April 23, 2015
The Bristol County Water Authority Offers a VOLUNTARY Residential Customer Water Line Protection Program with a Contracted Vendor
Most property owners in the BCWA service area have received a flyer from the Safety Valve Company that includes a letter from the BCWA. The BCWA solicited bids from companies that provide a repair program for customer-owned water service lines.
A property owner is responsible for the pipes that run from the property line to the residence, and repairs can be costly. A water line protection program is a service provided by an independent company to repair or replace the owner’s portion of a water or sewer pipe in case of a leak. The owner pays an annual fee for the protection service. The program is totally voluntary by the customer.
A leak in a service main must be fixed immediately, and it can be costly. It is highly recommended for properties that have non-copper water pipes or older pipes.
Several water line protection companies have been soliciting area customers for their programs. The BCWA has contracted with the Safety Valve Company through a bid process to provide this service for our customers. Any other companies are operating without any oversight or control by the BCWA, and therefore cannot be recommended by the BCWA.
Through the bid process, the BCWA stipulated what the vendor is to provide in the customer service agreement and fixes the fees for the service. In this way, the BCWA can provide the plan most advantageous for our customers. The BCWA bid process resulted in a lower cost compared to other programs. One of the advantages of the bid requirements is that the customer service line is to be replaced in case of a leak, not just repaired.
The BCWA provides the customer list, and Safety Valve provides all the advertising, mailings, and service agreements directly with the customer. Safety Valve hires local contractors to provide the repair services to meet the required response times.
There is no cost to the BCWA, and the BCWA has elected NOT to participate in the Safety Valve Company revenue sharing program to keep the rates to the customer as low as possible.
Since begun last fall, 3.1% of our customers have participated in the plan, with no repairs to date. As a comparison to three other utilities of similar size, the participation rate averages 28% with a range of 3.4% to 12.1% service failure rate, and an average cost of repair of $2,500.
The program is administered by Safety Valve, but if you have any questions, you are welcome to call the BCWA at 245-2022.
This program is offered as a benefit to our customers, and is totally voluntary. There is no requirement to purchase this service.