Man says KCMO Water Dept. too slow to fix leak

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Northland man says he was forced to build a dam in his basement when the Kansas City Water Department failed to fix a leaking pipe that was threatening his home.

"I formed this with a couple of two by fours," said Eddie Robertson, pointing to the small dam he built in the basement of his Northland home.

At the top of the dam is a fan that pushes the water leaking from his wall toward the sump pump.

Robertson said without the dam his basement floor would be flooded because of the leak, which he says comes from a break in a main water line on the street outside his home.

"The line up there keeps on leaking. It's an old line. They need to fix it. They need to fix it right," he said.

He's been complaining to the Kansas City Water Department since late October, but hasn't been able to get any help.

"I was told Friday a crew would be here Saturday morning," said Robertson on Tuesday. "Saturday morning came and nobody showed up."

Then on Sunday he saw a three-man crew with a trailer and a back hoe and finally thought help had arrived.

But after 20 minutes at looking at area near the main line, they drove away.

When Robertson called the Water Department to find out why, he said he was told there was another leak in another area that had taken priority, but gave him no idea when his problem would become a priority.

"Call me, stay in touch with me. Communicate with me. Tell me what's going on."

It's a common complaint about the Kansas City Water Department, so we called spokeswoman Jennifer Kincaid who was sympathetic to Robertson's plight.

"Across the board from our customers we have heard loud and clear that they need more and better communication from us and they need better customer service," said Kincaid, who immediately looked into Robertson's problem.

The next day a crew fixed the broken pipe near his home.

Kincaid tells FOX 4 Problem Solvers that the Water Department is in the midst of a multimillion dollar upgrade of its services to make sure that problems like Mr. Robertson encountered are solved more quickly.

She said the improvements will take two years, but customers should start noticing improvements with customer service and in other areas as early as this summer.


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