Orem endorses policy for sewer, water line breaks

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(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

It’s a nightmare scenario for many homeowners: you discover a leak or other problem in the sewer or water line that connects your house to the city system, and then when you call the city to report the problem, you discover that the repair is your responsibility.

While working on the utilities master plan for the city, the issue about these sewer and water lines came up, said Steven Downs, Orem spokesman. The city regularly gets calls from people saying they have a break or leak, and then the caller gets the bad news that the city isn’t responsible for repairs.

“We felt like we could do more, be more proactive or allow a heads-up,” he said.

So Orem officials put out a request for proposals and chose the company it thought was the best — Service Line Warranties of America — to educate homeowners about their responsibilities and offer a warranty program for the sewer and water lines.

The policy is optional, has no waiting period and no deductible or lifetime limit, Downs said. And last year, the company offering the program only had a 1 percent claim-denial rate, as opposed to 30 percent or greater for other companies that offer this service.

Plus, the company will use local technicians to do repairs, Downs said, keeping money in the local economy. The city has asked that it use Orem-based technicians first, and if there isn’t anyone available or qualified, to stay with businesses based in the area.

The monthly cost for sewer line protection is $6.99 (or $78.88 if you pay for a year upfront) and $4.49 per month for water line protection (or $48.88 if you pay for a year.) Orem isn’t receiving any kick backs or commissions for the program, he added. The company offered to give the city a commission of 50 cents per product, but Orem opted to have the company reduce the premium price instead.

“I purchased it just yesterday,” Downs said on Tuesday.

For more information, go to slwofa.com/orem.html.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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