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Plano pays out thousands for sewer back-up, but problem to persist

The City of Plano has approved a reimbursement of $3,850 to a resident after a sanitary sewer line backed-up into her home, yet officials stressed that such back-ups can and will happen in the future.

The payment to resident Michelle Walz stems from a back-up that occurred last October when public works staff accidentally used an improper nozzle to clear a sewer line with an industrial vacuum truck, according to city officials.

A total of eight other similar incidents were reported in Plano last fall, caused by sediment build-up in pipes throughout older parts of the city.

“The bill has been long put off,” Alderman Ben Eaton said of the Walz incident during a council meeting Monday, June 14.

Eaton added in comments after the meeting that Walz’s bill had been withheld from the streets committee by former Mayor Bob Hausler.

Despite the pay-out, city officials still don’t know where sediment build-up is occurring in city pipes, meaning that back-ups will persist.

“It’s a dart board and it’s going to happen again,” said Plano Water Reclamation Director Darrin Boyer.

To remedy such incidents, Plano approved an agreement Monday night to hire North Aurora water damage firm ServiceMaster to clean up any residences impacted by back-ups.

“They’re going to bill the city directly versus them (residents) having to go through and wait from October to June to get paid,” said Alderman John Fawver. “We’re just making sure that we have a mechanism in place where we can address these things properly and quickly and at the least risk to the city.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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