Contractor's mistake causes water main break, homeowner headache

A contractor for Oncor accidentally hit a water line Friday morning, setting off a chain of events that frustrated Belton homeowners -- especially one whose property was damaged.

The contractor was trying to set a pole but mistakenly struck a Dog Ridge Water Supply utility line on Wolverton Lane sometime between 8:30 and 9 a.m., Oncor Area Manager Casey Simpson said.

Water came rushing out in front of the home of Ms. Caballero, who asked we only use her last name. While the flooding was mainly limited to her neighbor's property because of the direction the water flowed, crews were forced to dig emergency holes in Ms. Caballero's yard to mitigate the problem. That meant cutting the lock off her fence, entering her property, tearing up the plants that decorate her yard, and removing a memorial rose bush that was given to her by her mother, who had died two years earlier.

Ms. Caballero was driving home from her overnight job as this was happening. She only heard about the situation because a neighbor called.

Two years ago, there was another water main break on her property. When that one was fixed, she said, the workers left markings on the ground so that any future work crews would know the location of the water line to prevent a situation like this one. She believes the markings were either incorrect or misinterpreted by the contractor who was there Friday. Either way, she would like to be compensated for her property damage.

"They need to own up to their responsibilities," Caballero said. "They need to own up for what they did."

Simpson said he had limited knowledge of the situation, so he was not sure if anything was improperly marked or if the contractor could potentially be held responsible.

Caballero said she was primarily worried about safety Friday night because of the cut lock on her fence. She said her home had previously been burglarized several times, which caused her to add the lock in the first place.

"It's very upsetting and very nerveracking," Caballero said. "When they leave my house vulnerable like that, it bothers me."

In response to the situation, Dog Ridge Water Supply issued a boil water notice for customers on the north side of Highway 190/I-14. An Oncor contractor was expected to return Monday to re-drill the ground again to install the new pole that was supposed to have been put in Friday.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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