Sullivan City Resident Wants Water Company to Pay Sewage Damages
SULLIVAN CITY – A Rio Grande Valley woman said her home was damaged after a pipe, property of a local water company, overflowed with sewage water.
Sullivan City resident Nidia Benavides said a foot of sewer water went into her home over the weekend. She said the water went through concrete walls into her floors.
Benavides said she’s been mopping up ever since. She wants to know who’s going to pay for her repairs.
“I’m not going to be liable, because it was not because of me. I am not the responsible person. I am the victim,” she said.
Benavides’ home is not insured.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS dug deeper and learned the pipe in Benavides’ yard is owned by Agua Special Utility District. We reached out to the company several times for answers, unsuccessfully. No one was ever available to speak to us.
An Agua SUD representative did show up at Benavides’ home. She said they explained to her what caused the problem. When we approached them to address her concern, they sped away.
Agua SUD did provide the following statement:
“The backup was attributed to a manhole located immediately downstream from her home that was clogged with grease, oil and other foreign objects.”
The statement, however, did not directly respond to Benavides’ request in paying for the damage left by the overflow.
The Sullivan city resident said her home is unavailable until the required repairs can be done. She said she decided to take legal action after meeting with city officials about the problem.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Texas said it can be dangerous to come in contact with sewage waters.
The agency warned raw sewage contains disease-causing pathogens which can lead to illnesses such as stomach flu, upper respiratory problems or even life-threatening diseases such as cholera, dysentery or Hepatitis B.
The EPA said children, the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems face an added risk of contracting these illnesses.
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