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What to do when DEP issues you a 3 day notice.

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

As business owners and home owners it is not always easy to keep everything flowing smoothly at all times. Find out the necessary steps you will need to take when DEP issues you a 3 day notice for your water service.

DEP (Department Of Environmental Protection) will issue a three day notice when they know that your main water line is leaking. What this means for a property owner is that they must repair the line in order to avoid any additional violation or fines. DEP has several ways to determine if your property has a leak. One way is visually: they can see a leak forming on the sidewalk or roadway. Another way is if a property owner reports low water pressure in the home or DEP can see in their system that the water meter is reading dramatically low in their readings. Low water pressure is a big indication of a leak on the main water service. DEP determines the leak is coming from your pipe by using a listening device to hear the leak from the inside of your property. After determining that it is in fact your property that is causing the leak, they will issue this notice.

“You are hereby notified that the pipe must be repaired within THREE (3) days from the date hereof.”

<-----------Here is an example of what the standard three day notice letter looks like.


Now that you have this notice you are probably sitting home trying to figure out what to do. Your first instinct is to go online and try to find a plumber. The first thing you should know is not all plumbers do this type of work. In order to replace your main water line you must hire someone that specializes in subsurface work. Meaning they specialize in replacing pipes underneath the ground. Now that you have done your research your next step if to call one and schedule a consultation. It is always important to schedule with a plumber for an in person estimate to get the most accurate pricing . There are many factors that go into determining pricing for repairing a water line. The first thing a plumber will look at is to see if your line is lead or copper. Lead lines CAN NOT be repaired. It is illegal in the five boroughs of New York City to repair a lead service. If your service is lead if must be converted to copper. If your line is copper you can be eligible for a repair which will cost significantly less. After determining what type of pipe you have the plumber will check to see which side of the street your fire hydrant is on. If it is on your side the run will be shorter so it will cost less then if it is on the opposite side. He will also check to see if your street has been paved recently within the past 5 years. If so the cost will be more due to the extra steps that need to be taken in order to restore the road way. A few other factors that can effect pricing is if you are near a school or church or if your street is a busy street. The DOT (Department Of Transportation) will restrict the hours allowed to work causing the job to go on more days then needed.

Now that you have determined a price and signed a contract the plumber will apply for DEP & DOT permits. Once these permits are acquired you will be scheduled to have the job started. Depending on what type of job is necessary to rid of the 3 day notice, the job can take 1-3 days to complete. This estimate is for regular domestic lines for residential homes that are under 2 inches. If you fall under the category of a line that is over 2 inches then DEP inspections are involved which can prolong the process. As a property owner there isn't much you will need to do.

The good thing about finding a contractor that is experienced with this type of work is once you sign the contract there's not much left to worry about. You can sit back and relax because we take care of everything. We pull the permits, fix your problem and put everything back as if nothing ever happened.

Contact Empire Water Main & Sewer if you have any questions about a water line leak or any general questions regarding your water main or sewer needs 718-715-4862.

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