Great moments in Houston Public Works

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City Disconnects Sprinklers, Threatens Day Care (KRPC-2):

The owner of a Houston day care said city contractors dug up her fire sprinkler system and then the city threatened to shut her down for having no sprinklers


“We don’t want them to shut down,” Public Works Department spokesman Alvin Wright said. “We will work with them.”

Wright said his department has no record of having a fire line connected to the building, meaning the owner of the building did not follow the proper process to install the line for the sprinkler system to begin with. With no record of the sprinkler line, city contractors would have no way of knowing they had to reconnect it, Wright suggested.

However, Wright could not explain why his department’s contractors would dig up the sprinkler line in the street if they didn’t even know it existed. He also could not explain how the city fire marshal was able to inspect the sprinkler system each year for several years without his department knowing the sprinkler system existed.

City Uses Duct Tape On Sewer Line (KPRC-2):

A city of Houston crew apparently used duct tape to repair a broken sewer line last fall that cost a homeowner $3,400 to fix, KPRC Local 2 reported Monday.

David Higgins and his wife said sewage began backing up in the showers at his house last January. A plumber traced the problem to a broken sewer line in the front yard that was apparently broken by a city crew repairing a water line nearby.

The broken sewer pipe was patched with a piece of plastic from a traffic cone, wrapped with duct tape and reburied.


Higgins asked the city to city to reimburse the $3,400 he spent to fix it, but the city refused to pay.

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