A resident of Thornton, Colorado is able to breath easier after the city decided to repair the sewage line in his house that has been dumping sewage into a nearby storm drain and park pond for years.
ABC 7News reports that David Coats moved into his current residence two years ago, but only recently discovered the seepage. Thornton, a Home Rule Municipality 10 miles north of downtown Denver, has decided to do the repair work itself rather than have Coats pay for it.
City officials claim that the leakage started well before Coats moved into the house, although they’re unsure when exactly the leak started. When Coats first discovered the leak, he was initially deemed responsible to fix it. Repair work would have cost him up to $10,000. This naturally bothered Coats, who said he did all the necessary preparations and research before moving into the residence.
“Before we bought the house, we went through all these inspections to make sure that our home was safe,” Coats said.
On Monday, city spokesman Todd Barnes told reporters that Coats would not be held liable for the repair and that the city would send repair crews to fix it.
“He hasn’t been there very long, it’s certainly not a mistake he made,” Barnes said. “So the city has just said, ‘What we’re going to do is fix this.'”
The same day, city workers went to Coats’s house for inspection and initial preparations. They also installed signs outside the nearby pond, which happens to be adjacent to a community playground.
“We go to the park all the time. We take walks, I see kids fishing in the pond, pulling out turtles and frogs,” Coats said. “It’s kind of scary to see that our sewage was running right into the pond.”
The problem was discovered by city crews last week when they were inspecting the storm drains after heavy rainfall. The crews are still figuring out whether Coats’s sewer line is connected to the storm drain or if there’s an external leak. Regardless, Thornton officials are hopeful the repairs will be taken care of within a week.
It’s unclear what kind of drain repair method the city will use but a relatively new method, trenchless drain repair, is ultimately more effective and less expensive than the conventional method of digging trenches to reach the sewage pipes. Though the trenchless method can be 30 to 50% more expensive than conventional repair work, the amount of money saved on restoration costs more than makes up for it.