Water Main Corruption?

Water main breaks – Hoboken resident gets $11k bill in the mail

Hoboken resident Gregg experienced a water main break in front of his condo earlier this summer. And after initially hearing it wouldn’t be his responsibility – he gets a massive bill in the mail a month later.

“I own a condo on Grand Street, and last month there was a water main break on the street in front of my building in the middle of the night. The police and United Water came and spent the night doing the repairs and, at the time, I spoke to the police and the water company crew and was asking who was responsible. Both the cops and the repair guys told me that it was the pipe from my building that connects to the water main, but since it is United Water’s responsibility to inspect the pipes at the time of installation, I wouldn’t be responsible. (I watched as 6 guys stood around doing nothing and 2 guys actually did work – and not only did they throw their coffee cups into the hole in the street prior to paving over the hole, but they actually emptied all of the garbage from their trucks and tossed it all in the hole as well).

Recently, I received a bill for $11,000.”

$1600 for traffic control?

“Needless to say, I was shocked, but not surprised. Even more ridiculous, the itemized bill had a charge for $1,600 for traffic control – I guess the cop placing a cone on the street constitutes traffic control.

If anybody has any advice, it would be much appreciated since I’m struggling just to feed my family, pay my bills, and keep up with rising property taxes and can not even come close to affording the bill – not that I should have to pay anyway.”

411 Note: I’m wondering where that $1600 went? Did the contractor have to pay the Hoboken Police Department? If so where are those line items on the budget?

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7 Comments on "Water Main Corruption?"

Stella
Member
Stella

In Hoboken the property owner is responsible for the pipes from the property back to the main line. If it is a condo building the Association is responsible not 1 owner. It happened to us, received a letter from United Water saying there was a leak in our pipe under the street and we had x amount of time (can’t remember how many days) to get it repaired. We had to get the plumber and excavator who liaised with UW and it cost us several thousand dollars (about 6 years ago) to run a new line into the building.
The property owner being responsible for the pipes back to the main line goes back to when the City gave up responsibility for the water supply/sewerage in the long distant past.

mookie
Member
mookie

Actually you could very likely be responsible for this pipe, but if that is the case your insurance should cover it, less your deductible.

If you are part of a condo association, or own a stand-alone building you need to have pipes like this professional cleaned every year or so as there is continual build-up (ie. soap residues, other crap that is thrown down the toilet/sinks, etc) and can cause a pipe to burst.

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

I figure this amount was generated because it appeared on the reading of their water meters. Doubt if the utility would expect the residents to pay it. I’ve seen this happen before with bills on washington street.

jayzwibs
Member
jayzwibs

This has to be the most assinine thing I have ever heard. How in the world is the resident responsible? How are they to know they have a problem with a pipe that just so happens to be leading from their building, let alone underground?? It seems obvious to me that it would be the responsibility of the water company to maintain and regularly check on the pipes that carry the water for which they have no problem billing on. How is the resident supposed to know of any issue? That bill assumes the resident is responsible. What, is the resident or residents of Hoboken supposed to dig up the concrete in front of their buildings every so often to majke sure the pipes are okay? This whole thing is ludicrous and just another example of beaurocratic idiocy to avoid footing the bill that many others are responsible for before any resident should. 😈

hobokenj
Member
hobokenj
You are not expected to inspect the pipes, but if the pipe break on your property it is the owners responsibility. You don’t inspect the pipes in your walls, but if one was to burst and flood your neighbor’s apartment you would be responsible, or if it flooded yours you would expect them to fix the damages to your place rt? Had this issue in my building. Luckily the pipe broke 6 inches into the street and not under the side walk. If it had, that’s where the property line is drawn up and where who is responsible is determined. I do agree though 1600 for police is just ridiculous. [quote comment=”211043″]This has to be the most assinine thing I have ever heard. How in the world is the resident responsible? How are they to know they have a problem with a pipe that just so happens to be leading from their building, let alone underground?? It seems obvious to me that it would be the responsibility of the water company to maintain and regularly check on the pipes that carry the water for which they have no problem billing on. How is the resident supposed to know of any issue? That bill assumes the resident is responsible. What, is the resident or residents of Hoboken supposed to dig up the concrete in front of their buildings every so often to majke sure the pipes are okay? This whole thing is ludicrous and just another example of beaurocratic idiocy to… Read more »
jayzwibs
Member
jayzwibs
Listen, I agree with you if said pipe was in the walls as you indicated. This was a pipe going from the residents building into the street where the incident took place, which was beyond the property line and into the street. The pipe which ruptured was the pipe from the building to the main line, under the ground. You mean to tell me if a water pipe bursts leading from the main line to ones building that their responsible? I dont think thats the case, in fact i know its not in any other neighborhood. If a rat chews your cable line under the ground, does the customer get the bill? No, the cable company comes out and repklaces it, no questions asked. It just seems like another case of the man coming down on the little guy here in order to make him the scapegoat. The city should be ashamed, especially in this economy (not that it makes a difference) to send a bill in the mail to a resident for $11K for something the cities water company should regularly check on and maintain these pipes to avoid incidents like this. [quote comment=”211055″]You are not expected to inspect the pipes, but if the pipe break on your property it is the owners responsibility. You don’t inspect the pipes in your walls, but if one was to burst and flood your neighbor’s apartment you would be responsible, or if it flooded yours you would expect them to fix the… Read more »
xxrjxx
Member
xxrjxx

This may be covered under your insurance policy. You should check in with your insurance company to double check–rather pay a deductible than the $11k.

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