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Cut Pipe Brings Chapel Hill Homeowner Headache

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CHAPEL HILL — A small orange pipe is giving a Chapel Hill homeowner one big headache.

Whoever put it underground apparently cut through John York's water and sewer line.

"The estimates to repair what you see are in the neighborhood of $1,500 to $2,000," York said. "It's cost me two days of work and I'm getting pretty sick of it."

A white PVC pipe is a temporary fix to get York's sewer service running again. The orange pipe has to be moved before a permanent repair is made. Trouble is, no one admits to putting it in.

Given that the no-cut people, who actually document who runs lines through the easement, suggested from the color that it was a cable TV or a communications line, York called the phone and cable companies.

They told him they couldn't be certain, but they don't think the pipe belongs to them. Apparently it doesn't belong to the gas or power companies either.

"Until we find out who owns it, we can't cut it. We can't move it. We can't do anything," York said.

York has spent hundreds of dollars over the past year and a half to repair sewer problems at his house.

Now he thinks this orange pipe was probably the culprit all along.

On top of that, York was told he owns this section of the water and sewer line.

That means he has to pay for the repairs. It could cost $2000.

York can't believe it. Neither can his neighbors.

"I'm surprised. I'm shocked, and I think it's terrible. I think the town needs to step in at this point and take action," says Stephanie Yost, a neighbor.

The Yorks are hoping the Public Works Department can tell them who had a permit to drill in their area since their sewer problems started.

That should help them find out who put the orange pipe in. And, as if they don't have enough to worry about, they also found out their homeowner's insurance won't pay for the repairs.

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Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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