Recurring water main break has neighbors at wits end

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 11:32 PM

Water main break

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HOUSTON – Neighbors in the Shepherd Forest community say a portion of their street has been coated with water since the fall, and they’ve had enough.

The water line on West 30th Street, near Ella, is currently broken, and city crews haven’t been able to permanently fix it.

Kathy Bush says the line has ruptured five times since October.

She claims it leaks for days every time it breaks. The most recent break happened this past Sunday and has been leaking ever since.

“The last city crew that was here said it couldn’t be fixed anymore because there’s so many patches,” said neighbor Kathy Bush. “At this point, we’re fed up.”

Neighbors are worried that it could become dangerous with the freezing temperatures outside.

“It’s cold. I mean, who knows. It may freeze the street up,” said Bush. “I got a riverfront property with a lake now.”

Homeowners up and down the street have been calling 311 to get something done.

Vernell Foyt, 82, believes the city has had plenty of time to get it right.

“Do your job right the first time and you don’t have to come back the second time,” said Foyt.

Foyt is concerned for her own safety.

She often picks up her neighbor’s mail across the street and has to leap over the stream of water.

“This is too deep now. I don’t think I could jump this,” said Foyt.

Houston Public Works spokesman Alvin Wright tells KHOU that the city only has record of fixing the line twice since last fall.

He says all of the neighbor’s calls could lead to the city replacing the line entirely.

“By calling 311, I know sometimes people think it’s a pain, but 311 is going to be your best catalyst to get something done,” explained Alvin Wright.

Alvin Wright says the cold temperatures combined with older pipes make for a not so easy fix.

“We’ve had a lot of extreme temperatures over the last few months. It’s going to cause the older pipes to break more,” said Wright.

Neighbors say a city worker showed up to tape off the recent leak after KHOU began working on this story.

Kathy Bush claims that worker told her that crews would likely be back out on Wednesday to fix it.

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