Clay caused continuous water main breaks

St. Joseph, Mich. -- A water main in the Bomberger's front yard has burst three times in the past year. Homeowners say there is confusion over whether the City of St. Joseph or St. Joseph Township was going to tackle the problem.

Township Manager Tim Fenderbosch says he moved on the case as soon as he heard about it.

“It is the city’s responsibility to fix the problem, but the line belongs to the township and therefore if the line needs to be replaced. It is the township's responsibility,” said Fenderbosch.

Originally, many thought the new water tower was the cause of the multiple water main breaks.
But Fenderbosch says the Township engineer discovered otherwise.

"There's added pressure because of the new booster towers but it’s not probable that that’s the cause,” said Fenderbosch.

On Lydia and Brunn avenues, the township engineer says it is actually clay in the ground that is causing corrosion.

Fenderbosch says the township is probably looking at close to $250,000 to replace all of the lines in neighborhood.

"We'll be looking at new pipes, new valves, new fire hydrants. Trust me, we are here to serve our residents, and we try to do the best job we can," saud Fenderbosch.

Fenderbosch says the next step is for him to take the estimates and plans the engineer drafted and present them at the board meeting in June.

He says if the board approves the plans, the pipes should be replaced this fall.

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