Water Department

Who Maintains My Service Line?

This is a question that we hear often. The answer to this question is determined by City Code Section 16-33 and Ordinance 1131 which was established by City Council.

In Kendallville, the Ordinances explain that the City of Kendallville will maintain the main water lines that run down the streets in front of your homes. The pipe sizes range from four (4) inches in diameter to twelve (12) inches in diameter. The city will also maintain the water meters and radio read transmitters unless the meter has been abused by force, neglect or freezing. In these cases, the new metering device(s) will be installed at the owner’s expense (Section 16-137). The meter must be available to the water department for repair and maintenance upon request. (16-22)

When a business or resident builds a facility and requests city water, they are fully responsible for all installation costs. They must get permission through the permitting process to tap into our main lines and place a corporation stop or other approved tap in the city’s large main (Section 16-34), (Section 16-66), (Section 16-91). A corporation stop is an underground valve tapped into the water main and would have the capability of being turned on and off at the main line. When services are over 4 inches in diameter, a “tee” may be installed with an underground gate valve and an accessible valve box. At this point, the customer would arrange to have approved underground pipe (Section 16-41) ran from the corporation stop to another underground valve somewhere in front of the home or business. If a large gate valve is used, the second valve will not be required.

This second valve would have a curb box mounted on top of it to allow access to the underground valve. The curb box resembles a pipe that starts at the top of the valve and extends vertically to the surface. A lid is then placed on the pipe-like structure to prevent dirt and debris from entering the curb box assembly and blocking the top of the valve.

Another line is then installed from the second valve to the inside of the home or business. The second valve and curb box assembly enables the Water Department employees to access the valve in the case that an owner chooses to be disconnected, or in the case that the owner needs to have the water turned off for plumbing repairs or in the case of non-payment of a water bill. All underground work is to be inspected by the Water Department before any fill can be added (Section 16-36).

After the plumbing has been approved by the Building and the Water Departments, a meter will be installed to monitor water usage (Section 16-122) The City pays 2/3 of the cost of the meter and radio transmitter while the customer pays the remaining 1/3 (Section 16-124). This fee is collected in the permitting process. The radio transmitter allows the Water Department employee to read the meter without entering the home.

City code (Section 16-32) states that this valve may not be accessed without permission from the Superintendent of the Water Department. This protects the City from having water turned on in a non-paying or non-metered situation.

If the water line is 1 inch in diameter or less, the customer will be included in the service line insurance plan and charged the applicable fee and will qualify for maintenance as defined in Ordinance 1131. This ordinance allows the water department to maintain the corporation stop, the curb valve stop, all the water line between these two valves, the curb box, the curb box rod and the curb box lid. The customer is responsible for the upkeep of the remainder of the service line, starting at but not including the curb box and valve, and all plumbing to and including the household plumbing. The customer’s section must be maintained so that it is accessible and working at all times at the owner’s expense (Section 16-33).Water service line diagram

If the line is larger than 1 inch, the home or business owner does not qualify for the service line insurance and will not be charged the applicable fee. In this case, the owner is responsible for the entire service line. This includes the corporation stop or other tapping device, all water line, all valves, boxes, rods, lids and any other apparatus attached to the service line other than the water meter. (Section 16-33).

If you have any further questions about this subject, feel free to contact the Superintendent of the Kendallville Water Department.