The Line of Responsibility: Where the City’s Obligation to Plumbing Line Repairs Ends and Yours Begins

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for making repairs to your property. However, you may be unaware of where the line of responsibility lies when it comes to sewer line, drain line, or even water meter repairs. If you’d like to understand when these lines are your responsibility, we’re here to help.

Who is responsible for repairing sewer and drain lines?

The city owns, and is responsible for repairing, the sewer main and the tie-in, or fitting, that connects to your drain line. The homeowner must determine, at their expense, where the line is leaking.

Drain lines, pipes that carry wastewater away from the house to the sewer, tie into the city sewer main and are the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain. If the drain line separates from the city tie-in, then the homeowner must replace or repair the connection. 

Beware of additional costs

When the tie-in is located beneath the street, sidewalk or alley, the homeowner is responsible for paying a city-approved contractor to remove and replace these obstacles to repair the building drain. The city will pay for this if the city sewer main or the fitting is the culprit.

Other responsibilities of the city

The city is also responsible for the water meter, as well as the water line that leads up to the meter, and will pay for repairs unless the homeowner or a plumber caused damage to the water meter. The homeowner must maintain any portion of the water line past the water meter, after the water goes through the meter. 

Are these rules universal?

Who maintains and owns the drain lines can vary slightly from municipality to municipality, but generally, these rules apply across Texas.

In Conclusion

For water meters and sewer lines, responsibility for repair is not always clear. In any case, it’s important to hire a licensed plumber and to ensure they secure the required permits. Hiring a licensed plumber increases the likelihood of a successful repair and lowers the homeowner’s liability. If you suspect an issue with your sewer line, drain line, or water meter, contact North East Air Conditioning, Heating, & Plumbing today to identify the problem and get the repair done right.

Photo by Greg Jewett on Unsplash


Call: 210-658-0111