Age, ground shifts, fluctuating temperature and tree root penetration are among the most common factors that can damage or break lines. Household sewer lines also may become clogged by flushing inappropriate items down toilets or drains.
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No. This program offering water, sewer and in-home plumbing insurance is run by Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), a private company that is also known as Utility Service Partners, Inc. The warranty program is endorsed by the National League of Cities and works with more than 240 cities across the country.
All Edina utility customers are receiving letters informing them of the three programs offered by SLWA: water line warranty, sewer line warranty and internal plumbing warranty. SLWA has chosen to send an introductory letter for each program and a reminder, totaling six letters, each year of the program. Property owners should check with insurance agencies to see if their homeowner’s policies already covers these services. Enrollment is optional.
The City Council endorsed the program on Nov. 1, 2016, joining about 240 other cities around the country, and several in the Twin Cities area. As part of the agreement, the company can use the City’s name and logo in letters, bills and marketing materials. SLWA is responsible for all costs of the program, including mailings and promotion.
City staff recommended the program as an option to help residents whose water and sewer lines aren’t covered by their homeowner’s insurance. Staff regularly heard complaints from residents who discovered, when a break or failure occurred, that they were responsible for repair costs. Staff found the SLWA warranty program as an option to help people avoid expensive repair costs.
No. This program is entirely optional. Residents should treat it like any other insurance or warranty program. It’s up to residents to evaluate if they want to purchase warranty coverage.
Call SLWA at 1-844-257-8795 to have your name and address removed from their contact lists.
If the City sent letters, taxpayers would pay for those mailing and the staff time for them. By having the company send the letters, residents aren’t paying for that.
When the program launched, the City issued a press release. Information explaining the program has regularly been included in issues of city publications including Public Works Pipeline. The City also keeps this FAQ to help address resident questions.
The City is responsible only for its portion of the lines. For water lines, the City’s responsibility ends at the curb stop, which is located between 5 and 15 feet from the street. For sewer, it ends at the main, a much longer distance from a home and could require excavation into the street, which can be more costly to repair.
The City averages about 180 calls a year for water and sewer line problems. More than half end up being the homeowner’s responsibility. This number does not include every incident because some sewer problems, such as tree root intrusion or line repairs, are done on the private side of lines without City knowledge. We encourage people to call Edina Public Works first, but it doesn’t always happen.
No, copper pipes don’t last forever. The industry life expectancy of a copper service line is 50 years.
You should check your policy or with your agent. While some homeowner’s policies cover water and sewer lines, others don’t.
Costs can vary greatly, but the average cost for a water service line repair is about $1,200 to $1,500. If lines need replacing, the average cost is $2,000 to $3,000, according to Public Works. Sewer line repairs can be much more expensive because a street repair may be involved.
Yes. The program applies to all Edina residents.
SLWA is charging Edina residents $5.75 per month for the water service line warranty, up to $7.75 per month for the sewer line warranty and $6.99 a month for the in-home plumbing warranty. These are separate warranties, so people can chose which, if any, they want to purchase.
No. All payments go to SLWA. Where to send the payments is included in the information from SLWA.
Yes. The City receives 50 cents a month per policy. That money will be used to increase the level of service that a homeowner receives from the City of Edina when encountering a sewer backup.
Specific coverage questions should be directed to SLWA. You can call the company at 1-866-922-9006 or check the website, slwofa.com. Some coverage details also were included in the mailings.
No. The company put a deadline on the letters, but people are able to sign up later. Of note, in most cases coverage does not begin until 30 days after signing up.
SLWA has a list of frequently asked questions about its warranty programs. Or call SLWA at 1-866-922-9006.
What if I have more questions about the City’s water and sewer lines?
Please contact the Public Works Department at 952-826-0376.
As part of the City’s endorsement agreement, the City gave SLWA the addresses. Those are a matter of public record and could be obtained by anyone at any time.
No. SLWA states it does not sell its customer lists.