Smelly Problem: City, Contractor Fight Over Broken Sewage Line

Friday, March 8th 2013, 5:47 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

One metro homeowner is dealing with a stinky situation after he discovered a city sewer main break in his backyard. And the issue just gets murkier as the city and the contractor fight out who's going to pay to fix it.

The family bought the house, a new construction, in October. Just a month later they started having problems with their sewer.

"The sewage from inside the house doesn't leave like it's supposed to," explains homeowner David Anderson.

After their builder, Brookshire Homes paid a plumber to come out and clean the line three times. Anderson noticed a sink hole forming in his backyard. Brookshire dug down and found a big break in the City Sewer Main.

Now, David Brookshire says Oklahoma City Utilities blames him for the break and after they fix it, they are sending him the bill.

"I still can't figure this out. It's not my pipe, not my problem," said Brookshire. "But I'm a builder. It's already cost me several thousand dollars to do this. Now they're going to send me another bill? That's not right."

Brookshire says when they built the home they tied into the sewer main five feet from the surface. And never even dug down the 10 feet where the main is broken. But Allen McDonald with Oklahoma City Utilities says someone clearly broke the line. It's only four years old.

"Part of the line is just gone. That doesn't just happen unless somebody hits it or tears into it or something," said McDonald.

McDonald says the city will likely try to recoup their costs, after they fix the main and get the Anderson household back in service.

"It is time for this to get fixed. I have dishes to do, laundry to get done, my little girl needs a bath," said Anderson.