Homeowner blames water company for busted pipes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A Quad City homeowner has placed blame on a local water company for busted pipes in his house.

Steve Long’s Davenport home is coated with ice, something he says could have been prevented if American Water in Davenport would have done their job.

Long moved out of his home in July of 2013. Due to financial reasons, he decided to try and sell his house at 2506 East Street. He says he turned off the water main in the house and drained the water pipes. He then called American Water to have his curb valve shut off.

“They told me that it had been shut off at the curb in the summer,” Long said.

But Long found out Wednesday – just one day after the subzero temperatures – that water was still running to his home.

“I walked in and I heard water running which didn’t make any sense to me because I had the water shut off since the summer,” he said.

He paced the ice smothered floors. The kitchen, bathroom, and basement all covered in ice. His walls glitter with ice flakes.

Long – in a panic -- called American Water and was told that the incident would be reported. He was supposed to get a response within 72 hours. Four days later – while being interviewed by News 8 – he received a call from American Water.

The call stated that a claim had been made with the insurance company and they would be getting in contact with him.

Long did say that a technician did come out to turn off the curb valve on January 9th. The technician told Long that the valve was broken and that it was his responsibility to get it fixed and the water was now his responsibility.

Now, Long just wants someone to own up to their mistake.

“The water company delivered a product I didn’t ask for nor did I pay for. And they didn’t give me any indication that they had no capability of shutting the valve off. Now it’s effectively damaged my house,” Long said.

News 8 reached out to American Water but they were unable to give any information. News 8 plans on following up with American Water.


  • Retired

    You are the homeowner. You are ultimately responsible for what happens in your home and on your property. Had you turned off the water at the water meter, you wouldn’t be having this situation. Didn’t you check their work?? Good luck with this one!!!

    • JohnnyBlack

      He shut to water off at the main IN the home. Once you start messing with the stuff outside your home, then I bet they would be all over him for tampering with their equipment/lines/property/etc. Ultimately he is reasonable for the house, but this would be no different then a car crashing through his living room. Also, this issue is a failure on the water companies part to provide information that could prevent such issues. Almost like a car mechanic forgetting to tell you that you brakes are about to go out. If they knew about it and did not report it, then they should be responsible based on their service/profession.

    • Kathy Hunley

      I am a homeowner and purchased a house here in Davenport with no electric, heat, insulation and 10 missing windows. I watched American Water Company turned off my water at the street, then I went in and opened up all the water pipes to drain the water, then I even turned off the water under the toilet for my protection. Own up to your mistake, I always turned everything off in October, before I left my home until Spring. It isn’t all the water company fault, you didn’t take the time, and means to protect your own home.

      I don’t feel sorry for you one bit.

  • Eric

    You mean to tell me he is obviously still going into the house to check on it and not once did he turn on a faucet to check ? Also if the valve was broken and couldn’t be turned off how did he “drain the pipes” its hard to drain pipes that water cant be turned off to. I smell a setup clever idea as most people without general plumbing knowledge would jump right on the wagon with this guy even though his story doesn’t add up.

  • steve

    Wow news 8 reached out ? for what I for one will be outraged if one dime goes to the idiot who didn’t know his water was on since July! those valves are 4+ foot deep in the ground so it turned and didn’t shut off how was the water company to know that his valve was defective (curb stops do belong to the homeowner) was he there available when they tried so they could have checked it? I’m guessing not, the news station really should have done a little more research before publishing this. Also i’m with eric again he didn’t know it wasn’t off since July just sounds fishy I bet this was just easier than arson to get money quick for a house that’s not selling.

Comments are closed.