Residents in a NW Houston neighborhood accuse utility company of breaking water pipes

Brooke Taylor Image
Friday, September 1, 2023
Oak Cliff Place residents in northwest Houston accuse Ezee Fiber utility company for breaking, damaging water pipes
EMBED <>More Videos

Neighbors in a northwest Houston subdivision say a utility company has come into their neighborhood and caused damage to water pipes. They turned to ABC13 to get some accountability.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A utility company is being accused by frustrated residents of causing damage and breaking water pipes at a northwest Houston subdivision.

"At this point, they are wreaking havoc on our neighborhood," Shannon Paige said.

In early August, residents received a flyer on their doors from Ezee Fiber, notifying them that they would be installing fiber optic lines throughout the neighborhood.

Paige, who's one of the board members for the subdivision, says ever since they started doing work, neighbors have been calling her complaining about issues, mainly water pipe breaks.

"When they are digging, they got pick axes. They are wrecking tree roots, digging huge holes, and they are hitting the water lines," Paige said.

ABC13 reached out to the Harris County Fresh Water Supply District #61. A spokesperson said they are very familiar with the problems and, at one point, responded to three leaks a day. Recently, they even met with representatives from Ezee Fiber to advise them on how to dig without breaking the pipes. According to the water supply district, Ezee Fiber is responsible for paying for the repairs.

"You are in a drought situation. Everyone's on water restrictions then you have tons of water flooding into the streets," Paige said. "I guess what I am asking is for accountability? Who is responsible for making sure they are doing it the right way?"

ABC13 brought the concerns directly to Ezee Fiber. A spokesperson said because they are a utility company, just like an electric company, they are legally allowed to do work on the right of way. However, they say it's important for them to notify residents.

The company applied for more than 50 permits in the Jersey Village area, which were approved. They started work in the Oak Cliff Place subdivision a few weeks ago and expect it to be completed in about six weeks.

"It's not that we mind moving forward and having the fiber optic. You need to follow procedures and do it the right way so it benefits the community," Paige said.

The dry ground has been a challenge, a spokesperson for Ezee Fiber acknowledges. According to the company, they have reported three incidents in which water pipes were hit in the area, which they say were taken care of within 24 hours.

The spokesperson said, most importantly, they want to be a partner in the community and want to work with the neighborhood and the MUD district to come up with better solutions.

For updates on this story, follow Brooke Taylor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.