Leaking water line causes swamp conditions for church

- A Detroit pastor is concerned about a leaking water service line that has formed a pond and turned the property next to his church into a squishy mess.

It may look like a pond, but really it's a sign of something more - a hazardous situation that Pastor Roland Caldwell says, he's been trying to alert the city about for months. 

"I'm afraid that a child or animal might fall in and drown," said Pastor Roland Caldwell, Burnette Baptist Church. "I've been calling for the last eight or nine months about this, because the water is still running and you see that the land is dipping."

His church, Burnette Baptist, borders the property at on the corner of Lovett and the Edsel Ford West service drive, where city officials say three houses were demolished in 2015 and 16, causing a service line to break at some point. They're not sure exactly how long the water has been leaking.

"The water is constantly flowing, and the land is sinking, and eventually it's going to be a big hole," Caldwell said.

It's not something you could easily tell by just looking at the grass, but if you were to walk on it, you would feel much of the land is squishy and feels like it could give way.

FOX 2 put in a call to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, who told us there was no record of Pastor Caldwell's calls.

"When customers call us it is very important for customers to give us as much information as possible; especially where vacant lots are concerned," said Palencia Mobley, deputy director, DWSD. "There may not be an address; we need as much identification as possible."

But as soon as FOX 2 called, the department immediately went out to the property, now planning the next steps to ensure the problem is fixed before it gets worse.

"We're going to send crews to investigate to determine the source of the leak," she said. "And then we will make a repair depending on what the source of the leak is found to be."

Pastor Caldwell is grateful to hear something will be done, hoping to work with the city further to turn the lot around...which has also been illegally dumped on for some time.

"I'm glad that you're here to help us save our land, save our city and our community," he said.

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