Water main break may have damaged Mid-Michigan house - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Water main break may have damaged Mid-Michigan house

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GENESEE TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -

(12/26/12) - A Mid-Michigan man is getting tired of broken water mains in his community. But the water department says the system is old and wearing out and there's no money to make repairs.

Last Saturday, Donald Washington noticed water pressure in his Charles Avenue home was dropping.

"Sunday morning I got ready to go to church, get up and there was no water period. I looked outside, my yard was full of water," Washington said.

A six-inch water main break deep underground ended up flooding the street and nearby yards.

"A piece of the main had come lose from a cross and that's why there was a large amount of water that escaped from the system, created a lot of problems for our repair crews to make repairs," said Kevin Forbes, the Beecher Water District superintendent.

It took workers 40 hours to restore water to customers in the area. Now Washington is saying the flooding damaged the wooden foundation his house sits on.

"Due to the fact that the water ran under the house, my house is caving in. No insurance, no help," Washington said.

"He always has an option to file a claim with our insurance company," Forbes said.

"What am I supposed to do? You're on a fixed income, you're a veteran, you filled out all the paperwork. Only for them to tell you 'Hey, we can't help you out,'" Washington said.

His problem illustrates what many Mid-Michigan municipalities are facing. Water systems need a major overhaul.

"The water mains were put in the 1940s," Forbes said.

"Every three years, a pipe bursts along this area right here," Washington said.

"Pipes are old and there's not a lot of resources to replace them," Forbes said.

Winter could take more of a toll on weakened system.

"We do what we have to do to repair them and get everybody's water restored and their service back," Forbes said.

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