Customers say they've waited months for Cleveland Water to fix water main breaks

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 06:45:28-05

Customers of the Cleveland Water Department have had enough.

Our ongoing investigation 'Drowning in Dysfunction' has shown big problems with Cleveland Water’s billing, customer service, Water Review Board, and now fixing water main leaks.

Some breaks have lasted months with no repairs in sight. And wait until you see what our camera caught at one of the long-lasting leaks.

"We started over here where the cones are,” said Amber Holland, as she stood at the end of her driveway. She lives in Broadview Heights and showed us the new river that runs through Heatherlane Drive.


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"I have kids that come to my house every morning that have to walk through this every day,” she said.

Holland told us the first leak started Dec. 31. Now there are four leaks. No fixes. Holland said the water has gotten underneath her driveway and pushed up the newly placed concrete.

"What do I have to do?” she asked in frustration. “I pay my bills. I just want some respect."

She told us the Cleveland Water Department doesn't show any respect when trucks will drive by and look at the long-lasting leak without getting out.

And wouldn't you know, just as we were about to leave, we saw a truck drive by, turn around in a driveway, and our camera caught it leaving without stepping foot at Holland's home.

"Come fix this,” said Holland. “That's all we're asking for."

"It becomes somewhat of a swimming pool,” said Diana Iseli, while sitting in her kitchen in Parma Heights. If you think one month of a leak is bad, she says she's been experiencing it for two months. 

It's happening right outside her home at Valley Forge and Brandywine. She feels ignored.

"Aggravated...the fact that they haven't contacted me by letter, by phone, by anything,” Iseli said.

One of the issues with all of that water just sitting there is that ice forms, not only on the sidewalk, but in the street. It creates big problems for drivers.

"When the ice builds up on that street, you got to go over a big kind of a chunk,” Iseli said. “It shakes your car. You got to slow way down. It's like a speed bump that's been built up three times."

We have gone straight to the Cleveland Water Department with the concerns. No one will go on camera. They just release a statement that says they're working on it and have "adequate staffing levels."

Holland doesn't buy it, especially when water trucks just drive right on by her home. We asked if she thinks more contractors should be hired to help with the leaks.

“Yeah. I mean 30 days. How long do you expect it to go?" she asked.

The Cleveland Water Department has admitted it's experienced more water main leaks and breaks this winter than in past seasons.