DEP 3 Day Notice Issued In Error – Is Your Water Main Leaking or Not?

April 13, 2021

If you have received a DEP 3 day notice it is most important to understand the basics, why would someone receive a 3 day notice?

  1. If there is water leaking in the street, it is possible that a neighbor called or someone from the city had become aware.
  2. If you have experienced low water pressure, you may call the city to inquire why this may have occurred and it is determined that your water line is leaking.
  3. If water is entering your neighbors house or maybe even another utility in the roadway is being impacted by someones water main leak

How does DEP determine where the leak is coming from?

The DEP will use a sonoscope which is a device that will assist in listening for a leak. The device is similar to stethoscope a doctor would use to listen to your heart. The theory is if there is no running water throughout the entire house then the water main should be silent, all of the water inside is sitting still.

If the sonoscope picks up on a noise it is most likely indicative of the water moving and escaping out of the pipe through a fracture or hole in the pipe. It is important to remember that the test is not 100% accurate and the only way to obtain factual information is to hire your licensed plumber to excavate in the roadway and test the pipe for a leak.

What to do if the leak is not from your pipe?

If you plumber has excavated the roadway and determines that the water leak is actually coming from a neighboring house or even the city water main, he should call DEP and notify them that there is a 3 day notice in error.

A DEP field supervisor should arrive to the site within 30-60 minutes and at this time he will confirm the plumbers report. If the DEP supervisor agrees with the plumber he will revoke the 3 day notice and start the investigation process all over.

How do you get your money back?

The city comptrollers office has a form and questionnaire to be completed specific to this exact scenario. The city office will then contact your licensed plumber, confirm several details associated with the leak as well as the fact that the homeowner did pay for the work.

Believe it or not, you will actually get your money back! It is suggested to practice patients throughout but the property owner who received the 3 day notice in error will get reimbursed by the city.  Harris Water Main & Sewer has never experienced a scenario where the city does not reimburse the homeowner for a three day notice in error.

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