Action 13 returns to 75-year-old woman's home where free plumbing work restores running water

Angelica Pena was forced to collect rainwater for two years because she's on a fixed income and couldn't afford a $7,000 fix.

Lileana Pearson Image
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
$10K worth of plumbing work done for free at 75-year-old's home
AAA Plumbing is completing $10,000 worth of work for Angelica Pena, the 75-year-old who was forced to collect rainwater for two years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 75-year-old woman in Houston's north side has been without running water for two years after she couldn't afford to fix a busted pipe.

Two weeks ago, Action 13 went to Angelica Pena's home, where ABC13 found she had been collecting rain water in barrels and was using that to bath, wash dishes, and flush the toilet.

Just minutes after the original story aired, the help flowed in, and now, those barrels once filled with water are just regular old trash cans again.

AAA Plumbing is spending the week at Pena's home, where workers are doing a full re-pipe, adding a new hot water heater and a bath tub.

"Two years of it just sitting there, the whole fitting came off," head plumber David Paulsel said.

He spent the day under the home, cutting away old rusted pipes and pulling out the ones that had completely rusted off. Because after two years of the system sitting in disuse, the problems that ABC13 originally reported on were worse.

"Whenever I got underneath the house, I just started seeing busted pipes, sewer drains not connected, old piping, some new. Just a cluster of problems," Paulsel said.

AAA Plumbing is doing a $10,000 job for free. Albert Flores, who translated for Pena, said her mood and attitude have lifted drastically in the last weeks.

"First thing she is going to do is take a shower," Flores translated for Pena when asked what the first thing she would do with running water. "She gives a million thanks for everyone out there watching, because without them, this wouldn't be happening."

Running water is expected to flow this Friday at Pena's home. Meanwhile, ABC13 knows others in Houston need help too. We've listed the following resources that may be able to help.

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