Battle between neighbors over sewer pipe could cost thousands - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Battle between neighbors over sewer pipe could cost homeowner thousands

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JEWETT CITY, CT (WFSB) -

A Jewett City homeowner needs to fix a sewer line on his property, on Thursday, in order to keep his home up to code, but one neighbor won't let him fix it.

"It's a nuisance, and it's only a temporary line," said homeowner, Adam Gervias. "There were no problems whatsoever for the past 10 years. It just started the past couple months."

Gervais' sinks began backing up, so he called the plumber. The plumber told Gervais that the sewer pipe had collapsed, and it would have to be replaced.

However, the old sewer line runs through his neighbor's property, and has been unknowingly causing problems in the neighbor's four family home for years.

"They made complaints about the smell of the basement, a sewage smell," Gervais said. "They also complained that their daughter would be sick."

The owners left and let the house fall into foreclosure. Gervais told Eyewitness News that the new owner, a group called Igmak, LLC told him to fix the problem.

"We talked and he said ‘you fix your pipe and I'll fix my house, we'll keep everything hush hush,'" Gervais said. "I said ‘OK.' I assumed, I'm not a plumber, contractor or investor, I just need a place for my family to live safely and healthy."

When the plumber found the broken pipe, it was going through a huge tree. Instead of the plumber cutting through the root ball or taking the tree out, he moved the line over by two feet.

"They were about to backfill it, when the neighbor came and said no, I want the pipe originally where the old pipe was, two feet away," Gervais said. "He wanted me to cut the root ball of the massive oak tree, to run the pipe."

The sewer line fix is at a standstill. Gervais does not want to kill the tree or pay thousands of dollars to remove it and Igmak, LLC refuses to allow the pipe to move.

Eyewitness News went to Igmak, LLC's business address, to find the owners, but a woman would not say where the owners were, but gave their phone number.

A man named Illeah told Eyewitness News over the phone, that his problem is with the sewer pipe placement.

Two feet is "a big difference for me, I don't want him there, but by law I cannot stop him," Illeah said. "I don't want to give up one inch, no."

Illeah told Eyewitness News that he doesn't want Gervais' sewer pipe running through his property at all, but he can't stop Gervais from keeping it where it was originally.

He said he would rather pay Gervais the $2,500 it would cost to move the pipe around to the other side of the house, and under the driveway.

"He better fix my yard by the end of this week, or he's going to be in trouble," Illeah said.

Gervias only had 30 days to use the temporary sewer line, which runs out at the end of the week.

"I think he's upset, because the property he bought is damaged, and he was unaware of the damage until he got in there," Gervais said. "I think he's just trying to take the anger out on someone else."

Illeah told Eyewitness News that he blames Gervais for not maintaining his sewer line, and causing damage to the property that he is trying to renovate. He is threatening to take Gervais to court.

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