El Paso

Woman forced to leave home after sewage line ruptured by AT&T contractor

Woman forced to leave home after...

EL PASO, Texas - A woman in Far East El Paso has had to stay at a friend's house because the smell caused by a ruptured sewage line is too much for her to deal with.

Socorro Malave tells ABC-7 a contractor hired by AT&T went to her neighborhood to install a new fiber optic cable. 

The crews ruptured a sewage line about two weeks ago.

"The sewage popped up in my main restroom, and in my second room," Malave said. "I've never encountered something like this, and i'm by myself here. I get up at night to use the bathroom -- you know what I was using? A cup to urinate -- and running to Walmart to use the bathroom. 

Malave said James Cox of Southwestern Steel Incorporate was contracted for the job.

"It's very possible she could be correct. If we hit the line, we are liable. We will take care of it," Cox told ABC-7 on Monday.

Cox said his crew inserted a camera into a pipe with the hope of learning if the pipe is indeed ruptured, but due to the sewage, the crew was unable to get a clear image.

Cox said the sewage line is apparently under a driveway, so he wants to be absolutely sure the line is ruptured, before a crew comes and tears up the concrete to fix the pipe.

When ABC-7 tried to reach out to Cox for comment on Wednesday to ask follow-up questions, he said he had no comment.

Malave said she's cleaned most of the sewage but is worried about using her toilet or shower, because she's not if more sewage will come out.

"It's very frustrating, it's affecting my health," Malave said. "It bothers my friends because I have to ask them to stay in there house. It is frustrating."

ABC-7 reached out to AT&T and a spokesperson emailed this statement:

"We are committed to completing our work to upgrade service in this area with the least amount of disruption possible. Unfortunately, in this case, a contractor damaged a sewer line which is being repaired. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."


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