Sewage backup creates foul mess in 11 West Valley homes

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The new year is bring a new set of problems to a group of 11 neighbors in West Valley City. Monday, raw sewage flooded their basements.

"Water just started pouring in," said Katie Petersen, West Valley City resident.

Katie Petersen is talking about the gallons of sewage water that flooded her basement.

"I have a room downstairs that's a playroom, it was like six inches off the floor, you could see the carpet floating," said Petersen.

Piles of furniture, clothes and carpet all got soaked with sewage.

"I have a picture that my Dad gave me that got destroyed," she said.

Peterson isn't alone.

"Oh it stinks so bad," said Leah Wright, West Valley City resident.

Leah Wright next door showed ABC 4's Brian Carlson how she's cleaning up sewage water from her basement too.

"We didn't know at first what it was, we were just trying to save everything and realized it was sewer water," said Wright.

"You've got it all over your hands, your clothes, your carpet and towels?" asked Carlson.

"Some of my kids were barefoot at the time," Wright said.

Monday the stinky septic water damaged 11 homes near 7200 W. and Antelope Road in West Valley City. ABC 4 called the Magna Water District to find out what happened, they believe someone flushed a t-shirt down a toilet, it got clogged in a sewage pipe and backed up water underneath a nearby manhole. Several of the homeowners hit by the sewage said they're worried Magna Water won't help them clean up.

"I really do feel bad for the people that had this happen to them because I've had it happen to myself before," said Brent Williams, Magna Water District, General Manager.

But General Manager Brent Williams said it's not his call.

"What we do is we turn it over to our insurance company and they determine liability, which we've done," said Williams.

While the insurance company decides who pays to clean up the mess, bags of soiled belongings are lining the street, and homeowners are feeling the financial pinch.

"The repairs just cleaning up they told us is around $4,000 for this first phase," said Petersen.

"Do you have $4,000 to clean this up?" Carlson asked.

"No, we don't," Petersen said.

ABC 4 is told the Magna Water District's insurance company should decide in the next few days if it will help homeowners pay for the clean up. Some homeowners are told it will cost them thousands of dollars and take months to complete.

Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson

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