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Jesse Jones Helps Woman with Sewer Slip-Up

A sewage backup left Ollie Baber’s bathroom completely unusable.

“The last backup was so bad, it looks like tar. black tar,” said Ollie. “It was thick and very toxic smell.”

And Ollie’s front yard was a mess.  The mess was devastating to Ollie’s son Steve.

“It is a mess, and she likes her yard.  Former farm girl, grew up in the south on a farm. She likes her yard,” said Steve Baber

Steve says this began in the Spring, when contractors his mother didn’t hire, began working near her sidewalk.  Sometime afterwards, Ollie’s bathroom and part of her bedroom were flooded with sewage.

“I was very upset that I couldn’t go back there or get to my clothes or sleep in my bed or anything like that,” said Ollie.

Steve says his mother spent upwards of $6,000 paying plumbers to make repairs.

“They weren’t really getting the job done. And when I found out how much she was paying them, $900 one day, and $1,500 the next day, and she was still having backups,” said Steve.

Steve hired a company who dropped a camera into the sewer line.

“It came in on one side, went thru the sewer line, and out the other.  And then there was a lot of, it was an old concrete pipe, it all had collapsed around there,” said Steve.

Steve learned the contractors were laying cable for a cell-tower and clipped the pipe.

Later a contractor did return, they dug a hole-made temporary repairs and left a mess behind.

“They said they’d be back, but they didn’t set no date on it and they have not been back,” said Ollie.

The final straw, a notice from SDOT. It advised Ollie that she could be fined for not getting the sidewalk and sewer work permitted.

“And a fine for each of those two permits is one thousand dollars a day, or a combination of two thousand dollars a day,” said Steve.

The city backed off the fines.

Steve called me and I found the contractor was named Zayo out of Colorado.  They flew in a manager who says the company will repair the sewer, sidewalk and bathroom.

“I am happy and I can go back to my bedroom and sleep peaceful at night,” said Ollie.

It will also repay every cent Ollie spent trying to diagnose the problem.

But Ollie had one more demand.

“They did say that if I wanted some more work on the yard, they gonna do the yard,” said Ollie.

Shannon Paulk, a spokesperson for Zayo Group, says in a statement,
“While performing underground boring work on behalf of Zayo, a contractor hit an unmarked sewer lateral outside of Mrs. Baber’s home. The damage was not noticed at the time. Once notified, Zayo took immediate corrective action, repairing the sewer lateral and working with Mrs. Baber to address her concerns, reimburse her for expenses, and ensure she was satisfied with all repairs. Zayo works diligently to ensure careful, safe installation of its communication facilities, and we apologize for the distress and disruption this incident caused Mrs. Baber.”


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