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Repair of service line to property -- Owner's Leak
Report flowing water in the street, sidewalk or a flooded yard

If you see water flowing freely from the ground, soaking your yard, flowing up from the street, or water flowing at the edge of the street pavement, there may be an underground water leak. This can often be a water leak in the water service line that connects the water main in the street to the property's water meter. The City of Milwaukee owns the section of the service line from the water main to the curb stop at the property line. The curbstop is the shutoff valve in the ground near the street. The property owner owns the section of the service line from the curb stop to the water meter.

Large leaks are costly, and as the water continues to flow it can become a health and safety issue. Please report leaks to our Customer Service Center, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., (414) 286-2830. After hours, please call our 24-hour Control Center, (414) 286-3710; TDD (414) 286-2025.

If the leak occurs on the section of the service line owned by the property owner, it will be the property owner's responsibility to contact a licensed plumber, ask for estimates for locating the source of the leak, and make repairs. We refer to these as Owner's Leaks.

If the the property owner's section of the service line is made of lead, we recommend the line be replaced entirely. This is the responsibility of the property owner.

If the leak is on the city-owned section of the service line and it is made of lead, we will replace it with copper. In most cases, when this city-owned section is made of lead, the property owner's side of the service line, connecting the curb stop to the water meter, also is made of lead. To reduce exposure to lead in your drinking water, we strongly recommend the owner’s side of the service line also be replaced when we replace the city-owned section. You would need to hire a licensed plumber to do this work. Your cost for the work may be lower if you coordinate the timing with our work.

If you cannot afford to pay a plumber to repair the water leak at your property, here are some resources to contact for possible assistance.
•    If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, check to see if it covers the cost of the repairs.
•    Obtain a personal loan or home equity loan from a bank.
•    You may be eligible for assistance from the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corp., found in the City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services Residential Rehabilitation Emergency Loan    Program, 809 North Broadway, 1st Floor        (414) 286-5608

Under certain circumstances and as a last resort, you can ask to put plumbing charges for repair of the leak on your City of Milwaukee property tax bill as a special assessment to be paid later. Before asking for a City tax roll assessment, please consider contacting the above agency.

Property owners are not automatically enrolled in the City’s tax roll program. There is a step-by-step process to follow. You are not automatically enrolled in the tax roll program by simply calling to ask that the costs of the repair of the water leak be placed on your property taxes.

To enroll in City’s tax roll program, the owner must meet specific criteria. Please be advised that in addition to paying the plumbing charges, you will also have to pay an administration charge of $195.00, a 12% interest fee and a 10% certification charge and interest fee. For this reason, alternative financing may be more economical.

If you are unable to obtain financing through one of the three methods above, please call our Customer Service Center and ask for assistance with an Owner's Leak, (414) 286-2830.

Milwaukee Water Works



Ask a Question  -- Report a problem

Customer Service Center

Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway, Room 406
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Open Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Mailing address: P.O. Box 3268, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3268


 (414) 286-2830

24-Hour Control Center  

 (414) 286-3710


 (414) 286-8801


 (414) 286-5452

Email (non-emergency)