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Moline Residents Still Suffering E. Coli, Expensive Damage From June Watermain Break

Jasmine Lee spoke at a press conference on Tuesday held by the nonprofit.
Jasmine Lee spoke at a press conference on Tuesday held by the nonprofit.

Some Moline residents have suffered illness and expensive damage, after sewage flooded their homes earlier this summer. They say it all started with an irresponsible contractor.

East Moline contractor, Legacy Corporation, was hired by the city to reconstruct 47th Street.

Jasmine Lee lives near the intersection of 47th Street and 28th Avenue. She called the city on June 7, when she noticed her shower, and toilet “geysering” sewage. After the water was turned off, Lee says she and her neighbors were left to deal with the damage.

It cost her over $20,000 and affected their health.

"Josh got some third world bacteria from it, I got two bouts of E. Coli, two different strains of E. Coli," she said. "Half my house is unusable, and we're both visiting the bathroom 24 hours a day, and running businesses. It's pretty frustrating."

A pipe carrying water to a fire hydrant had broken, overwhelming the sewer system. An initial city investigation indicated Legacy Corporation hadn’t supported the pipe properly.

The Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting has called for Legacy to take responsibility. Lee says she wants the city to step up.

"My hope is honestly that the city does what they said they were going to do, which is, they say, if the contractor says they're not going to cover it, they said that then they would cover it and go after the contractors."

She says she hasn’t been reimbursed, or heard from the city since the incident.

A spokesman for Legacy Corporation declined to comment, because of the ongoing investigation.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.