“Permanent” paint used to mark utility lines on family’s pool deck

8 On Your Side

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Lauren Davis came home from work one day to find four red dots on her pool deck.

She says the red paint is there to mark Duke Energy power lines so another utility could perform work. But the paint won’t come off. The dots have been there since October.

“I’ve tried everything,” she said. “I’ve pressure washed. I’ve tried bleach. Clearly, these are permanent. And they’re not coming off.”

Davis said she tried not to make a big deal out of the dots because it is a relatively small area and she thought that would fade. They did not.

Davis said she’s called Duke Energy numerous times and was told to call USIC, a contractor who marks lines for Duke.

That didn’t go well, Davis said.

“They’re saying there’s no way we would have accessed your backyard because of the locked gate,” Davis said. “Yeah, that makes except you came through my front door.”

Davis says her mother at her home that day babysitting and remembers letting the contractors come through the house to access the pool deck. Prior to that, Davis said, she was notified that the lines needed to be marked.

Davis turned to Better Call Behnken for answers. Duke Energy sent this statement:

“A local utility company requested a Duke Energy underground power line to be located so work could be safely performed.  USIC is a Duke Energy contractor who locates underground power lines. We apologize to our customer for any inconvenience a contractor may have caused. Duke Energy has reached out to USIC who is investigating this matter.  Duke Energy holds its contractors to the highest standards and would expect a timely investigation and liability decision.”

When calls to USIC were unreturned, Better Call Behnken paid the company a visit at its downtown Tampa office. We were told they would look into this and call back with an answer.

Meanwhile, Davis is hopeful someone will do something about this soon.

“I’m not sure if they used the wrong kind of paint, maybe the work had to pick up one from home depot on the way ..I don’t know, but regardless, they made the marks, I feel like they should have to pay to cover up the marks.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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