FESTUS, MO. (KTVI) – Residents of Festus demanded to be heard Wednesday night at the city council meeting, wanting to know what’s being done about what they believe is a water problem doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to their homes.
About three dozen families have experienced leakage in copper pipes. Experts who the residents’ group hired to test the damage believe a chemical imbalance in the water is the cause of the problem. Leaks did more than $2000 worth of damage to Kate Wagner’s basement, and she’s not just worried about the physical problems.
“I want to know when I turn the tap on in the morning to give my son a bottle that I’m not doing him any harm. “
We first brought you the story Wednesday in a Contact 2 report, and Wednesday night, residents were before the mayor making their case, though they were not on the council agenda.
“As we stand today, pipes are still breaking. Pipes are breaking in people’s houses,” resident Corey Irelan told the council.
The city’s Mayor, Mike Cage, expressed his frustration with the problem.
“We’re playing detective too. We don’t want to go hip shot and say it’s this, because I don’t know yet,” he said during the session. But he also points out that only two neighborhoods have been hit, and many others use the same water.
“The city of Herculaneum has the same water plant, but so far they’ve had one water leak.”
He did say samples of damaged pipe have been sent to an expert hired by the city.
“He’s a metallurgist and he took them to his labs and they’re gonna do some fact finding for us.”
But residents are frustrated. Despite the location issues, they say their houses are relatively new, and there’s only one common denominator in all of this: the water. Some, like Irelan, even wonder if the recent drought had something to do with this.
“When the water levels get low, the different cities might tap into different wells to supply parts of their city with water, so it’s baffling to think why just a certain section of the city is experiencing this and not the rest.”
Regardless, they’re looking for more people who are experiencing the same problems.
“I can only hope with the media’s involvement we will have more information that we can gather that will help to make the case to the city of Festus that this is not an isolated incident,” Wagner said.
You can email the group at email@example.com.
They hope to get to the bottom of the mess, before a bigger one ensues.
If we have houses that are springing leaks in the pipes,” Irelan asks, “who’s going to want to move into these homes? How are we going to be able to sell them? What’s it going to do to property values all over the city?”