Q: With the city of Davenport raising our sewer rates, which now include coverage for the cost of a lateral sewer collapse, I have a question. We currently pay Iowa American Water Co. $9 a month for sewer line protection. Does this mean we no longer need the water company protection for sewer problems?
— John, Davenport
A: Sewer lines that run from buildings to the main line are known as laterals, said Jennifer Nahra, spokeswoman for the city. Laterals may collapse and currently are the responsibility of the property owner.
The city of Davenport recently approved a sewer lateral program to assist homeowners when laterals fail. The program becomes effective July 1.
A portion of the revenue collected from the sewer fees will be used to pay for the repairs of collapsed laterals.
Eligible properties include any residential buildings with three or fewer units with repairs covered within 4 feet of the foundation to the main sewer line. For commercial properties, the city will pay for repairs within the city’s right-of-way. Property owners are responsible for a $500 deductible.
The city’s coverage limit is $10,000, with typical restrictions and practices for site restoration.
Iowa American’s coverage is a bit different. It covers the cost of repairs and restoration for up to $8,000 for sewer line damage, as well as the restoration of property, including repaving the sidewalks and the road if they are required to be cut to make the repair. There is no deductible — only a $50 service fee when a contractor is dispatched to make the repair.
The Iowa American coverage includes repairs made from the foundation of the home all the way to the main in the street.
Denise Venuti Free, a spokeswoman for American Water’s headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., said approximately three-fourths of American Water’s repairs are handling common sewer line clogs or blockages caused by normal wear and tear.
Free noted that 19,000 customers in Iowa have the sewer line protection, and the company has an A-plus rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Nahra said the city encourages homeowners to review any additional sewer line protection programs and make the most appropriate decision for their situation.
Q: Gary Metivier is the best dressed man on KWQC-TV news. I’m wondering who chooses his matching shirt, tie and pocket hanky.
My husband and I always look forward to seeing him on the 5 p.m. news. Also, do the anchors at the station get clothing allowances, or are they responsible for buying their own clothes?
— Joan, Clinton, Iowa
A: Joan, Metivier thanks you for your kind words. “I enjoy choosing my own suit, shirt and tie combinations, but I do have a lot of help,” he said. “Sue Brunsma at Syndicate Hub in Davenport has been working with me for years. She challenges me to take some chances from time to time — like my small assortment of pink ties!”
Metivier said he likes to keep his wardrobe fresh, and he passes on the “retired” suits and ties to the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop in Bettendorf.
He said the anchors currently pay for their own wardrobes.