Asphalt dumped in sewers costs homeowners thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs

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BATON ROUGE – An Oleander Street owner loses thousands of dollars after unsuccessful attempts to fix plumbing problems that have lasted for over a year.

“Very frustrated,” said Wanda Owens. “[I] I don’t know who else to call, I don’t know what to do. “

At the end of last year, Owens’ tenant told him the house’s toilet would not flush and the sinks would back up in heavy rains. Owens, who bought the house in 1999 and had never had these problems before, called the town parish.

“They looked at the line and they said, ‘Well the pipes, there was water in the pipes,’ and he said that was our problem,” Owens said. “So we corrected that little section, and then it continued, the same thing.”

When it rained again, nothing changed. Sewage and water escaped from the pipes, flooding the yard.

The city has always insisted that this was Owens’ problem. So she paid thousands of dollars to replace pipes all over the house.

“Over $ 5,000 to replace all of our sewer lines,” Owens said.

Work was completed earlier this year, but when the skies opened on Monday, Owens realized that replacing the pipes did not solve the problem.

“You can see the [sewer cleanout] the cap blew, “the Owens tenant said in a video posted to Twitter.” I didn’t remove it. It’s just rainwater and sewage pouring into our garden. “

Days earlier, Owens said, Rick Speer, the city’s director of environmental services, had told him what they found inside the parish’s sewer lines.

“He looked at this, and they found the one who made the government enlargement [Street] or whatever they do, they put asphalt in the drainage or something, ”Owens said. “He said our property is draining through this area.

In a statement to WBRZ on Thursday, the city appeared to acknowledge him.

The City-Parish communicates with the resident concerned since their first request for service. City-Parish has already cleared debris and asphalt from the nearby sewer line, inspecting the line several times. Work will continue on this issue, which can only be done on weekends as lane closures are required. This is a great example of why it is important not to put anything in our sewer system that does not belong there. The city-parish suspects heavy rains and illicit connections are also contributing factors.

WBRZ went on to ask who dumped the asphalt into the sewers and if this was related to the recently completed road regime on Government Street. A city spokesperson replied “not sure”.

In September, after Owens paid thousands of dollars for the work, the town parish, through a third-party claims management company, offered to settle with Owens by paying him $ 950 for the works. “Plumbing expenses associated with a sewer backup”, while not admitting its responsibility.

She did not sign the agreement because the problem was not resolved.

Owens isn’t the only one on Oleander Street with drainage issues. Two doors down, Brad Weens saw parts of his front yard and the entire street engulfed in water on several occasions. He and other neighbors have contacted the city on several occasions regarding drainage issues.

“We haven’t been anywhere,” Weens said.


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