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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 22190
Experience:  20 years of experience practicing law.
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Is it legal to run water from neighbors hook up if my property

Customer Question

Is it legal to run water from neighbors hook up if my property is right next to them?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Sam :

Hi

Sam :

Yes. That would be theft as your neighbor is paying for the water usage.

Sam :

I meant to say it is illegal - it is not legal. It would be theft.

Customer :

No my neighbor has no problem with it

Sam :

Hi


 

Customer :

I am building new house and it is closest to his property so we will be splitting water bill

Sam :

Oh. I see. If your neighbor has no problem with it, then it is not illegal as long as they are allowing it and it is paid

Sam :

Is someone saying it is illegal?

Customer :

The water company is complaining and saying it is illegal

Customer :

threatning to shut off neighbors water

Sam :

I see. Have they said on what basis it is illegal?

Sam :

Is it because they want to ensure that you have water hook up?

Customer :

So far nothing really, just complained and said they will talk to their lawyer about it.

Customer :

Said it is taking money away from them

Sam :

Well, as long as your neighbor is paying the bill, I can't see why they would have a gripe

Sam :

How?

Sam :

Is there unlimited use for a monthly fee?

Customer :

I suppose bc they are not getting the new hookup fee of $1700, and monthly minimum

Customer :

No we get charged by amount used

Sam :

Well, if your house is in construction phase, and you are not at that point where you are required to have hook up, they will just need to wait until you get to that point.

Sam :

If he is paying his bill, it cannot be shut off

Customer :

No we already have water line in and now they are threatning to shut off meter

Sam :

His meter?

Customer :

They said they can shut off bc it is an illegal meter or something

Sam :

Are you tying your line into his meter?

Customer :

Yea

Sam :

Ah. Yes, that would not be legal

Customer :

No I am tying into his line after the meter

Sam :

I thought you were merely using the water because you had no lines

Customer :

No, he has a meter and line already, and I was tying into his line after the meter

Sam :

Is that to be a permanent situation or are you just doing it until the house is complete?

Sam :

If it is temporary, then it is one thing

Customer :

No we have it permanent

Sam :

If you are doing it on a permanent basis, that is not allowed. Everyone has to have their own water situation. Unfortunately, you need to pay a hook up fee.

Sam :

If you paid the $1700 and still used his water, they would still not allow it. You see? It is not about the fee.

Customer :

What if I wanted to run a garden hose from his house to fill say a sistern?

Sam :

What you are doing is very clever though.

Customer :

See it is only 500 ft to his water and about 2000 to where they want me to hook up

Sam :

Using the water on a temp basis or in an emergency is one thing. Hey, I like your idea. You can wait to see what the county/town attorney has to say on the matter. Maybe you found a loophole. But it would be corrected

Customer :

Is there a SD law saying you cant run water to your neighbor if you dont cross public or private property?

Sam :

In other words, if they cannot provide an exact provision for you, then they has no case. I would not have anyway to find that law as it would be a local ordinance and not a state law, you see?

Customer :

We would have nothing like that

Sam :

So consider waiting for an opinion from the County/town attorney on the matter and request they provide that law for you

Customer :

small town

Sam :

You have local ordinances. Now, whether there is one that pertains to this is another question

Sam :

You may have found a loophole. However, the law would say that each home must have a separate water system

Sam :

It would not say that you cannot borrow water from your neighbor via an outside source

Sam :

And, even if it is a loophole to avoid the service fee, I guarantee they will amend it at the next town/county meeting

Customer :

It is a long story, the meter to the neighbor is outside city limits but is city water. It is grandfathered in, bc now you cant run new line outside of city limits.

Sam :

Ah, then that is the law you need to review. See what it says about separate water sources

Customer :

See im using a line grandfathered in. I am out of city limits using city water. BUt, the city has no problem with it. The water district does bc I am not getting it from them. Even though they serve both.

Sam :

I understand. SO what you need to do is review the law and see if it says there is a prohibtion on you tying into an existing source

Customer :

Thats what I am trying to find out

Sam :

that has been grandfathered.

Sam :

I cannot access those local laws

Sam :

It is not a state law

Sam :

Every county or town has local ordinances in this regard

Customer :

What would be the best way to defend against them

Sam :

You need to get the information from you county commissioners or town council

Customer :

They have no problem with it

Customer :

It is water district complaining

Sam :

I understand that. But they have the laws as it pertains to the water district

Sam :

if the water district is in the law, then you cannot do it.

Sam :

If there is nothing in the law, then you can - however, the water district will surely be at the next council meeting requesting an amendment

Customer :

Where can I find this law at?

Sam :

with no grandfather clause. You would need to be there and argue you already did it, there was no law at the time

Sam :

Alright

Sam :

Do you have a town council and Mayor?

Customer :

yea

Sam :

Good. Then go to the Town hall and tell them you want to see the muncipal ordinances

Customer :

Not sure if we have any

Sam :

You can specifically state as it pertains to city water v water district hook up

Sam :

Oh you have them

Sam :

All towns have local laws

Sam :

they are called Municipal ordinances

Customer :

So would this even be an issure for the water district or city if it is their meter

Sam :

It would be a issue of the water district, if you are in its jurisdiction. If you live outside the city limits

Sam :

But the local laws will apply

Customer :

So I should check with county court house

Sam :

If you go to the County level, then you would go to your county commissioners or county executive's office

Sam :

and request the local laws as they govern the city v the water district hook up laws

Sam :

I wish I could access them for you.

Sam :

I suggest you start at your town level

Sam :

and then the county level

Customer :

Ok thanks

Sam :

And if the water district attorney responds on this issue, request to see the law

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