Manhattan’s DEP 3-Day Notice: A Guide to Replacing a Broken Water Main

Manhattan property owners may experience unexpected curveballs when dealing with their water main and sewer. One challenge homeowners and property managers might face is the dreaded DEP 3-day notice violation. If you have recently received one, it is important not to panic and follow the process that will assist you in a quick solution.


What is a DEP 3 Day Notice?

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for managing the city’s water supply system. In addition, they are responsible for identifying and determining the source of a leak, even if it is on the property owner’s water line. In this case they will issue the 3-day notice violation which serves as a warning giving the property three business days to address and resolve the water main leak. If the leak is not resolved in three business days, you could face fines and service interruptions.


Why Respond Quickly?

In addition to fines and the city turning off your water main, the water main break can result in:

  1. Property damage to the house, front yard, and neighboring houses.
  2. Debris may enter your water main resulting in contaminated water.
  3. Increased cost to repair the water main if the issue is not resolved quickly.


How to Replace a Broken Water Main

  1. Hire a licensed master plumber that holds a DOT bond for opening the public sidewalk and roadway.
  2. Obtain the necessary permits before any work begins. This is something that your licensed plumber will handle.
  3. Communicating with DEP is very important. You should have your licensed plumber notify DEP when you have signed a formal contract. Over communication will avoid the possibility of fines or the termination of your water.
  4. Once you hire the LMP they will begin scheduling the repair work. The repair work usually includes excavating and replacing the entire water main.
  5. Upon completion of repair work the plumber will restore any areas that were disturbed during the process. This includes the foundation wall, sidewalk, and roadway.
  6. Pending the size and type of water main, you plumber may be required to obtain an on-site DEP inspection. In many cases the work can be self-certified by the LMP.

Receiving a DEP 3-day notice can be overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and actions you can resolve the issue smoothly. It is very important to mitigate the damage and additional cost by hiring a licensed master plumber that has experience replacing and repairing sub surface water mains.

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