Letters have been coming to mail boxes in Wichita Falls offering for a monthly premium to pay for repairs or replacement of the water service line for homeowners. A viewer asked us for answers, and we set out to get them. Here is what we found out.
Our first stop was Memorial Auditorium in Wichita Falls to find out from Public Works Director Russel Schrieber exactly what line we are talking about.
"Your responsibility begins at the homeowners side of the meter. The City's responsibility for the main and the service line up to the meter itself," said Russel Schrieber, Director of Public Works in Wichita Falls. "The homeowner's responsibility is from that point on, all the way up to the house."
Schrieber also said, the drought has forced a lot of water mains to break and some exterior water lines to homes are affected the same way water mains are.
Our second stop was to visit with Monica Horton with the Better Business Bureau of North Texas. We wanted to see if the company making the offer has a rating with the BBB.
"The company is a BBB accredited business with an A+ rating," said Monica Horton, President of the Better Business Bureau of North Texas.
Our third stop took us to Brian's Plumbing. That is where we asked President Brian Walser if there are a lot of homes that would need this. He told us there is an exception to having to replace that exterior line.
"The exception to the rule would be, if your house is really old and you have the old galvanized service between the house and the meter," says Brian Walser.
Monica Horton did tell us that no matter what, each homeowner has to make their own decision.
"Just like with any type of insurance or warranty type coverage, you need to really evaluate the offer and determine if it's something that's going to be beneficial for you to purchase," said Horton.
Plumber Brian Walser also told us the average cost of replacing the entire line from the water meter to the house should not run more than between $800 to $1,000. A repair for a cracked or broken line could be as little as $100. The letter sent to homeowners says the repairs could run into "the thousands".
We also reached out to an insurance agent in Wichita Falls. He told us that most Homeowner's Policies do not cover that exterior line because if it breaks the home does not sustain any actual damage.
The City of Wichita Falls is not in any way associated with this offer, or the company offering it.