The City encourages homeowners to check into a number of options now available to cover potential sewer pipe issues. While this coverage is voluntary, it’s an option that can prevent homeowners from unexpected expenses in case a sewer pipe breaks. There are a number of companies now offering this type of coverage, who may not have in the past.
Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the private sewer service line. The sewer service line is the section of pipe that runs between the home and the public sewer line in the street. It drains wastewater from homes.
If the section under homeowner responsibility breaks, the homeowner would need to pay for the repairs. Repairs, while rare, can span from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
There are a number of insurance providers that offer this coverage. Ask your insurance provider if they have a policy to cover sewer pipe breaks.
Policies are typically $20-40 per year on average and typically provide coverage for all buried, privately-owned facilities on private property. However, residents should check with their respective insurance companies to see what is covered. What is covered and to what extent varies from company to company. Please read the policies carefully and take time to understand how they differ.
In April 2019, the City’s contract with Service Line Warranties of America ended. The City of Madison has no connection or affiliation with this company any longer, effective April 2019.
Homeowners are not required to have sewer pipe coverage, and many choose not to. The likelihood of having a problem with your sewer service pipe depends on a number of factors.
The most important factor depends on the type of pipe used. Clay pipes were common from the early 1900s to about 1980. PVC pipe (a type of plastic) is more common after 1980 and tends to be less likely to fail from tree roots growing through them or blockage.
If a homeowner is not sure what kind of pipes are under his or her home, call the City of Madison Engineering Division at 608-266-4430. Engineering has records of most public sewer service lines.