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‘They say it’s not our problem’: Wichita man faces thousands of repairs after AT&T line punctures sewage pipe

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – David Smith has owned a small rental house in a quiet West Wichita neighborhood for 15 years and has never had a problem, until now.

“We got a bill from them about sewer issues where they had to clean up over $450,” Smith said.

It all started in December of 2021 when he started getting astronomical bills for sewer repairs from his management company and calls from an understandably upset tenant.

“They have to go to QuikTrip just to use the toilet because it overflows. They cleaned up inside numerous times,” Smith said.

After days of scratching his head, Smith finally put a camera in the main sewage pipe and couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“I found there was a big orange cable running through the sewer line,” he said.

Smith discovered that an AT&T line was punched directly through the main drain, causing a massive blockage.

“I have a sewer line, it’s a $4,500 line, that if I pay the money to fix it, they’ll run a line through it,” Smith said.

After nearly a year of painstaking calls and emails to AT&T, Smith says there’s still no solution.

“It’s frustrating because, you know, big utility companies are showing record profits … And then just turning around and saying, well, geez, isn’t that bad? It’s sad,” Smith said.

Smith says he hasn’t heard from AT&T in months, so we reached out to them Wednesday to ask what was going on. Sure enough, Smith’s phone started ringing while we were right next to him.

“It’s nothing new. This is just saying okay, now I’m ready to get serious about finding a solution,” Smith told the rep.

Smith says that while he appreciates the call, it felt much the same. After a year of having to clean the drain every month, he says it’s getting expensive fast and just hopes there’s a fix soon.

“Nobody at this point really cared. It’s just kind of like oh, well, you know, tough,” she said.

AT&T says American Cable & Telephone, LLC is the contractor that drilled the pipe and says it notified of the problem in May. We also contacted the company on Wednesday and no response so far.

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