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Your Water & Sewer Service Lines

Your Water & Sewer Systems

Do you know who owns the water service equipment at your property or who is responsible for keeping it in good working order? Since most of it is buried underground, you may never think about it.

HMUA Responsibilities

The HMUA owns and is responsible for maintenance and repair of the water and sewer facilities located within public roadways and right of ways. Examples of these facilities are listed below. If these items are damaged because of tampering or neglect, the cost of parts and labor for repair or replacement may be charged back to the customer.

  • Service Connection - the portion of pipe that runs from the water main to the Curb Valve.
  • Curb Valve & Curb Box - the Curb Valve is located underground at your property line and is accessed through the Curb Box. The Curb Valve connects to your service line and operates as a shut-off valve.
  • Water Meter - a precision measuring instrument that measures your water usage. Usually is located inside the home or building, but may be located in a meter pit near the property line.
  • Remote ARB Receptacle - a device that allows HMUA personnel to read the meter inside your building without having to enter your home or business.
  • Sewer Lateral - the portion of sewer pipe that runs from the sewer main to the property line. In many cases a clean out is located at the property line.
  • Clean-out (at property line) - a pipe from the underground Sewer lateral to the ground. Provides access for rodding out the sewer lateral to clear a blockage.

Customer's Responsibilities

You own and are responsible for maintenance and repair of:

  • Water Service Line - the portion of water pipe from the Curb Valve, located at or near your property line, into your home or business.
  • Meter Valves - also known as the cellar valves or house valves, located inside your premises on either side of the Water Meter.
  • Pressure-Reducing Valve (PRV) - an optional device that regulates the pressure of water entering the premises, usually located on your plumbing near the water meter or hot water heater.
  • Sewer Lateral (property line to house) - the portion of sewer pipe that runs from the property line to the house.
  • Maintain full access to the ARB outside reading receptacle for reading, maintenance and repair by HMUA personnel. This means keeping shrubbery trimmed near the ARB outside recepticle. If you own a dog (or other animal which may cause harm) you will be required to keep the animal penned or restrained and away from the meter reader (when requested).
  • Maintain access to the water meter within your basement for maintenance or repair by HMUA personnel (by appointment).

Water & Sewer Emergency Repairs

For repairs to HMUA owned equipment or repairs under the street:

  • Mon - Fri 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM call 852-3622
  • After hours emergency service call 852-3300

Please do not hesitate to call us about suspected water main leaks or sewer blockages. For repair of customer-owned equipment, please contact your plumber.

Water Leaking in the Street

Signs of a water main or service connection leak include water running down the street or curb line and water coming out of a crack in the street or at the curb line.

A Sewer Backup or Problem

If you are experiencing a problem with the sewer in your home or building, determine whether the entire building or home is affected. If so, the problem may be outside the building. Before you incur the cost and expense of a plumber, call the HMUA immediately. Our personnel will respond and determine whether the problem is in the HMUA owned portion of the pipe or the homeowner portion. If the problem is in the street, HMUA personnel will correct the problem. If the problem exists between the property line and the home or building, the owner is responsible to correct the problem.

Customers can aid in preventing clogged sewer lines by not putting grease, meat drippings or greasy food scraps down the sewer. Do not use the sewer as a garbage can.

You can report water main breaks, service connection leaks or a sewer backup or overflow 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by calling 852-3300. Do not assume your neighbor will call. We would rather receive multiple reports about a problem than no reports at all.

Water Leaking in the Home or Business

Having water when and where you need it is something most of us take for granted – that is, until a household pipe breaks or a faucet won’t turn off.

If you discover a leaking water pipe in your home, look to see if there is a valve near the problem area to shut off and stop the leak. If this is possible, it will allow the remainder of the building to remain in service while the problem is corrected.

Turning Off Your Master Valve

If a valve can not be located near the source of the trouble, find and turn off the Master Valve. This valve is normally located near the water meter in the front of the house or where the Water Service Line enters the building. Closing this valve will shut off all the water to the building.

In the event that the master valve does not operate, please call the HMUA Business Office immediately for assistance. A serviceman will be dispatched to turn off the water at the Curb Valve. There is no charge for this service.

If you plan to be away for a long period, it is advisable to shut off your household water Master Valve. If you decide to turn off the Master Valve for a long period of time, remember to turn off the electric or gas supply to the hot water heater. If you are uncertain of what to do, please call our Business Office or the gas or electric company for assistance.

It is also a good idea for homeowners to become familiar with the general layout of their plumbing system - especially the location of sewer Clean-outs. Clean-outs may be both inside and outside the home. The HMUA has inspection maps for most of the sewer installations in our system. Call the HMUA Business Office to obtain a copy.

After Hours or Weekends/Holidays Emergency Call - (908) 246-9520