ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Lucille Santana, a 92-year-old Abilene woman has been without her sewage line or water drainage of any kind in her North 18th home for nearly four weeks now. Her grandson George Hightower says they believe a bridge construction project just outside her home may be to blame.
“We’ve started having plumbing problems here in the past three weeks. Whether that’s a weather problem, an ice problem, or what, we don’t know, but the construction crews have been leaving their heavy supplies on her lawn,” Hightower says.
The project began around two months ago and all was going smoothly until about the last three weeks, when the construction moved to Santana’s side of the street. Hightower believes the clay sewage piping may have been crushed by the heavy machinery passing over his grandmother’s lawn.
“If we would have been notified correctly we could have set some boundaries here and run some city lines. You know, if you’re going to dig they always say call before you dig,” says Hightower.
The family has called two separate plumbers to diagnose the issue, but their equipment was not prepared to handle the length of the pipe. Hightower says the city even came out to check the line from their end, but no issue was found at the main.
Now Santana has no drainage for her bathroom, kitchen or laundry. Hightower says this has been quite difficult on her and is beginning to take a toll.
“We’re blessed to have her as long as we have, 92 years old, that’s a long time. So it’s just kind of like a sponge bath and things of that nature, and she’ll probably have to wash clothes somewhere else or things of that nature. It’s just made living for her very hard,” Hightower says, adding that as of the 11th, she was checked into the emergency room to be treated for dehydration.
Though Hightower says that the city and state have been accommodating, he just wants to make sure his grandmother is safe in her home as quickly as possible.
“The biggest thing is we’d like them to keep their materials off her yard so we can get the product fixed. Once we do get it fixed, then we’ll go in to see who exactly is responsible for that failure,” says Hightower.
A third plumber was able to find the obstruction, and Hightower now says they believe it was caused by the construction. He and his family will now work with the independent contractor to figure out how to rectify the situation.