Several Taylorsville homes flooded with raw sewage

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TAYLORSVILLE — An offensive mistake had neighbors reeling from a backed-up sewage line that flooded into their basements Thursday.

With a recently paved street, Mechelle Adamson's neighborhood on Hew Wood Drive in Taylorsville was looking fresh.

"It has been lovely to have a new road," Adamson said. "Until the feces."

Adamson was repulsed by what she found seeping into her basement Thursday.

"The first thing that I noticed was the smell," Adamson said. "I opened my laundry room door and it was just feces, feces, feces."

Things worsened when Adamson discovered she was one of several residents dealing with a foul mess.

"Me and all my neighbors had raw sewage flooding our basement," Adamson said.

"They fouled up big time," Steve Pike, Adamson's neighbor, said as he pointed to several flood vents that disaster cleanup crews left running overnight in the basement of the home he is housesitting.

"Unfortunately, when there is a backup, anything that goes into those drains is what gets backed up into these homes," said Mark Chalk, general manager at Taylorsville Bennion Improvement District. "This is a larger line. It feeds all of the apartments that are up above, so when there is a blockage, it adds up quick."

Chalk said seven homes were affected by the sanitary sewer overflow.

"The worst that we saw was about 3 feet of sewage. … The last one had just a little bit of overflow retained in just the bathroom," Chalk said.

Four of the affected residents live next door to each other, while two others live directly across the street. The last one lives around the corner.

Nancy O'Brien was one of the most affected residents. She lost most of her belongings stored in the basement, including treasured family heirlooms. O'Brien said she has lived in her home for 37 years.

According to Chalk, the foul error is on a subcontractor hired to update the manholes after the street was paved.

"False bottoms weren't placed at the bottoms of the manholes, and so because of that, debris fell into the sewer and caused backups for our customers," Chalk said. "There's some brick (and) concrete chunks that got into the sewer lines."

A disaster clean-up company was called out by Taylorsville to drain the basements and rip out carpets, but there is still a lot to do. Chalk said Taylorsville is working with the subcontractor's insurance to ensure they pay for the damage and replace the neighbors' trashed belongings.

"If this happened to us, we would be disgusted and upset. And really, people's homes are where they live, and their family is, and their belongings are there. And so we take it very serious and we can feel their pain," Chalk said.

Meanwhile, Adamson and her neighbors are feeling queasy, hoping the stench of the difficult situation won't linger.

"I'm feeling at a loss," Adamson said. "I'm not quite sure what the next steps are going to be."

Adamson said she would like to see their contaminated belongings hauled away or to have a dumpster placed by the city to haul away leftover debris.

"It would also be nice if we had a voucher for a hotel. Today, we woke up feeling nauseous and we've spent the day outside on the porch to avoid the fumes in the air," Adamson said.

Chalk said the manholes and sewer line have been repaired and all things should be flowing as normal.

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Garna Mejia
Garna Mejia is a reporter for KSL-TV


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