All homeowners (and renters, too) should know where and how to shut off their water main. Turning off the main water valve can prevent the minor hassle of a broken pipe from becoming a major water damage headache. If you have never needed to learn where the water main shut off valve is, take a moment and find it, right now.
The main shut off should be on your side of the water meter.
If you are in a home with a basement, there is a good chance the water shut off valve is inside your home, wherever the water meter is located.
Those of us who do not have basements are more likely to find their main shut off valve under the meter cover, typically near the street. This may not be true for all homes.
If you develop a leak near a sink or toilet, there should a valve you can turn off between the line and the fixture. In very new homes, there may not be a shut off valve for individual toilets.
Once the water passes through the water meter, you are responsible for the bill, the maintenance and the repair.
Last night I was talking with a friend when her husband discovered a leak from the main line to the house. Thankfully, the leak was not inside or under their home. However, by the time the leak was discovered their yard was fully saturated. That’s a lot of water to be responsible for, but there’s a chance she can call the billing department and negotiate to have the sewage portion of the bill waved. Sometimes, if you are filling a swimming pool for instance the water company will put a special meter on the spigot used to fill the pool so that outflow can be subtracted from the amount of water that is assumed to have gone down the drain.