Covington's sinkholes are a liability for homeowners - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Covington's sinkholes are a liability for homeowners

Sinkholes are becoming a problem in Covington (Photo: FOX19) Sinkholes are becoming a problem in Covington (Photo: FOX19)
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COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -

The average homeowner has enough to worry about, but as FOX19's Gordon Graham tells us homeowners in Covington have a new worry sinking in…sinkholes.

Many of the sewer pipes in the city of Covington are more than 100 years old and they're made of clay which becomes brittle with age and that can cause sinkholes so is the city of Covington
responsible for the cost of repairs?

City Engineer Mike Yeager says the city is not.

That's because the city considers the pipe that connects the home to the sewer main the responsibility of the homeowner.  Up until about four years ago the city would take care of it.

 
Eric Smith the owner of a home in 1700 block of Jefferson Avenue discovered a sinkhole in front of his house and he says he's furious. "It really is ridiculous. It's like why do I even have the city on my behalf if they can just stop covering things because
it's expensive. You know, what are taxes for."

It's a huge financial issue for Smith who now has to hire a plumber to fix the sewer pipe.

Yeager says the repairs are costly. "What we typically see is anywhere
from about 3000-dollars. The most we've seen is about 12,000 and that's if the main is really deep."

A sinkhole developed this spring in the 600 block of Bakewell in the Mainstasse neighborhood. Andy Reuter lives right across the street and says the sinkhole seemed to have appeared
out of nowhere.

"The sinkhole actually came about after they had re-surfaced the street and one day we started to see cracks in the asphalt then all the sudden this humongous sinkhole opened to the point where it was maybe six feet deep and you could see pipes
running through it that had cracked through and everything." 

With 38 sinkholes across Covington and more popping up all the time Reuter says he's worried.

"Yes very much so and with that coming about recently we've discussed if it would be covered
on our home owner's insurance or not and we're not sure if it would be."

The city has a home owner repair program which provides grants up to 5000-dollars to repair lateral  sewer lines, but Smith says he doesn't qualify and the city has given him 30 days
to fix the problem. 
 
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