Miramar residents suing city, claiming it’s responsible for their broken pipes

Class-action lawsuit alleges water treatment issues

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Several Miramar residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, alleging improper water treatment is causing damage to their pipes.

Residents like Mark Gomes, who spent thousands of dollars to completely re-pipe his home after pitting damage and leaks from his copper pipe, believe the city is responsible.

“I definitely think there’s a problem somewhere,” Gomes said. “It’s happening to too many residents in Miramar.”

Attorneys say a growing number of upset Miramar residents are joining the litigation since its filing Wednesday.

“We have already had an additional 300 people contact us who have this exact same problem,” attorney Leslie Kroeger said. “So we believe it will be thousands.”

Kroeger, from the firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, represents the homeowners.

She said analysis of water from the city’s West Water Treatment Plant, which serves the affected area, revealed specific concerns.

“The water that they are sending out after they remove things, not adding things back in, not balanced, is having a reaction, a chemical reaction with the copper pipes,” Kroeger said.

Kroeger said there’s no evidence, however, to suggest that the water isn’t safe to drink.

Officials maintains that Miramar’s water meets all regulatory standards.

“The city has consistently assured residents and businesses that the water treatment facilities are up to par and does not cause damage to pipes,” Miramar City Manager Roy Virgin said. “The case filed is being reviewed by the city attorney’s office, who will respond through the appropriate channels.”

But neighbors like Harold Correa are convinced — it’s the water. Both of his neighbors paid to redo their pipes.

“(One neighbor) had to redo his pipes, cost him about $20,000,” Correa said.

He credits his pH filter, which treats water entering his property, with sparing his pipes so far.

“By it being less corrosive, it didn’t go through my pipes like everyone else’s,” Correa said.

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.