Jun 07, 2023

Nicor's Elmhurst Work Prompts Liability Concerns

ELMHURST, IL – A resident in south Elmhurst wanted to know Monday whether a natural gas utility would be liable for any damage it causes to residents' sewer lines.

At a City Council meeting, Peter Doughty, who lives in the 500 block of South Cedar Avenue, noted that Nicor is installing new gas lines in neighborhoods such as his.

The company, he said, was installing lines underneath 70-year-old sewer pipes in his area. He feared the utility would create long-term damage to the sewer lines. Homeowners are responsible for the pipes from their homes to the sewer lines in the middle of the street.

"Many of us have 1950s ceramic pipe. We don't have PVC pipes. These are subject to damage from the removal of soil around them," Doughty said. "Those lines have not been uncovered for 70 years."

He said he tried to get a written description of liability from Nicor, but has been unsuccessful. He asked the city to help residents get that information.

He said he would like to know the terms of the city's permit for the work and information on Nicor's responsibility for collapsed sewer lines once the contractors are gone.

Fixing a damaged sewer line could cost a homeowner $14,000 to $20,000, Doughty said.

Patch left a message for comment with Nicor's public relations department.

David Giuliani