Homeowner, plumber holds M.U.D. responsible for sewer line repair

A plumber's investigation into a home sewer break has uncovered a potential problem for neighbors.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A plumber’s investigation into a home sewer break has uncovered a potential problem for neighbors.

One homeowner claims the Metropolitan Utilities District is to blame.

It’s not an odor but the cost of her home sewer line repair that brings dee to tears.

“That’s a huge and huge amount of money and I have a child three years from college, it’s impossible,” said Dee Nincehelser.

She claims estimates of a $34,000 sewer repair with $4,000 in concrete on top should be paid by M.U.D.

“The work would not have been done had the water main not compromised my sewer system,” said Nincehelser.

A large M.U.D. water main installed in the late 1950s runs under the homeowners’ late 1940s sewer line dug up by American Rooter Plumbing.

”The water main that M.U.D. installed is the culprit on why this sewer system physically humped up and collapsed,” said Joe Fitzgerald, American Rooter Plumbing.

The homeowner filed a claim alleging M.U.D. caused her sewer problems and the private plumbers back it up.

“I’m totally upset about it because that homeowner’s sewer line was there first, and you have a single mother just trying to make ends meet. Who can afford $37,000 on their sewer?” said Bradd Conn, American Rooter Plumbing.

M.U.D. declined an interview but sent a statement. district representatives were at the site. there is no evidence to demonstrate mud is liable for the damages alleged.

That huge water main that Dee says has humped up her sewer line doesn’t stop here. She and her plumber say it runs all the way down the block.

“It’s just a matter of time before it comes to light for others,” said Nincehelser.

The master plumber says the sewer waterline intersection for one homeowner should be a red flag all along the street.

“This is what I think M.U.D. needs to do is go through that neighborhood, go to each home and camera scope the sewer lines,” said Conn.

For Dee, the plumber has her sewer working.

“There’s a band-aid on it,” said Conn.

Installing a new sewer line down Dee’s drive to the connection is the only guarantee of a permanent fix that meets city code.

“That’s all I’m asking is that M.U.D. does the right thing,” said Nincehelser.

But who pays for a nearly $38,000 home sewer repair project, Dee or M.U.D. remains to be flushed out possibly in court.

The homeowner’s claim will be evaluated by the legal department at M.U.D. if it’s denied she can go to court.

That threat of a lawsuit is why M.U.D. can’t comment on why it doesn’t accept liability.

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