Issued A DEP 3 Day Notice and Worried They May Be Wrong?

One of our company estimators felt it was necessary to publish his perspective on things and give our customers a look through his eyes on such a sensitive topic.

How to Detect a Water Service Leak?

Being issued a 3 day notice by the NYC DEP can be a great source of anxiousness and confusion for a typical homeowner. For a lot of homeowners this may be the first time they’ve ever paid any real attention to the water service pipes in their home. When I meet a lot of customers for the first time, I can usually detect the skepticism in their voice right away. The first question I usually hear is, “How does the DEP know it’s my pipe that’s leaking?”. The methodology used to detect leaks on water service pipes is still not an inexact science that has a tendency to produce false positive results. Admittedly, 9 times out of 10 the DEP technician on site is correct in their assessment of the water leak and they are able to issue the 3 day notice to the correct house hold. With that being said every once in a while there may be a leak that throws off even the most experience DEP field technician.

Listening device on water line

Listening device on water line

Listening for results of water leak

Listening for results of water leak

How to Obtain Factual Info on Whether Your Water Line Is Leaking or Not?

When our crew show up on site the first area of excavation is at the location where your water service connects to the city’s water main, which is referred to as the “tap”. Once we get down to your tap, we will shut the water off at the source. If the leak persists, yours may be one of the rare instances where the DEP was wrong in their evaluation.

Digging "tap hole"

Digging “tap hole”

Tap located & water off

Tap located & water off

More commonly we will close the tap connection and find that the water leak stops. At this time we continue with the water line installation process as we were hired to do.

What Happens Next if the DEP is not accurate

Once we confirm that your line is not leaking and that the source of the leak is coming from somewhere else we will notify the DEP and request an on-site meeting to confirm our findings.

 Is the property owner still financially liable?

The answer to this question is twofold. Yes, since you did initially contract us to install the pipe and our full crew was on site, we will still have to be paid for our services including all cost for labor, restoration, permits, machinery, mobilization etc. However, since you were issued a 3 day notice in error, you are eligible to be re compensated for your losses by the Office of the Comptroller of NYC. As a result of replacing thousands of water main service pipes we do have to deal with these special cases from time to time. Our front office and accounting departments are well versed in this area and will be happy to walk you through the filing procedures to assist in your refund.


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