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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

County Responds to Homeowner With Sewage-Filled Basement

DAYTON -- Sewage water and feces fills up a Dayton family's basement floor, damaging all the property in the basement and now he may have to foot the bill.

"It's got all that sewage and feces. You can see where the water line is. It caused the floor to change colors," said Charles Holt as he looked at pics of his home.

An unknown item blocked the county's sewage pipes back In April, and backed up into Charles Holt's basement.

"It was on a clear day when this happened it hadn't been raining the day before or the day after," said Holt. "What maybe feces and toilet tissue, it was steady bubbling out of the basement for at least 45 minutes."

The sewage water came up through a drain destroying their hot water heater and spreading mold throughout this basement.

"We have no hot water. We haven't had hot water since April 8. So we've been boiling water on the stove other than that we've been going over to family members houses to clean up," he said.

County workers came and cleared the sewage lines, but for Holt, the damage was already done. He added up the damaged carpet, drywall and personal property in the basement and said to get it all fixed would cost more than $26,000.

"We had homeowners insurance but they notified us that we were not covered under sewage backup," he said.

Just like that Holt fell through the cracks of the system.  He also contacted the county when it happened and just this week he got a letter in the mail.

"We are not liable for this incident and we cannot consider this claim for payment," the county said in a letter to Holt. They claimed no negligence was found on their part and wrote in a statement to ABC 22/ FOX 45 NEWS:


 
The Ohio Revised Code, Section 2744.02 (B) (2) states that "political subdivisions are liable for injury, death, or loss to person or property caused by the negligent performance of acts by their employees with respect to proprietary functions of the political subdivisions."
 
Therefore, Montgomery County Environmental Services is not liable to reimburse homeowners for sewer backup claims where no negligence is found. For instance, in the event of a typical sewer stoppage of unknown material, our crews will remove the stoppage and examine the sewer lines to ensure their integrity. However, any sewer backups and private home damage resulting from the stoppage is not the responsibility of Montgomery County or any other municipality. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the home owner and/or their insurance company to pay for the clean-up and repair of a sewer backup.

If homeowners want to prevent sewer backups from occurring, they can participate in our Foundation Drain Disconnect Program. The program was created to allow residents to install a backwater valve to prevent backups, or to disconnect their foundation drain from the public sewer line. Montgomery County provides financial assistance up to $3,000 to help home owners prevent sewer backups. Any homeowner who is a Montgomery County Environmental Services customer is eligible to voluntarily participate in this program. More information about the Foundation Drain Disconnect Program can be found out at
http://www.mcohio.org/services/water/engineering/index.html.


Connect with ABC 22/FOX 45 Reporter Wale Aliyu on Facebook and Twitter.

 
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