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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    3

    Default Does a Water Line Easement Include a Right to Repair the Line

    My question involves an easement in the state of: California

    I have a water line running to a meter on a different street than the street of my property, and through another property. The line sprung a leak and the water company turned off the water at the meter. My problem is that the owner of the other property won't give me permission to fix the pipe. So I'm stuck without water. I've traced through my title company a record that shows from 1945 a reserved easement for water lines, but the language as to where that easement is seems, at least to me, ambiguous.

    Do I have an implied right to fix the line?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
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    2,583

    Default Re: Water Line Easement

    I've traced through my title company a record that shows from 1945 a reserved easement for water lines, but the language as to where that easement is seems, at least to me, ambiguous.
    Is there any description at all, such as a mention of the property subject to the easement? If it mentions a parcel, it may not have to spell out specifically where the easement is located on the parcel.

    Do I have an implied right to fix the line?
    You probably have an easement of some sort but a deeded easement would be your hoped-for solution as it already exists.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    3

    Default Re: Water Line Easement

    It looks like in 1945 this property was split in half. It says "reserving a right for water pipe lines along the southerly section of said property." Though I think the line is actually Northerly. My house was built in 1922.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Water Line Easement

    That is something of an ambiguity. In such cases the objective would be to look at the intent of the parties. Obviously there is an intent expressed in writing that there be an easement for water lines on the parcel in question. Since the house and the water lines to it were apparently in existence when the property was split and the easement was created, I think that it could be assumed that the easement was intended for those water lines.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,266

    Default Re: Water Line Easement

    Quote Quoting LandSurveyor
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    That is something of an ambiguity. In such cases the objective would be to look at the intent of the parties. Obviously there is an intent expressed in writing that there be an easement for water lines on the parcel in question. Since the house and the water lines to it were apparently in existence when the property was split and the easement was created, I think that it could be assumed that the easement was intended for those water lines.
    And...an easement would also allow for a right to repair those lines. However...I would also be looking at the cost to repair vs the cost to re-direct the lines...including any litigation costs. Sometimes it can cost as much to repair water lines as it could cost to create new ones that would not be dependent on an easement. If you would have to dig up all or nearly all of the line to figure out where it needs to be repaired, it might be less or equally expensive to re-direct the line through your own property...assuming that there are now hookup options that didn't exist in 1945.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water Line Easement

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    And...an easement would also allow for a right to repair those lines. However...I would also be looking at the cost to repair vs the cost to re-direct the lines...including any litigation costs. Sometimes it can cost as much to repair water lines as it could cost to create new ones that would not be dependent on an easement. If you would have to dig up all or nearly all of the line to figure out where it needs to be repaired, it might be less or equally expensive to re-direct the line through your own property...assuming that there are now hookup options that didn't exist in 1945.
    Thank you. She finally relented and I have plumbers repairing the line. Roots from a tree on her property were the culprit. According to the water company it's about 3500 dollars to move the meter to my street. Cost of repair should be only a couple hundred. But with the apparent likelihood of another failure in the pipe due to her trees, I may ultimately have to move it though from what I understand I'm under no obligation to do so.

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