COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4)– Dozens of people living in Commerce City are living with a stinking reminder of a water main break that happened on Tuesday.

The break left sewage seeping into dozens of homes. The South Adams County Water & Sanitation has to decide how much, if any, to pay homeowners for damages.

The water main break happened at about 5 a.m. Tuesday at 80th and Quince.

The sanitation district is considering giving the 29 residents $10,000 each. But that’s a lot more than their insurance company said they need to pay.

“I told them, ‘If my pipe backed up into your water, you would make me clean it up,” said sewage flood victim Scott Mascarenas. “It was coming out of here like Old Faithful.”

Mascarenas is upset that his basement was flooded with several inches of sewage. It caused thousands of dollars in damage.

A water main break flooded into the adjacent sewer system that pushed sewage back through homes.

“It’s a no fault situation,” said South Adams County Water & Sanitation Director Jim Jones. “It’s just something that happens in water systems.”

Jones said their insurance company categorized the break and the ensuing sewage problem as an “Act of God” that takes them off the hook for damages.

“What our insurance company told us is that the district is not at fault. So it’s a no fault, it’s not per household, it’s just for the main break,” said Jones.

That would require the insurance company to only pay $10,000 for the entire incident but wants to settle with neighbors for $10,000 a piece.

Most people weren’t insured for flood damage. Even if the city does pay for the damage it may not be enough to cover rebuilding costs.

“I’m probably maxed out on what they’re going to give me from the county,” said sewage flood victim John Wigel.

The sanitation district said they will host a meeting at 5 p.m. Friday at the South Adams County Water & Sanitation building located at 6595 East 70th Avenue
in Commerce City to discuss reimbursement.


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