This was first published Aug. 3, 2023, on CTV News.
By Amanda Hicks, CTVNorthernOntario.ca Videojournalist
Thousands of property owners in Sudbury will receive a letter in the mail this week regarding insurance for water service or sewer septic line.
The City of Greater Sudbury has partnered with Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) to offer insurance. Many homeowners don’t realize, depending on where a leak or damage in a line occurs, repair costs could be coming out of resident’s pocket if it’s not covered by property insurance.
“The city maintains sanitary and water lines, between the main system and the property line, while the homeowners cover between the property line and the building,” said Dan Thibeault, the city’s manager of linear infrastructure, and technical support services.
He said the city receives calls daily from people who insist it is the city’s responsibility. Thibeault said the city doesn’t benefit directly from the partnership, but it’s a way for homeowners to avoid unexpected costs.
Letters have been sent out to property owners this week, some addressed by name and others addressed as ‘Dear Homeowner.’
SLWC said the letters were sent out through a third-party agency that obtained addresses through public records.
“We put together the mailing list using data from a third-party provider, which they gather from publicly available sources,” said Mike Van Horne, the company’s general manager in Canada.
“The city participates in a program called open data licensing, which provides us a list of addresses and not names. So it’ll be a mixture that some will receive a name letter and some will receive a dear homeowner-type letter.”
Van Horne said company research indicates 40 per cent of Canadian homeowners are unaware that they are financially responsible for any needed repairs or replacement for the sewer lines on their property.
He said the responsibility varies depending on municipality, and repair costs can vary.
“Typically, for something between 26 and 100 feet of water service line, it could be over $2,800,” he said.
“It would be more expensive for a sewer or septic line, just 26 to 75 feet would cost somewhere over $5,700.”
Greater Sudbury said signing up for the service is completely optional.
For more information about SLWC’s programs, contact us.