Lambton County’s $200K water leak
A water leak from broken coupling on a fire suppression system caused $200,000 to Maxwell Park Place.
The 57 unit geared-to-income unit in Sarnia which is owned by the county opened in late Nov. 2011. Recently (Feb. 18), someone noticed there were wet ceiling tiles on the first floor.
After a brief investigation staff found the water all the way up to the fourth floor. The culprit of the leak was a broken coupling system on a fire hose cabinet and sprinkler system which sent water to the three floors below.
Six apartments, the Ontario March of Dimes office, and hallways on all four floors were damaged. Two apartments and the March of Dimes office had minimal damage and only had to be dried out. But four tenants had to be moved out. Two tenants moved back in within four days after the floors and walls had dried and the walls repainted and baseboards replaced.
The last two tenants didn’t return to their homes until April 10 because there was “extensive demolition to the walls, ceilings and flooring” according to a report prepared by county staff. All but one of the tenants had renters insurance.
County staff added the fire hose cabinets on the other floors also had to be checked and that meant taking drywall down and repairing it after the inspection was complete.
Why the coupling failed is now under investigation by the builders, the company which installed it and the insurance company’s investigators.
In all, the damage is pegged at $200,000. All but $25,000 is covered by insurance.
Warden Todd Case says county staff did an excellent job of handling a difficult situation saying he has not received one complaint from the residents. “Normally, if they’re not satisfied, people will reach out to the politicians first,” he says. “Our people are obviously trying to do the best they can for the residents.”
Case says the water leak is something you don’t expect in a brand new building but says “I don’t know if any legal action has been contemplated” to retrieve the $25,000 deposit.
– Heather Wright