Drilling Company Breaks Sewer Line – Who Pays for Repair?
April 17, 2018

As time passes we continue to see more and more drilling companies working throughout Brooklyn and Queens. Unfortunately there is no way to determine exactly who sub surface water line and sewer pipes are running below ground, as a result it is often that a drilling company may break a water line or crack a sewer pipe.

For the most part, a professional and established drilling company will assume responsibility for their damage and cover the cost for any and all water/sewer repairs. In many cases the company may actually have a water main and sewer contractor on call just in case they encounter a time sensitive issues.

Recently in Brooklyn we received a call from a previous customer who we had installed a new sewer line for just 12 years prior. They mentioned that a drilling company was working in front of the house the same day and had actually notified them that they broke the sewer line. Our customer was advised to get a quote from a licensed water main and sewer contractor and have it made out to the drilling company who would assume the cost.

The work began within the same week once we had obtained all required permits for the emergency repair. Luckily for our customer the job was going to be completed within two days and they would have use of their sewer after the first day of work.

In this case there was a tree on the sidewalk which required us to make one excavation on the sidewalk and another in the street. We were required to have an arborist on site due to the tree, we were directed to make a tunnel below the tree from the sidewalk to the street to avoid damaging any of the roots.

Excavating for the new sewer repair
The digging begins

Next we began digging in the street where we encountered another utility, we now had to dig slow and with precision to avoid damaging the gas line.

Digging around utilities
Continuing to dig around utilities

We were able to remove a piece of the old clay pipe from the hole which was completely shattered.

The old clay pipe

And finally we installed the new 6” cast iron sewer line from under the sidewalk

New cast iron under a tree
Tunnel under tree

To the street with a total of 20’ of new piping.

New cast iron sewer pipe in the roadway