AMBOY – Michael Therriault and his family have been without water for nearly 3 weeks, saying it appears to be the result of a frozen line on the city's side of the system.
When he informed the city, he said, "I was told it was a problem all the way to the main."
A city worker informed him that the customer was responsible for the water line all the way to the main, he said. In many towns in the Sauk Valley, the municipality is in charge from the curb box to the main, where Therriault's problem is believed to have taken place.
On Saturday, more than 2 weeks after losing water service, Therriault, who lives in the 700 block of East Main Street, called Alderwoman Deanne Hoy about it.
Hoy said she hadn't known about it. It turns out two other houses and two businesses are also without water, she said. The city is now checking to see whether it can solve the problems and has been to Therriault's house, she said.
"This is definitely an issue," Hoy said. "[The city] should haven't waited this long to deal with this water issue. From what I was told, the attitude they were given was, 'Wait until the spring thaw.'"
When their water went off, Therriault's wife, Carolyn, and his daughter, Vicki Therriault, started spending nights at the Comfort Inn in Dixon, with Therriault visiting often. The motel got too expensive, so they returned home.
So how are they getting by?
For flushing the toilet, they use snow.
"Luckily, we've had a lot of snow," Therriault said.
They fill 5-gallon containers with water from neighbors. And they use one of their neighbor's washing machines.
Therriault said his family will seek compensation from the city for their expenses.
"We were given erroneous information," he said. "They should have done more to isolate the problem, instead of saying it is our issue. There should have been more help on their part."
Mayor Tom Nauman was out of town today, with calls referred to Daryl Stuckemeyer, who is acting as mayor in Nauman's absence. He couldn't be reached for immediate comment.