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From the Forum – DC Water charging $450 to put a camera down the sewer line?

by Prince Of Petworth December 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm 15 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user jsmjr

DC Water charging $450 to put a camera down the sewer line?

“Per our contractor, DC water is charging us $450 to put a camera down the sewer line so they can determine whether the problem is on the city side or on our side. I’ve had some sketchy interactions with DC water in the past. Does this sound about right to those who have had experience with this?”

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  • kat

    They charged us $250 or $300 – we’re in Montgomery County. It’s necessary, but I would check with some private plumbers. WSSC simply contracts them, they’re not employees.

    • Anonymous

      WSSC and DC Water are different organizations with different service areas, are they not?

  • Anonymous

    Before everyone starts going off on DC Water, I think it’s only fair to point out that this was already answered in the forum by a representative from DC Water, and the short answer is no, DC Water is not charging them $450 to put a camera down the sewer line. (No, I don’t work for DC Water)

    • Thank you:

      “DC Water does not charge for camera inspections of its sewer lines. When we investigate for a blocked sewer line, we first place dye in the building to see if it comes out through the sewer lines. We also will place dye within the storm drain to see if it runs smoothly from one part of the street to another. If there is an obstruction, and we need to use a closed circuit TV camera to inspect the inside of the pipe, we do not charge for that service. If an obstruction is found and it is in the public space, DC water makes the repairs at no charge to the customer. If the obstruction is on the private side of the property line, then repairs are the responsibility of the property owner.

      If an obstruction is found, and there is uncertainty about where it begins and ends with respect to the private vs. public property boundary, then sometimes a plumbing contractor hired by the property owner will run a plumbing snake out to measure the distance of the obstruction. That might possibly be the reason for the $450 fee you were quoted. However, this fee is paid to the contractor, not DC Water.

      If you are having trouble with your sewer plumbing, please call us at (202)612-3400 for assistance and advice specific to your situation.

      John Lisle
      DC Water”

      • Makes sense because if they are going to put the camera on the sewer line which is on public space, they shouldn’t charge the customer for it. I hope the O.P. tells us about the face of the contractor when they tell them about DC Water’s statement :)

  • Anonymous

    Evidently the contractor is trying steal $450.00 from the customer.

  • Angry Parakeet

    FYI, 6 years ago I had the camera done on my sewer line (Just my part, no DC Water involvement) and Spartan plumbing charged me $500.

    • Anonymous

      I did this with Spartan 3 months ago for $600! Did DC water ended up fixing your sewer line?

  • Emilie504

    OT Are all WASA covers like the one pictured? It’s pretty darn cool. I’ve never seen one before, am I being unobservant or were the phased out? Cuz that would suck, like a lot.

  • Angry Parakeet

    When I did it my house was a new flip and the plumbing contractor who re-plumbed the whole house made a mistake in the connection to DC Water line (then called WASA). They returned and repaired it but I didn’t trust them so for peace of mind I paid Spartan (who was recommended by a friend) to do the camera thing. No DC Water involvement. I enjoy watching the movie of my pipes Spartan gave me.

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like a pretty expensive price for House Porn.

  • Idaho Ave

    I work for one of the largest HVAC and plumbing companies on the east coast. $450 is a little high but not obscene for a sewer camera inspection. We charge $300.

  • OP, here. Turns out I was wrong, it is a contractor who quoted that amount, not DC Water. Turns out that we have a problem with our lateral line. Even though the problem is on city property/under a city street, DC Water says that we are responsible for it (a) since it is located on the lateral line and (b) since we renovated recently. If we hadn’t renovated recently, would we still have been responsible? Anyone else have experience with this that they want to share? It is mind-blowingly expensive… Sigh.

  • Anonymous

    you can’t get a plumber to get in his truck for under $120, so no, this doesn’t seem expensive at all.

  • Op here, sorry i meant that having to replace the sewer line is mind-blowingly expensive – not the 450 charge to use a camera to locate the problem. I am starting to collect quotes but I’ve heard it can cost around 30K if we have to dig up a public street…


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