Action 9: Warranty for broken water lines not affiliated with the city

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Water lines can break, especially in the winter.

"I have known people that have had water problems," said Cheryl Hines.

If the leak happens between the street and the water meter, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has to fix it. If it happens from the meter to a home, it's the homeowner's responsibility.

American Water Resources is offering a warranty for that, which may be something Tanya Johnson would buy.

"I think that's pretty good, because I think it would cost more if it breaks to have to fix it," Johnson said.

However, a memo between Charlotte city leaders stated AWR is trying to tap into the Charlotte market and said the warranty is "in no way affiliated with or endorses by the city of Charlotte."

"People should be aware that it's not something that we're doing and they should make their own decisions," said councilman Michael Barnes.

A city insider told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke the city doesn't have anything against AWR. It just doesn't want to get into the habit of endorsing businesses.

Stoogenke researched AWR and found it is part of American Water, which says it's the country's largest publicly-traded water utility and that it has been in business for more than 100 years.

It's had a presence in North Carolina for the last two. It also has the Better Business Bureau's top rating of A-plus.

As far as the city not endorsing the program, AWR officials said it assumes city leaders are just being cautious and making sure customers know the warranty is not CMUD's but a private company.

If you've been ripped off, overbilled or misled; or if you see something that is hurting all consumers, contact Action 9.