Starkville Utilities Calls for Proactive Reporting of Water Leaks

Customers can contact Starkville Utilities for assistance

Starkville Utilities is calling on customers to help protect the city’s water system and investments by proactively reporting leaks that can waste thousands of gallons of water and drive up your utility bill.

“We monitor our water production facilities and distribution water mains for any issues, and we also count on customers to help us by reporting leaks,” said Sean Johnston, chief water operator. “Having many eyes assisting our team helps us to proactively investigate and repair leaks that, if left unchecked, could affect our supply and service to customers.”

Customers can report a water leak by calling Starkville Utilities at 662-323-3133 or emailing Once the request is received, a work order is created, and utility employees move promptly to investigate the situation.

The repair timeline depends on the nature and severity of the leak, where it is located and how it is prioritized against other on-going work. Starkville Utilities appreciates customers’ cooperation and patience when it comes to safely repairing water line leaks as quickly as possible.

Types of Leaks

  • Emergency leaks occur when water mains break, and neighborhoods or businesses lose water. These breaks are more prevalent during extreme temperature changes, when pipes quickly expand and contract, and can cause reduction in service in the adjoining areas if not promptly fixed. They also can occur when fire hydrants are opened or closed too rapidly.
  • Priority leaks produce a steady water flow, attracting attention, but do not immediately cause any property damage or significant reduction in service. They also are associated with lower water pressure in surrounding homes and businesses.
  • Minor leaks are normally small leaks that drip slowly, are not likely to cause property damage and do not cause a loss of water pressure.
“When leaks occur, location is important in determining who is responsible for repairs,” said Johnston. “Leaks found between individual water meters and water mains, such as in roadways or adjacent to rights-of-way are the responsibility of the utility. Leaks found between individual water meters and homes or businesses such as in yards, under slabs or in walls are the responsibility of the customer or property owner.”

Repair Procedures

Once the nature of the leak is determined, including whether it’s a utility or customer issue, the leak is entered into the existing queue and prioritized by severity, the number of customers affected and potential property damage.

  • For utility leaks that require excavation, crews are required by law to call 811 so all adjacent underground utilities can be located before safely digging. The utility owner has 72 hours to properly locate and mark their underground assets.
  • If an emergency occurs involving imminent danger to life, health or property or a customer service outage, exceptions to the 72-hour timeframe are allowed under Mississippi law, provided 811 is notified of the specifically designated emergency excavation as promptly as reasonably possible so that operators may locate and mark the location of underground assets in that emergency area.
  • If power, gas or water has to be turned off in order for crews to safely make repair , affected customers will be notified before work begins via door hangers or social media posts as time permits.
  • Once the repair is complete, work orders are updated so any follow-up actions such as restoring yards, sidewalks or streets can be completed in a timely manner.
  • If crews determine that the leak is on the customer side of the meter, Starkville Utilities will communicate their findings to the customer or property owner and it will be their responsibility to contact a licensed plumber for repair. Once the leak is fixed, they can contact Starkville Utilities at 662-323-3133 to initiate the leak adjustment process, if applicable.
“Sometimes, priorities change because of inclement weather or other emergencies,” said Johnston. “Emergency leaks affecting the water supply are normally repaired within 24 hours, and less severe leaks are normally repaired within several days. We know how important providing top-quality and reliable water is to daily life, and we work around the clock to repair all leaks as quickly as possible to minimize the impact on customers.”

Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.

We are a Water and Electric Utilities Company in Starkville