Harlingen Woman Wants City to Fix Drainage Issues

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HARLINGEN – A woman said visiting her parents at their Harlingen home has become stressful.

Krystal Lozano said using the restroom at any given time, has become a problem.

"They have three restrooms and they are down to the last one," Lozano said, "the last one that they never thought they would have to use."

Lozano said the sewage at her parents’ home does not drain properly, causing clogs and back-ups.

Her dad did not want to speak to us on camera but he showed us this map. He said the sewage pipe that should drain his toilets goes under the public road and his front door neighbor's property.

He does not have the legal right in those areas to try and fix the sewage pipes.

"It's kind of hard for them to be with the plunger," Lozano said, "they shouldn't have to be struggling, especially if they’re wanting to take care of the issue and now the city of Harlingen is not cooperating."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS took these concerns to the WaterWorks General Manager Tim Skoglund.

Skoglund said that back when the home was built in 1969, the sewage pipe was allowed to be placed outside the property.

He sent us the following statement, which reads in part:

"Construction work at the neighbor's property severed the service line a few months ago. The WaterWorks has found no evidence of an easement through the neighbor's property, and without an easement or contractual agreement, the neighbor would have no obligation to maintain, repair, or continue accommodating the service line on his property."

Lozano said her father has done what he can to repair the pipes and wants the city to provide taxpayers with the basic needs.

"It's only obvious that it's the city's job and they are trying to give us the runaround," Lozano said. "They expect us to just deal with it on a daily basis because they probably don't have those issues at their homes."

Skoglund said WaterWorks has proposed that Lozano's father have an underground grinder pump installed at his home, to help the sewage flow to one of the city's main pipes.

He said the cost would fall on the property owner and could range from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars.

This is a rare situation, Skoglund added, but in the interest of protecting public funds, WaterWorks cannot pay to have this issue resolved on private property.

He also said subdivision and building permit ordinances now require recorded easements to avoid these types of situations.

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