CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – The Llopis Family’s driveway is in bad shape.

“You can hear cracks,” said mom Cori, who’s seen her driveway crumble and sink — from the middle out — over the past 22 months.

It started, she said, when a Citrus Heights water main broke, sending water downhill to her driveway. That excess water washed away the dirt beneath the driveway, she said, creating a sinkhole.

“The gravity takes the water towards our direction and it pooled right there in our driveway,” she said. “This is a huge hole, and a danger I think to some people.”

But the Citrus Heights Water District, which fixed the original water main break, won’t help her fix it.

An engineer the Llopis’ insurance company sent out in September determined “the sinking of the concrete … is due to the water leak,” but the family’s insurance didn’t cover this type of damage.

View the engineer’s report (PDF)

Llopis turned to the CHWD, which denied her claim blaming it on the roots of a tree adjacent to her driveway.

Contractor Quint Dobbs said there is definitely water damage on the driveway, which he estimates will cost 29-hundred to fix — the lowest of three estimates Llopis received.

“It’s more succeptible now than it ever has been,” he said.

Without work, the damage will only get worse, he said.

CBS13’s investigation found the water district’s internal memo to board members — recommending denial of Llopis’ claim — never included a picture of the sinkhole, instead only including a picture of the smaller driveway cracks by the tree.

CHWD Operations Manager David Kane insisted all facts were reviewed, however, and said Cori can’t prove the water district caused the sinking.

“It could have been happening well before our leak ever happened,” he said.

The CHWD’s insurance company initially offered a $1,000 settlement but since pulled it off the table. The CHWD wouldn’t explain why it was offered in the first place.

Llopis plans to sue in small claims court, she said.

“[I’m] truly disappointed in the city’s ability to step up,” she said.


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