call a plumber since it must be a bigger clog than normal. The plumber stopped by and gave my mother and brother the bad news. The line had broken somewhere in the yard!
My mother called me and was in tears. They told her that it would be over two weeks before they could fix it and that there was no way to estimate the cost. While the cost was of concern to her, the more pressing problem was waiting for the repair. My brother is a quadriplegic and cannot be cared for out of the house unless he is admitted to the hospital. I rushed over to my mother’s house and everyone was in a panic.
I reminded my mother that she had signed up for the NLC Service Line Warranty Program when the city had joined the program in 2007. I called the toll-free number and reported the claim. Within an hour, we received a call that a contractor was on the way to assess the problem and shortly thereafter a van pulled up in the driveway. They used a camera and found the break. It was in the yard and a large piece of the line had broken, creating a clog. It was pouring down rain and getting dark, so the workmen cleared the clogged area and assured us that they would be digging it up in the morning. The next morning, the utility companies and the city had marked the lines and the contractor was getting ready to start digging.
A large backhoe arrived and they had to remove a section of the chain link fence in order to get it in the yard. My mother and brother watched intently from the porch and I reassured them that this work was covered by the NLC Service Line Warranty Program, which seemed to make them feel better.
After several hours and a lot of digging, the repairs were complete and the contractor reattached the fence and restored the area. All during this period, we received several calls from Utility Service Partners, the provider of the NLC Service Line Warranty Program, to make sure the repairs were going smoothly and that my mother and brother were okay.
It is one thing to tell people how the NLC Service Line Warranty Program works, but it is even better to see it in action! The care and concern by everyone involved was touching and knowing that they are there in the future gives me peace of mind that my loved ones are protected.
This story, like many others, is the service your homeowners will receive with the NLC Service Line Warranty Program. If you’re attending the National League of Cities Congress of Cities Conference this week, please stop by the NLC Pavilion and visit with Utility Service Partners, Inc. to learn how to bring this program to your community and make sure your residents have peace of mind. Not going to the show? Contact Utility Service Partners, Inc. at 866-974-4801 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.