Homeowners Fight City In Sewer Water Lawsuit

(SIOUX CITY, IA) - It was 8 months ago when a sewer line broke and flooded the basements of these homes.

"I knew something was wrong because of the odor, and I looked down in my basement there was sewer water all over the basement," said one of the homeowners.

The incident happened last July, but the memory of it all is just as fresh now as it was then for one homeowner, who didn't want to show her face.

"I came down the basement, it was up already up over the drain, I went into the bathroom , it was coming up it had filled the shower bed, and it was coming up over the stool, there was raw sewage all over, in the bathroom and of course everywhere else after a matter of time," she said.

When you make your way into the bathroom there is absolutely nothing left. If you take a look where the shower was located, they removed the shower because they said the sewage water had leaked into the insulation and dry wall. The homeowner said she kept a few things above the sewage water but couldn't keep those things because the odor was that bad.

That's when the city stepped in. Crews cleaned out the basements and threw away anything that had been affected by the sewage water, then the work stopped. The city claimed it wasn't responsible for the backup, blaming the Sunnybrook church located just beyond the neighborhood. But homeowners aren't accepting that answer. They got a lawyer.

"We've talked to the city, the homeowners have talked to the city, they've talked to the council members, I myself have had two meetings with the city and I guess to answer your question Heather, were done talking. Its now time to accept responsibility," said Jason Gann, who is the homeowners' lawyer.

Chris Payer, the city's public works director, won't say whether the city will pay up.

"We were responsive this is the resolution phase, they have damage to their property and they want it restored and they are taking the course of action they need to."

For now, homeowners' are left with no answers.

"I can't take care of it. I mean I can't, I'm retired and I'm a widow, and financially for me to put the kind of money that needs to go in here, you know I can't do that."