City fixes blocked pipe that filled home with sewage after owner pleads for help

HOUSTON – The city of Houston officials fixed one southeast Houston man's home after he desperately pleaded for help when a backed-up city pipe left him living in his own sewage.

Frank Moaning, 75, said city officials told him they were going to fix it, but after several days, no one had come to help.

Moaning has been living in a bathroom that he said has spewed waste from his toilet to his bathtub for nearly a week.

“Anything you do in this toilet, human waste comes out of (the tub), ” Moaning said.

On Sunday, Moaning noticed the issue. He hired a plumber right away who told Moaning there was a blockage in a pipe behind this home, which he was told was the city's responsibility.

“He roto-rootered 50 foot out -- and (the plumber) said it was the (city's responsibility). So I called the city, and they came out,” Moaning said. “They came out that Sunday and brought a guy back out Wednesday and ran a camera in there.”

Moaning said the city has spray painted the area where work needed to be done.

"They marked it and said they were going to come back out and do it, and they never did,” Moaning said.

He said called multiple times for multiple days. Moaning said his wife is 74-years-old and has mobility issues. 

“I’m 75 years old, and I have to leave the house to use the restroom,” Moaning said. “I asked them and I begged them and I called them. And every time I call them, the supervisor is out and they’re going to call you right back. ”

When he was able to get a hold of someone, he said he was told he was on the list to be serviced for the issue.

“They said, 'We got you down here.' And I said, 'Well when are you coming out?' They said, 'I don’t know,'” Moaning said.

He said this issue can't wait.

“We can’t use the restroom. We can’t wash our hands. We can’t do nothing,” Moaning said.

The city's Public Works Director Carol Haddock said the problem was fixed Sunday morning. Haddock said he informed Mayor Sylvester Turner immediately after seeing the story air on Channel 2 News Saturday night.

"For your background, the original work was being performed by a contractor," Haddock said. "When the work stopped, the customer was told to contact a city employee who  happened to be out of the office and could not respond. It was bad timing. Additionally, PW&E is working to make sure customers and residents know who to call in the future."