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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Water Service Line Information
Thawing of Water Service Lines
Because of the deep frost penetration during this winter a greater than normal number of Bismarck water customers have had their water service lines freeze to the point of stopping the flow. Customers have hired local contractors with specialized equipment to thaw their service line and restore service.

The cost of thawing lines to restore service has been burdensome to many residents.  The City Commission passed the "Action to Cost Share" proposal as recommended by City staff at the April 8, 2014 City Commission meeting. 

Action to Cost Share the Thawing of Water Service Lines

1. The City of Bismarck will pay for 50% of the cost of thawing water service lines that were frozen due to the deep frost this winter. No repair costs for damage to water service lines as a result of freezing or the thawing procedure are covered by this action. Repairs to residential service lines in the right-of-way are covered by the existing water service line repair policy. Repairs outside of the right-of-way are the property owner’s responsibility.

2. This action will cover thawing any portion of the water service line, both on private property or in the right-of-way. It will not cover the cost of thawing pipes that are on the customer’s side of the water meter.

3. Reimbursement will be limited to a maximum of $1,000 per property regardless of the number of thawing procedures.

4. Claims submitted to and approved by the City will be paid on a reimbursement basis. To be eligible claims must be supported by receipts or invoices showing the work that was completed and that the invoice has been paid in full. Claims must be submitted on a form supplied by the City. Claims must be submitted before July 1, 2014 and be for work completed no earlier than December 2013.

5. This action to cost share service line thawing is not covered under the City’s service line repair policy and will be paid from separate water utility funds so as to not put an additional burden on the service line repair reserve fund. Payment from the service line repair fund would require an additional increase to the surcharge fee that funds this reserve.

Fillable and printable Claim for Reimbursement - Water Service Line Thawing
Printable Action to Cost Share the Thawing of Water Service Lines

Water Service Line Repair Policy
According to Bismarck City Ordinance Title 11-02-01.1g all service pipes, curb boxes, corporation stops, shut off boxes and any other fixtures off of the main are the property of the owner and must be kept in repair at the owner’s expense. 

This policy will establish the conditions under which the City of Bismarck will assume the responsibility for repairs of certain water service lines and appurtenances.

The City of Bismarck, through its Water Utility, will be responsible for repairs to water service lines serving residential properties of 4 living units or less.

Repairs will be limited to the portions of those service lines located in the public right of way. Repair of connections to private water mains are not covered by this policy.

Repairs covered will include, but will not be limited to:
  1. Leaks at the tapping saddle or corporation stop connection to the main
  2. Leaks at the inlet or outlet connection to the curb stop
  3. Inoperable curb stops
  4. Raised curb boxes

Additional Policy Information
  • The cost of repairs shall include any surface restoration deemed necessary by the Director of Utility Operations as a result of the repairs.
  • Ownership of all service connections shall remain with the property owner.
  • The cost of repairs will be paid for from an account funded by the establishment of a surcharge on the monthly water bill for the properties covered by the policy.
  • The initial charge will be $1.00 per month per account which shall be reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary by the Board of City Commissioners.
  • The City will not be responsible for any repairs ordered prior to January 1, 2008 to correct service line leaks or to repair an inoperable curb stop needed to shut off service due to non-payment of bills.
  • The City will not be responsible to repair damage caused by the actions of the homeowner or third parties, such as an unrelated excavation or tampering with the curb stop.
  • The City’s acceptance of responsibility to pay for repairs is not an admission of liability or negligence on behalf of the City.

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