Busted Pipes Leave Chicago Couple Without Water for 17 Days

Marina and Agustin Cruz, both 76, say the problem is with city pipes in front of their home

By Nesita Kwan
|  Monday, Feb 17, 2014  |  Updated 5:25 PM CDT
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An elderly Chicago couple has lived without water for weeks.
 With the help of family and neighbors they've been able to stay in their home.
 It appears their water line may be blocked by ice or something else.
 As NBC5’s Nesita Kwan Reports, this is not the first time they’ve gone days without water.

An elderly Chicago couple has lived without water for weeks. With the help of family and neighbors they've been able to stay in their home. It appears their water line may be blocked by ice or something else. As NBC5’s Nesita Kwan Reports, this is not the first time they’ve gone days without water.

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It's like pioneer days again for Chicago grandparents Marina and Agustin Cruz. Their house has been without water for 17 days because of frozen city pipes, and it's the second time in three years it happened.

The couple's son, Miguel Cruz, has taken a leave of absence from his job in Wisconsin to help his 76-year-old parents lug five-gallon buckets of water from the neighbor's house in the 8300 block of South Baltimore to their own.

"My mom and dad are seniors and it doesn't seem like the city or the water department really cares right now. They send numerous people here to check where the problem is, and they keep insisting it's in the house, but it's not in the house. It's out here."

Marina and Agustin Cruz have lived in their home for 32 years. Miguel Cruz said this is a repeat of three years ago, when his parents had no water for 16 days.

At the time, the city water department repaired a problem with the main water line in the street in front of the house, and the family thought the problem was fixed.

Three years later they are the only house on the block with no water, and Miguel Cruz says they have proven to the city that the issue doesn't stem from the pipes in the house.

"They have to come here, tear this up and repair whatever needs to be repaired down there," he said. "It's frustrating because we haven't had water for 17 days."

The city has responded by sending out repair crews, but the Cruz family remains without water. Miguel said they saw seven repair crews come and go this time around.

A water department spokesman told NBC 5 that an emergency dig is scheduled for Tuesday in front of the Cruz's house.

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