JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville family is spending their summer inside because of the mess in their backyard.
Robert Kauffman says a JEA sewage line completely flooded and damaged their pool, which is only a year old. He feels the public utility isn't taking the problem seriously.
With nowhere else to turn, he contacted the "Ask Anthony" team for help.
"I went right outside and I could smell the sewage. You could see it pouring out of the ground," Kauffman explained.
Kauffman says raw sewage flooded his family's backyard at the end of April. The family's pool, which is normally bright and blue, was filled with dark, brown water.
"We don't want to go back there to be quite honest with you. Nice hot day, you can still smell the sewage."
He says this isn't the first time this has happened.
"This is the fourth break in this line," Kauffman added.
Kauffman says JEA sent out workers to remove the sewage. But, that caused an issue.
"I had a lifetime warranty on this pool until they emptied it. Now I have no warranty. If it breaks, I have to fix it."
Kauffman is asking JEA to repair or replace the pool, which he says cost over $100,000. He says the public utility has offered some assistance. But, right now, he's just sinking in frustration.
"If I was to hit one of their power poles, you better believe they would be coming after the money. It's the same thing I'm asking for."
Kauffman says JEA offered a financial settlement after being contacted by the "Ask Anthony" team. But, he was not satisfied with the offer.
JEA issued a statement about the incident:
“Upon being notified of the pipe bursting on the customer’s property on April 30, JEA responded within 30 minutes and had crews working on site for several days restoring the pool and explaining the claims process for damages. Additionally, to prevent future incidents, we replaced the remaining pipe in the rear of the customer's property.
JEA’s Risk Management team is required to investigate each claim related to this case and must be provided with all evidence to determine liability. JEA follows all Florida laws and statutes, including Duty to Mitigate and Burden of Proof. While this is still an open and active claim, JEA is already working closely with this customer to reach a settlement in hopes of making them whole by returning them to a pre-incident state.”