Homeowners find sand in water

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - What would you do if you found sand in your dishwasher? That's what happened to one couple in Heartland.

The say they want answers from the water district how this could happen.

Darrell Stearns and his wife Tammy say they first lost water pressure about a week and a half ago. When a plumber came to look at the problem, he found sand in the water line. Stearns says they've installed new regulators, and an in-line house filter, and left them without water off and on for 6 days.

As of now there have only been two homes with official complaints, but they're worried it might spread to more homes.

Stearns says the whole ordeal has been a little stressful.

"Well it's a lot of stress like when you come home after working an 8 hour day on overtime and you couldn't even take a shower that particular day, and you're hot and sweaty and wore out, and then all these extra costs that you don't need, you have enough monthly bills without having to pay on a thing that they didn't even inform you was happening, so yeah it does take a toll on a person," said Stearns.

Stearns says he is also concerned how this will affect the quality of the drinking water.

At a meeting Monday night, the water district board members said they are going to look into it first thing Tuesday morning. The board's engineer said they will need to flush out the system in order to gather data to see what could be the cause for the sand.

Mike Payne is the lawyer for the water district. He spoke on behalf of the board. Payne says the board believes this could be an isolated event of sand building up over time in the main water pipes, and was just recently released as a large lump, going mostly to this area of homes.

"We also have to keep in mind that the water district has water that goes into people's homes, that comes from wells," said Payne.

Stearns says he's just concerned what damage this will have on his home and property.

"And we still don't know what kind of damage it could do to our other appliances like the washing machine, the water heater, water softener, other, you know dishwasher, all those can have issues," said Stearns.

Stearns says his plumbing bull from attempting to fix the problem is more than $750. A neighbor says hers is just over $500.

The homeowners asked the board if they plan to reimburse those costs. The members said they are discussing it. They said they want to wait on the data, to see the cause of the sand. It's not out of the question, but Payne did say they are not insurers, and sometimes things happen out of your control.

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