Contact 2: Festus Water Woes

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FESTUS, MO (KTVI)--Some Festus homeowners are coming together to protect their copper pipes.

And it`s not copper thieves they're concerned about.   They are sure the problem is, the water running through the pipes.

Sounds unusual, but they've shown me copper pipes in relatively newly constructed homes with unexpected leaks.

When Kate Wagner runs tap water she says she can't help but think about the condition of the copper pipes in her home.  'They`ve started off having pin hole leaks.  The discoloration on the pipes shows where they start leaking'.

That caused some homeowners to seek expert advice according to Kate.  'We sent a piece of our pipe that had a problem off to a testing lab and they confirmed that it was a corrosive attack due to improper water chemistry.'

Kate is satisfied that it`s not the pipe nor the developer that built her nine year old home.   She says at least 32 other Festus homeowners are dealing with unexpected leaks.  In many cases it means costly repairs.  Kate and her husband have spent hundreds of dollars. 'We had a lot of swelling along the door jam.  We`ve had to remove drywall, due to water damage, we`ve had to remove a portion of the ceiling.'

The city is aware of the complaints.  But they're not ready to blame the city's water supply according to City Administrator Happy Welch.  'There`s a number of problems it could be pointed to a number of things that we`ve looked at.  And can`t pin point what the problem is.'

The city says it`s not happening throughout the city so they're in the fact finding stage.

The Wagners on the other hand are in the fix it stage.  Twenty Seven Hundred dollars was spent  to repair damage caused by two small leaks.   And now Kate says, they have a third. 'There is a slow leak of water and with this water if it weren`t to be fixed now,   it could turn into an even bigger leak'

When asked if the city is ready to call in the experts, Welch says, 'We have not called anybody in, we don`t know if that`s the next step that may be where we go next.  '

Homeowners are also concerned about their health.  If it's proven that corrosion is causing the pinholes, they want to know what's happening when that water enters their body.  Many of them plan to attended the city council meeting Wednesday night.

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