Local veteran in need after water line failure

After government regulations prevented 82-year-old Vietnam veteran Wayne Headrick from receiving a major home repair, he says he's now relying on hope.

Posted: Jul 7, 2019 10:23 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2019 10:50 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) Wayne Headrick is in the midst of a nightmare scenario for any homeowner. The main water service pipeline to his home has sprung a leak. 

Headrick said it all started when he noticed his water bills were three times higher than everyone else’s, he called the water company to see if they could help get to the bottom of it.

"They checked the meter and I shut off the valve inside," Headrick said. "...and it’s still running."

When the water company couldn’t find the leak, the 82-year-old Vietnam veteran with help from his son began digging up his front yard. 

Headrick told us after some digging, he was able to find the are where his water line is leaking. Headrick estimates he’s losing about a quart of water every minute.

When Headrick reached out for help, he was referred to the city’s community development program, but when an inspector came to check the property they said his property doesn’t qualify for assistance.

"[The inspector said they] couldn’t work on the house because it was in a floodplain," Headrick said. 

The city told us the program is subject to regulations set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

"Mr. Headrick was located in a floodplain," Don DePriest, manager Community Development said. " Therefore, our agreement with HUD is we will not do projects that are in a floodplain," 

Now, Headrick is left with facing the problem on his own, he plans to find and fix the leak himself, but beyond that all he can do is hope

"I’m just going to patch that one hole, and just hope that it holds," Headrick said. 

Headrick said repair estimates for the galvanized water service pipe range between $2500-$2700.

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