Does Property Owner Have Recourse Against Village for Not Finding Source of Water Leaks?

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“There is a water leak on my property that the village is unable to locate.  It is not on my service line or meter, it has been determined that it is from old abandoned village lines that the village does not use anymore or have a map for.  They dug up my yard last May 2011 and couln’t find anything, brought in 2 different water specialists and they couldn’t find anything, so they covered up the holes threw out some grass seed and never came back.  Since this time my yard has become a muddy mess.  In the winter there was ice standing in the middle of the yard.  My husband contacted a village board member and he said that they couldn’t ever find anything, but he would bring it up to the mayor again.  It has now been almost 11 months and nothing has been done to rectify this situation.  I do not know where to turn or what to do next. Do I as a property owner have any legal rights against the village for not finding and repairing this leak since it is virtually destroying my property day after day?”

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You’re probably going to have to spend some money to move this forward.  If the problem is indeed from the city, you probably have some means of recovery against them (check your local laws to be sure), but if they haven’t actually located the leak, then the causes they’re suggesting are just guesses.

If the city won’t voluntarily work on this (and it may be worth trying that avenue a little longer), then you may need to hire someone to locate the leak for you.  Once you find it, and it’s clear that it was city-related, then you’re in a better position to demand reimbursement.  And if you don’t get it, at least you’ll have a dry yard.

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Author: House Attorney

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