Troubleshooters: Water Woes

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's another double dose of the Troubleshooters, and both cases have to do with water woes.

And in the process of helping one homeowner Action News has turned up a city backlog affecting many others.

A recent retiree, Marve Weal of Pennsauken, New Jersey hired a roofer in March 2016.

"He charged me $10,000," she said.

Weal says just a few months later, her roof began leaking.

"It started with a small drip and I called, then a bigger drip and I call and then it's run all straight to the ceiling," she explained.

Weal said she called the roofer to fix the leak according to his warranty.

"I called him like 5, 6 times and the last 6th time he said, 'Don't you call back here.'"

So then Weal called the Action News Troubleshooters.

"The minute I call your station, he sent someone up on the roof to check and the guy says yea something is wrong and the guy fixed it," she said. "The leak stopped. We don't have any leaks now."

Weal still has some ceiling and floor damage but she's happy at least her roof is repaired.

"I want to say thank you so much."

The water main right in front of Pat Simmons house in Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst section broke back in January.

"It gushed about a foot and a half for 10, 11 hours before they could get here to shut it off," she said.

By the next day, Simmons said her entire sidewalk had collapsed.

"They did some work on pipes and filled it in and then I never heard from them again," she said.

She said her sidewalk was unusable for more than four months.

"I was a wreck that someone was going to fall and get hurt," she said. "I called city councilmen, I went to the state senator's office, no, no one except Channel 6."

After the Troubleshooters called Simmons, she got results from the Philadelphia water department that same week.

"We know there was a delay and we appreciate our customer's patience," said Philadelphia Water Department spokesperson Laura Copeland. "We made the area safe and we are just now getting around to restoring her home and her property."

But a warning if you need the water department to make repairs in your neighborhood.

"There is a backlog, about 2 weeks ago. We had over 500 jobs right, and now we are down to about 467," said Copeland.

"I'm very grateful to Channel 6 that this mess is getting done," Simmons said. "Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. I really do."

The water department said as the weather warms up, its goal is to complete a total of 30 jobs per day. And it says the backlog is due to our harsh winter.

There were more water main breaks from December through April than all of the last fiscal years.
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