Raleigh family's yard fills with wastewater after AT&T cuts septic line

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Imagine everything you've flushed down your toilet turning up in your front yard. That's what the Griffin family in Raleigh dealt with for weeks.

"My son can't play in the front yard because we have wastewater in the front yard," Brad Griffin said.


Trouble for the Griffins started when crews for AT&T were burying one of their lines on the Griffins' property.

"AT&T bored under our concrete to run a fiber optic cable, and when doing so, they actually bored through our septic or waste line," Griffin said.

The Griffins hired a plumber who confirmed crews with AT&T drilled a hole right through the septic line underneath their driveway. The damage allowed everything flushed down their toilets as well as the water from their washing machine and sink to end up in their front yard.

"The grass was like walking on a mattress, like a water mattress, so the whole sewer had bubbled up from below," Blair Griffin said.

She called AT&T right away.

"Hours on the phone, no resolution, and no one seemed to care. A lot of them didn't even know what sewer even was," Blair said.

After two weeks of calling AT&T, Blair said a representative directed her to their insurance company.

"The last thing we were told is it's our responsibility to fix it without having any confirmation that they will reimburse us, which I think is ridiculous," Blair said.

Frustrated, Blair got in touch with ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. Wilson reached out to AT&T and their insurance company Sedgwick.

"We are quickly working to resolve this issue. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused Ms. Griffin and her family," a representative with AT&T said. Sedgwick also said it would elevate this to its claims team for further review.

After our involvement, the Griffins got action. Blair said a representative with AT&T reached out to her and reimbursed her for the cost of the plumber and also covered the cost to fix all of the damage to their yard and driveway.

Blair said she's glad ABC11 got involved.

"I can't even thank you enough," she said.

The Troubleshooter Takeaway is to document everything just as the Griffin family did in their case. Do not pay for any repair until you have assurance the company who caused the damage will pay for it.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.