Water pressure increases in Cary causes pipes to burst, damage to homes

CARY (WTVD) -- Several residents in western Cary are dealing with some heavy duty damage after a water pressure change caused pipes to burst in their homes.

On July 27, the Town of Cary sent out a letter informing residents that they were "embarking on a two-year project in western Cary;" the construction of the Good Hope Church Road Water Storage Tank.

The letter said that preparations for construction modifications to water lines are necessary and that residents might notice a permanent change to water pressure during the week of August 7 through the 11.

Residents were told that if they have a working pressure reducing valve in their home's plumbing system then they shouldn't have any problems. The letter also told them to make sure they have one.

However, several residents in the area said they didn't know where to find the valve and really didn't think it would cause major issues.

"I had no idea," said Cary resident Carolyn Miller.

She lives on Cumberland Green Drive and said she didn't know where to look. Thankfully, she was home when she heard leaking from her master closet.

She shut off the water but not before there was damage to the closet and underneath her house.

"The closet had a leak down the wall and under the flooring," said Miller. "That all had to be taken out. Right now, I'm at $10,000 for repairs with my insurance, and that doesn't include the insulation, the duct work, and the vapor area put in."

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Her neighbor across the street, Renate Stech, suffered even worse damage.

Stech was in Germany for three weeks when the warning letter went out. Although she said she still hasn't found that letter in the mail her neighbor was keeping for her.

Either way, she was not home when the warning went out or when the water pressure changed.

She said she learned about a pipe that burst in her home while she was driving back from the airport.

Her neighbor called and said that there was water was coming out of her house
She walked Eyewitness News through her home, showing us that her entire first floor was unlivable.

Her floors and baseboards were water damaged and had to be ripped out.

Up to a foot of drywall was ruined in the flooding and had to be cut out.

Stech is living on the second floor of her home with all her belongings she was able to rescue from the first floor.

Cathy Smith said she and her family were at the beach when a sprinkler burst in their backyard from the pressure.

And their backyard turned into a swamp.

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Smith's neighbors sent her this video of her backyard

Smith said she also received the town's letter but didn't really know what to do with the information.

"I don't know if I have that under my house or if it was under my house," said Smith. "It turns out I had one and it didn't matter."

Cary officials said as they make additional infrastructure modifications within the N.C. 55 and Davis Drive corridors, more homes and businesses will experience this water pressure change.

Utilities Director Jaime Revels said they have a list of 12 claims for damages; five of those have already been filed.

For more information on the Good Hope Church Road project, as well as other projects, visit the town's website.

For more information about what to look for when it comes to the pressure reducing valve in your home click here.
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