Special Notice to Customers About Water Service Leaks:
As the homes in our established neighborhoods continue to age, we are are seeing an increasing trend of large water service leaks reported on the customer-side of the water meter. These leaks, and subsequent repair costs, are responsibility of the individual homeowner! Please take some time to become aware of the condition, pipe material, and age of the buried main water supply pipe that runs from the water meter to your home. Consider hiring a plumber to help you with this question--and certainly ask a plumber to investigate the issue if they are already at your house for any other reason.
Here are some basic recommendations to reduce the risk of water service pipe failure:
Older homes are at greatest risk of a water service line leak. If your home was constructed prior to the 1990's, find out if your water service pipe has ever been replaced since the home was constructed. If not, consider replacing the buried pipe from the meter to your home regardless of its apparent condition--particularly if you are doing any kind of driveway or landscaping project in the vicinity of your water service pipe.
If your home has galvanized plumbing in the crawl space or walls, it is a good chance your original buried water service pipe from the meter was also galvanized pipe. Galvanized steel and iron pipe is obsolete and should be replaced as soon as your budget permits. It is very susceptible to internal and external corrosion that leads to leaks and gradual loss of capacity.
If you have had a history of leakage, serious corrosion, or cracking of any pipe material you should consider replacing the entire buried service pipe rather than continue with repeated repairs.
For the replacement of your buried water service pipe, the District recommends you consider polyethylene (aka: PEXa, PEXb, Uponor, Wirsbo, etc.) or high density polyethylene (HDPE) SDR-9 pipe material. HDPE pipe is more durable than PEX, but is less familiar to most plumbers. (SDR-9 refers to the wall thickness of the pipe material,) Consult a plumber for definitive advice.
Remember: Customers own and are responsible for all plumbing located on the customer-side of the water meter that is on private property. A broken water pipe can leak thousands of gallons in a single day and represent a major cost to repair.
Also, always take special care to protect your piping from freezing in your barn, shop, or hose bibs around your house. Every winter we hear about several pipe breaks due to freezing conditions!