Trenton homeowner takes on water dept. over damage

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Trenton homeowner takes on water dept. over damage. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 5pm on July 11, 2017. (WPVI)

A Trenton homeowner is taking on the city's water department.

At the center of the dispute is thousands of dollars' worth of damage and who will pay to get it fixed.

"Your employee broke this. You're the water company. You broke it, you fix it," said Andre Ingram.

Andre Ingram of Trenton is looking at the water bubbling up in front of his Liberty Street home after he says an employee of the city waterworks broke a valve Monday afternoon with a sledge hammer while trying to shut off the service.

"By hitting it with the hammer, hitting it with the pipe, it loosened something in the ground creating this problem because prior to that there was no water here," said neighbor Melvin Ford.

Andre Ingram is a truck driver who says he's always paid his bills, but got behind on his water bill after shoulder surgery eight months ago.

He paid $400 on Monday to get the service restored promptly.

He says the water was brown on Tuesday morning, but is clear now.

Having running water that's clean is critical to the family. Andre and his wife Belinda have a severely handicapped 22-year-old son, Avery, who depends on it.

"We use the water to drive the medicine up and crushed pills with water and sanitize everything in here. It's like when you were in the hospital everything got to be sterilized," Belinda said.

Ingram says the city first suggested he pay for the repair himself and try to get reimbursed. But he doesn't have the thousands of dollars it would take to do that. He wants the city to pay for the damage the waterworks employee caused.

"Dig this up, fix it, put it back just the way it was, I'm happy. I want it to be done before I get water damage in my basement. They said it's on your side, you're responsible," Andre said.

Public works director Merkel Cherry said the department is looking into exactly how the shut off valve was broken and what the options are to fix it.

He says the family will not face any additional charges from the water that's currently leaking into the street

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