Sewer Line Repair Agreement Yields Savings for Arlington Residents

Articles Water 10-20-15

A one-year-old agreement with Service Line Warranties of America is delivering the expected cost savings for Arlington Water Utilities customers.

Arlington Water and Service Line Warranties signed an agreement last year for the company to begin managing repairs to sanitary sewer laterals in the public right-of-way in October 2015. The purpose of the agreement was to streamline right-of-way repairs and make identification of private line issues timelier.

“This new program saved Arlington more than $600,000 in the first year, which helped us become the low cost provider of water and sanitary sewer,” said Arlington Water Utilities Director Walter “Buzz” Pishkur. “Service Line Warranties has also contributed $125,000 to the Water department’s Care & Share program, providing assistance to Arlington residents who need help paying their bills because of financial emergencies.”

Since October 2015, Service Line Warranties has overseen more than 500 right-of-way repairs under the agreement.

In addition to the right-of-way repairs, the agreement authorizes Service Line Warranties to use Arlington’s logo in offering optional service line repair warranty plans to residents.

“Arlington received no royalties from the agreement, but our residents can be assured when they see our logo that this is a company we have reviewed and contracted with,” Pishkur said.

Almost 15,000 Arlington residents have signed up for the warranty plans, which protect against costs related to sanitary service line, water service line and in-home plumbing repairs that are the residents’ responsibility. Service Line Warranties paid $246,429.65 in service line and in-home plumbing warranty claims to Arlington residents during the agreement’s fist year. As of mid-September, no claims had been denied.

Almost 87 percent of Service Line Warranties’ Arlington customers recently surveyed rated them excellent, very good or good, according to the company.

Pishkur, who made a report to the Arlington City Council Wednesday, said Arlington Water continues to communicate with Service Line Warranties about improving service and increasing resident satisfaction. The agreement between the company and Arlington Water is for five years.

“We are have achieved our cost reduction goal and enhanced the process overall, but we believe the response times can be reduced further and that will be our focus going forward,” Pishkur said. “We’re not resting on our laurels. The process has improved, but it has potential to be even better. We will continue to work on that.”