New Albert Lea program will help residents cover repairs to water and sewer lines

Published 8:00 pm Friday, June 3, 2022

Many homeowners are unaware that they’re responsible for the underground water and sewer pipes that run from their homes to the municipal system. Until something goes wrong, like tree roots clogging their pipes or their lines freezing in the winter. Then homeowners find out they’re facing costly repairs.

To prevent those unpleasant surprises, the city of Albert Lea is implementing a protection program for residential water and sewer lines. The program will cover repairs to water lines from homes to the curb stops and to sewer lines from homes to the trunk mains.

Between 50 and 90 homes experience a line break every year in Albert Lea, according to the public works department. With aging infrastructure, more lines are likely to break.

As approved by the Albert Lea City Council, the program will cost each residential property $5.50 a month with the fee included on monthly utility bills. The program will go into effect Aug. 1 with the fee appearing on September bills. The program will provide up to $8,500 per repair with no limit on the number of incidents covered. Repairs will be available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Under the program, a company called Service Line Warranties of America provides the service, with local licensed contractors making the repairs.

All residential properties in Albert Lea are automatically enrolled in the program, unless the owner declines the service. The city chose the decline-only option to secure a much lower cost for the program.

Property owners may decline the service by:

  • Calling the city of Albert Lea Finance Department at 507-377-4300
  • Stopping at the Finance Department window at City Hall, 221 E. Clark St.
  • Downloading, completing and returning the online form to the Finance Department, 221 E. Clark St., Albert Lea, MN 56007
  • For more information, including FAQs, visit the city website: cityofalbertlea.org/line-protection/.