Homeowner left with mess after water main break

February 10, 2011 4:28:48 PM PST
A water main break that flooded the yard of a southwest Houston home on Wednesday left mud everywhere. Now the homeowner is left with a mess and is trying to figure out what to do next.

The city of Houston water main that busted left a homeowner with such a mess that he had to take the rest of the week off to deal with it. And even though it's a city line, doesn't look like the owner will get any help from the city.

Hand towels on the floor were saturated with silt. The kitchen floor, despite one cleaning, was still coated with mud.

It's seems everywhere Fashola Fatia walks, there is water and mud damage.

"The kitchen, the laundromat and the upstairs," Fatia said.

Early Wednesday morning a water main on Fondren busted. It sent a wave of water into his first floor and a geyser onto his second floor roof, leaking through into the upstairs game room.

Being a city of Houston water line that did all the damage, Fatia feels the city should shoulder some of the cleanup cost.

"This was their pipe that break down in the middle of the night, and to my own opinion, I would say they should," he said.

The city finally shut the line off, but mud still cakes his driveway and backyard.

KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy says unfortunately for Fatia, in many cases, a municipality is not responsible for damage caused by their waterlines.

"He's stuck going to his own insurance company because the city's position is going to be that it's immune from liability," Androphy said.

We called the mayor's office and city attorney's office for official word on if they would help Fatia with the cleanup. They didn't call back, something that didn't surprise the frustrated homeowner.

"I don't want to wait for the city. That's why I call my insurance to help me out," Fatia said.

The city of Houston attorney tells us the only time the city could be liable is if a personal injury is involved.