CT Office of Consumer Counsel Calls for Investigation of Aquarion for Catastrophic Residential Flooding in Greenwich

On Tuesday, Acting Consumer Counsel Richard Sobolewski from the CT Office of Consumer Counsel filed a petition requesting that CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) investigate Aquarion for recent water main breaks in Greenwich.

The water main breaks resulted in catastrophic flooding of residential property.

Back yard of the property at 5 Anderson Road on Monday April 12, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager

In a release, the Office of Consumer Counsel noted that on Monday, for the second time in less than a year, water mains associated with the Aquarion substation in Greenwich ruptured and catastrophically flooded nearby properties and interrupted water service to many consumers.

In a release the OCC noted that the flooding also washed out municipal roads, resulting in an emergency response vehicle becoming stranded.     

Greenwich Fire truck sucked into the collapsed roadway after water main failure. April 12, 2021. Photo: Leslie Yager

“All Aquarion customers are entitled to reliable and uninterrupted water service,” Acting Consumer Counsel Sobolewski said in the release.

“Simply put, Aquarion’s recent water main failures in Greenwich are unacceptable and rendered even more so by the fact that the resultant flooding has caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages to residential property and municipal infrastructure,” Sobolewski added. “I call on PURA to initiate a thorough investigation and OCC looks forward to ensuring that consumer interests are fully vindicated.”    

Reached by phone, State Rep Steve Meskers said he was pleased about the petition for investigation.

“I’ve been in constant contact with the CEO of Eversource and their subsidiary, the CEO of Aquarion,” he said. “I believe they understand the gravity of the situation and I hope they can resolve this for my constituents.”

On Monday, and for the second time in 11 months, the Rancic family, at 5 Anderson Road, woke up to a flood of their property, which is across the street and downhill from Aquarion’s new water pumping substation, opened in 2017.

It was just 11 months ago, on May 19, 2020, the Rancics’ property was flooded for the first time. Ever since, they have paid out of pocket to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars for expenses, ranging from attorney, to engineer to architect, to professional cleaning company, to car rental, to laundromats.

To have the devastation occur for a second time was overwhelming.

Vera and Mirko Rancics, retirees in their 70s, purchased their home in 2009. They said until 11 months ago their basement and sub basement had been bone dry.

On Monday morning dirty brown water filled their nearly 1 acre property, filling their basement and sub basement with filthy water, hammering their foundation, sweeping away landscaping, and submerging Mirko’s vehicle.

Mirko Rancic’s car submerged again in flood water. April 12, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager

Acting Consumer Counsel Sobolewski thanked Staff Attorney Andrew Minikowski for his assistance in the matter. 

See also:

PHOTOS: Catastrophe Strikes Twice for Family Who Lives across from Aquarion Substation in Central Greenwich

April 12, 2021

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) is the State of Connecticut’s advocate for consumers on issues relating to electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications.  For more information, visit www.ct.gov/occ