Water Service Line Replacement Project
Posted February 2017
Water Loss Reduction
The City of McKinney began a 10-year water service line replacement project in April 2017 to replace failing copper lines contributing to water loss within the city. The program will replace nearly 14,500 copper service lines with more durable polyethylene pipe (poly pipe).
These service lines represent 54% of the city’s 27,000 service connections. The premature failure of the copper service lines is mainly due to the deterioration of substandard copper material and aggressive soil in the region, which contributes to the average monthly water loss of 23% McKinney experiences. Any water loss in this line segments does not affect water usage billing for homeowners or businesses.
The city is taking a proactive approach to replace more than 14,500 copper water service lines with more durable polyethylene pipe (poly pipe). These service lines connect underground water distribution mains to water meters. A water meter is generally located near the street, between the water main and a home or business.
Crews will work street by street throughout the city replacing service lines, taking approximately two weeks per street. Work will typically be conducted on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Water service will be interrupted for short periods of time.
Watch For Us In Your Area
- View a three-month plan to see when we will be in your neighborhood
- Door hangers will be distributed to affected customers before work begins on a street
- Watch for signs and utility line detection flags in your area
- Stay connected using social media, subscribing to e-newsletters and visiting the city’s website for FAQs, work schedules and project updates
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will my taxes or water rate go up to pay for the service line replacement project?
Funding for the service line replacement project is coming from the existing operations and maintenance budget from the water and wastewater fund, which is not funded by tax dollars. This is funded by water and sewer costs. The city has planned for this project to cost $2 million each year over the next 10 years. Further, the city previously had a program to replace water meters throughout the city and as that program ended, this new program took its place. This means a water rate increase was not necessary to fund this program.
- If the city is replacing the service line from the street to the water meter, do I need to replace the line from the water meter to my home?
No. In most cases, a copper service line is typically found only on the city’s side of the meter and a PVC connects it from the meter to the privately-owned building. The city is only replacing the city’s side of the service line. The service line from the water meter to the building is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain. If a property owner is concerned with the service line from the meter to the home, please contact a certified plumber to have it inspected.
- Will the replacement of the line lower my water bill?
No. Homeowners or businesses are only billed for water that passes through the meter. The work will replace the line before the meter.
- Will my water be turned off?
Yes. During the replacement process, crews need to turn off your water for a short period of time. This work should take about 2-4 hours and typically occur between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Will my driveway be blocked?
Unless the water service line runs right in the center of the driveway, crews will strive to maintain access to your driveway. If it is necessary, a driveway will only be blocked for a short period of time, approximately 2-4 hours and typically between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- What is the cost / benefit of the city doing the work versus having a contractor do the repairs?
In evaluation of current market costs, the total cost for the service line replacement project to be completed utilizing a service contract is estimated to be nearly $36,000,000 and assumes a 3% annual inflation rate. The anticipated cost to complete these repairs with internal city resources equates to just more than $14,000,000. This cost estimate includes the purchase of equipment, material, labor and training.
Besides the cost savings, the benefit of performing the repairs “in-house” is the investment gained in obtaining experienced staff and the assurance of maintaining the same expected level of customer service for our citizens in the future. Water service line maintenance is a core function of a water department. By the end of the project, the city will have four crews on staff with more than ten years of experience. The city’s population is projected to increase by 43% by 2025. This growth will result in additional infrastructure maintenance needs and staff levels. The city will be able to reallocate this experienced staff to meet those new needs.
- Why will this project take 10 years?
The program will involve replacing nearly 14,500 copper service lines with poly pipe. This will equate to approximately 1,440 copper service lines to be replaced each year. This amount per year is what is expected the crews will be able to complete based on crew size, equipment and average number of repairs per street. It is anticipated that it will take approximately two weeks per street.
- How will I be notified when you will be working in my neighborhood?
You can view a three-month plan. In addition, approximately one week before work begins, homeowners will notice utility line detection flags along the street. Door hangers and signage will be distributed to notify homeowners before work begins on their street. Additionally, the city will regularly update the community of the project via the city’s website and through targeted neighborhood messages on the Nextdoor social media platform. Project updates and work schedules will also be posted on the website.
- How long will it take you to replace the line in my neighborhood?
Crews will be working street by street to repair lines, taking approximately two weeks per street, weather permitting. The work will be done typically between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Will my yard or sidewalk be disturbed to replace the water line?
If the water main or water service line falls on your property line, crews will dig a small area in the yard to replace the service line. Crews will replace any sidewalks, driveways or grass removed in the process.
- Who should I call with questions about the water line replacement on my street?
Please contact us at 972-547-7360 or email us.
- What type of equipment will be working on my street?
Crews will utilize service trucks, backhoes, dump trucks and bore rigs during the repair process.
- What times of day will you be working on my street?
Crews will be working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Who do I contact if damage is done to my property or if a data or utility line is cut during this project?
Please contact us at 972-547-7360 or email us.