Leaks & Backups - Customer Responsibilities

Buffalo Mountain Metropolitan District

Water and Sewer Service Lines - Owner Responsibilities

Buffalo Mountain Metropolitan District (BMMD) is responsible for maintaining and replacing water and sewer mains throughout the Wildernest service area, while property owners are responsible for maintaining and performing repairs to personal property water and sewer service lines and related infrastructure which runs underground from the District main connection all the way into a home. This document provides helpful tips on how to maintain personal property infrastructure, what to do in case of a water leak or sewer back-up, and financial responsibilities.

Water Service Lines

Property Owner Infrastructure Definition

That portion of all existing and future water service lines extending from the connection to the District main (including that portion located within the road) which includes the curb box, shut-off valve, meter and other related private water infrastructure are the sole responsibility of the Customer.


Signs of a possible water service line leak outside the building include obvious water surfacing, unusual amount of water running in nearby ditch or low area, a depression or sinkhole. Signs of leaks inside include obvious running water noise and vibration in pipes or walls, or the water meter is running without any water faucets on. A loss in water pressure is a possible indication of a leak as well.

Shutoff Valves - Interior

Homeowners should know how to shut off water in an emergency. First step is to locate the water meter where the water line enters the building. In most cases a shutoff valve is located before and after the meter. The meter location is usually in a crawl space, mechanical room, garage etc. If an internal water service line leak is discovered and the shutoff valves don’t work, you will need to contact a plumber to either “freeze” the line and replace the faulty shut-off valves or the plumber can help shut-off water to the building using the outside “Curb Stop Valve”.

Shutoff “Curb Stop Valve” – Exterior

The property exterior curb stop shutoff valve is usually located close to a property line near the street driveway entrance and has a 3” round metal lid that is normally flush with the ground. If your property service line has a leak outside, you will need to use this curb stop valve to shut off the water. Operating the valve requires a metal “key” to turn the valve. The valve itself is around nine feet (9’) deep so you’ll need a plumber to shut off the water.

Exterior Leaks – Investigation & Repairs

Once a water leak is discovered either through the homeowner, district's water department, or by a visual observation, an on-site investigation will start immediately to determine if the problem is on a District water main line or on a private service line. If the investigation finds a leak on a BMMD main line, the District is responsible for repairing. If the investigation finds a leak on a private service line, the property owner must conduct repairs. If satisfactory progress toward repairing the leak has not been initiated by the property owner after notice, BMMD may shut off water service if excessive water loss is occurring or until the leak has been repaired. 

Repairs – Unknown Exterior Leak Source

If BMMD is unable to determine during the investigation whether a leak, break, or failure exists within a District main or within a personal property service line the district will make contact as soon as possible with all nearby property owners to distribute leak notification information. The District will determine best repair methods and conduct the emergency repair. If the leak source is found on private infrastructure, BMMD will contact the affected homeowner to arrange payment directly with the repair contractor.

Financial Responsibilities

Exterior service line leaks can be very costly, especially in winter. Costs can include but are not limited to: Excavation equipment, labor for all repair personnel, road or driveway repaving, revegetation, etc. Costs to repair a private property service line leak costs on average between $9k - $18k in Summit County. In some cases, duplex properties share service lines so repair costs will be shared equally.  Larger HOA properties share one master line so costs will be paid by the HOA. Unfortunately, exterior infrastructure is NOT covered under homeowners insurance and must be paid out-of-pocket by the property owner.


Property owners can reduce liability of emergency repair costs by making sure the property has an exterior working “curb stop valve” (see above). Knowing the location of your underground service lines (property site plan) may also save you thousands of dollars in excavation fees. This will be a valuable tool in an emergency situation if the plumber or excavator knows the location of underground service lines. Make sure to turn the curb stop valve on/off periodically to keep it operational. Contact BMMD at (970) 513-1300 or patrick@bmmd.org for support in finding and testing your curb valve. BMMD can add it to our GIS mapping system for future reference. Marking the curb stop valve with a snow stake/delineator will help find it in the winter.


Sewer Service Lines

Property Owner Infrastructure Definition

That portion of all existing and future sewer service lines extending from the connection to the District main (including that portion located within the road) which includes all connections, clean-outs, service line and fittings. 


The most common sign of a possible sewer service line backup inside a building is found through the lowest elevation toilet or floor drain backing up sewage water. If a sewer backup or issue occurs, stop using water in the building immediately! Contact a plumber to determine the source of the blockage. In most cases a plumber will be able to snake the service line through a cleanout at the home.

If you or the plumber are unable to determine the source of the backup, call BMMD to help investigate further. Camera technology may be needed to determine the source of the problem.

These events are more common in older homes, homes with basements and are more likely to occur on lower floors. Common causes of sewer backups include grease buildup, separated joints, clogged pipes, root damage, cracks in the pipe or main line backups.


The district cleans and video inspects the main sewer lines in Wildernest on a regular basis. Service lines leaks such as groundwater inflow and infiltration (I+I) are usually discovered during this time. The district will reach out to homeowners if private infrastructure leaks exist and will initiate a time frame for corrections. BMMD Regulations requires homeowners to conduct repairs within 72 hours.

Financial Responsibilities

If the sewer blockage or I+I is on a district sewer main, then the district is responsible for making corrective repairs. If a sewer backup or I+I occurs on a private service line, property owners are responsible for making corrective repairs.


  • Know where your cleanout is and the condition
  • Don’t put any trash or food waste down the drain
  • Don’t pour grease down drains
  • Use grease-fighting dish detergents to break up blockages
  • Don’t flush your old medications
  • Don’t landscape over service lines


Emergency BMMD Water/Sewer Contact Information

24- hour water or sewer emergency. Contact Water Solutions Inc (WSI) – (970) 389-9882

Excavators for Water/Sewer Service Line Repairs

Sewer Cleaning Companies for Sewer Backups/Maintenance


Leak Detection

  • Utility Detection Services – 303-773-2808