Sewage Backup Cleaning Is Owner’s Problem


Home Didn’t Have Important Equipment

COCOA, Fla. — A Central Florida woman in her 70s is not only out of her house because of a sewage backup, but she said she now has the city of Cocoa hounding her to throw away almost everything she owns.

The home of Carolyn Rys has become a house of horrors: dried sewage on the floor, black mold growing and buckling furniture.

Ten days ago, sewage backed up into the home several inches deep.

City workers moved the now-toxic furniture and belongings into the front yard.

A notice from the city’s code enforcement department arrived Thursday ordering the “junk” removed by Oct. 28, or fines could be levied.

“I wish I could run away from home,” said Rys, 73.

A city official said the notice was premature, and Rys can have extra time.

The official said although it was city equipment that failed, the home did not have a sewage backup preventer, and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to clean it all up.

The city said it has spent $7,000 helping with the initial clean up at two homes, including Rys’.

Rys said she has no money for repairs or cleanup, and is afraid she will lose her home altogether.

• John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
• Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
• Microshield Environmental Services, LLC
www.Microshield-ES.com

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