As a continuation of last month’s tip concerning high water bills and what we should be looking out for to try to detect leaks, I would like to focus on the question “who is responsible for repairing the leak and paying for the water wasted?”
As a general rule, anything leaking after our water meter is our responsibility to repair and pay for the bill. Anything before or on the meter is the water company’s responsibility. Our water meter has a little arrow on the side of it signifying the direction of the water flow. This is the case with both individual houses and apartments.
All apartment buildings have a main water meter, usually at the entrance to the building. This is usually a larger meter than our individual one. If the leak is between the main building meter and the individual meters, the Vaad Bayit are responsible for the repair. The water company with charge the building for the water wasted, usually by equally dividing the cost among the individual apartments. This will appear on your bill.
This can also happen to “private streets” Over the past ten years or so, the City have defined a lot of streets and parking lots as “private streets” and relate to it in the same fashion as they would an apartment building. This was defined according to the tabu before the time of construction of the project. The water company will therefore charge the individual houses like a Vaad Bayit in a building. Everything that is leaking from the main parking lot or street meter will be the responsibility of the collective to repair and the bill is divided amongst the residents.
Once the leak has been found and repaired, if your water bill is considerably higher than usual due to the leak, it is worth taking your water bill together with the receipt from the repair (as proof of repair) to the water company and they will usually give you a partial refund. Sometimes they will send you a warning letter that your next bill is expected to be high.