Local News

Water main replacement causes homeowners' headache

Broken Pipe Pits Homeowners Against Utilities

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs family still have a mess in their basement and they're blaming the city's utilities for thousands of dollars in damage.

But it only happened after Colorado Springs Utilities did a so-called "upgrade" to their water main.

CSU says it's not their fault.

"I came downstairs to switch laundry and I stepped in a puddle of water. So I looked around, like 'where is it coming from?' and I could hear a trickle coming from the wall," said Bonnie Grubbs, Colorado Springs homeowner.

Part of that wall is now gone, the floor has been removed so mold couldn't grow inside.

Bonnie and her husband, Eric, said it's because of the water main replacement.

"We'd been hooked up to their temporary water solution, I went outside immediately. It took them awhile, I tried to stop the water from coming in. Eventually it was shut off," she said.

The Grubbs said that temporary water solution was a hose connected to a spickett outside.

They believe the pressure was too much for a connecting pipe inside the wall, it cracked and triggered the leak.

"That night when they showed me, they said it was ice damage," Eric Grubbs said.

Their inspection reports show no frost damage to any piping in the house. They just bought it three months ago.

But CSU told them it was an ice break, not the result of their work.

So the Grubbs are out $1,000 for homeowners insurance deductible.

It is our customers' responsibility for the maintenance or upkeep of the service lines," said Amy Trinidad, spokeswoman for Colorado Springs Utilities.

She wouldn't speak about the specific case because of a customer protection policy.

But water main replacement isn't just happening at the home of the Grubbs, it's a much bigger project. In fact, a resident right across the street is also upset with the service she got with CSU.

"They had the PVC pipe run, when it cleared, tremendous water pressure forcing water through my front windows into my living room," said Betty Tilley, homeowner in the same neighborhood.

She hasn't had much luck filing a claim for her soaked furniture and a chiropractic bed.

The Grubbs admita  legal fight wouldn't be worth the cost, but as work continues in other neighborhoods.

CSU said they weren't responsible for the damage, but do encourage homeowners to have pipes inspected regularly.

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