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Pipe buried incorrectly at South Tampa home, city wanted homeowners to pay for its mistake

Family runs into road block while building dream
Posted: 7:28 PM, May 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-23 19:28:52-04

Local businessman and veteran Keith Steiner uncovered an obstacle while building his family's South Tampa home.

Construction crews ran right into a city water pipe bringing construction to a halt on this family’s house. The pipe, six inches in diameter should have been buried several feet below ground instead it was four inches above street level.

Turns out the city laid the pipe incorrectly back in the 90’s but no one, it seemed, wanted to pay to have it relocated underground.

Keith Steiner was told by the city water department he’d have to pay the nearly $6,000 for the job.

In an email, the city Water Department denied Steiner's request to pay for the pipe to be moved.

"It is not uncommon to find conflicts in the right of way after construction begins. When a conflict exists, the developers and home builders are responsible for remediating the conflict."

To us it didn't seem fair that the Steiner family would have to foot the bill for an error the city made when the pipe was laid back in the 90's so we contacted the mayor's office and asked that they review the case.

The head of the Tampa Water Department Brad Baird explained in an email:

"....The installation did not meet water department technical standards. I authorized city crews to perform the necessary relocation at no expense to the applicant."

The pipe's removal and proper placement allowed the Steiners to move forward with the paving of their driveway and the completion of their new house.