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Family Says Raw Sewage Fills Home Again, Blames City

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Princeton (CBSDFW.COM) - A Collin county family needs Consumer justice after sewage filled their home for the fourth time.

They said the city caused the problem and has left them out to dry.

However, Princeton's city manager said they aren't responsible for all of the problems and they've done more than they're obligated to do.

Candice Brock came outside to find her backyard filling with brown water and what looked like mud October 30, 2015.

"All of a sudden we got a whiff of just strong chemical toxic gas," said Candice Brock.

Brock said raw sewage was everywhere.

"This is like, the city people told us, our house is the last house on the line. We're the dump for the neighborhood I guess," said Brock.

Brock said this has happened six times in the three years they've rented the home.

Work orders show the city has gone out to the home on Prairie Creek Circle at least four times.

Princeton City Manager Derek Borg said the city is only responsible for two incidences during the last 18 months.

"We would call the city. The city would come out here to that little manhole back there. They would bring their big tubing out here and unclog it," said Brock.

She said the raw sewage would also get inside the home and the Brocks and their landlord were left to clean it up.

"The last time this happened in October, the city could not clean it up. They could not unclog their side of it. It sat in poopy water for two or three days," said Brock.

She said the city manager came out to the home to see the issues.

"He walked through here in his suit and tie and was walking through the poop. He was really upset. He said he would take care of it," said Brock.

Borg told Consumer Justice the October incident was due to a city pipe breaking from weather.

Brock said while the city sent in a clean-up company to remove anything touched by sewage, there's no plan for anyone to come back and fix it.

"Nobody has called us. Nobody has contacted our landlord to try and cut her a check to fix her walls and floors. It's just left as is," said Brock.

Parts of the walls are ripped out in the hallway, bedrooms and bathroom and carpeting is missing from the living room and all the bedrooms.

Brock said the city paid to keep them in a hotel for 5 days and then they had to find a new place to live.

Consumer Justice took pictures of how the home was left and sent them to Borg who came out to the home Friday.

Borg said the Brock family needs to send in the necessary paperwork to the insurance company and he is negotiating with the home's owner on a resolution.

Borg said the ball is in Costley's court.

Homeowner Jean Costley said her estimates to fix everything was $4800 and the city offered her $3,000.

Costley is hoping the city will pay for the full cost of the repairs.

The city sent this formal response below:

I have reviewed the pictures that you sent to me for the residence owned by Jean Costley. I have also reviewed the photos from the initial incident, taken by our Public Works Department. I have also reviewed the history on the address for service calls for sewer stoppages. There have been only two incidents over an 18 month period that would have been possibly on the City side of the sewer connection. This does not constitute an ongoing problem in their line. This house is on the beginning of the line making it the only house affected by the stoppage. In contradiction to statements that have been made by the renter, the other stoppages at this residence were on the property owner's side of the City main, not the responsibility of the City. For example in August of 2015 there was a broken line where the sewer leaves the house, this was on the property owner's side and the owner had to have it repaired. As you are aware the City has reached out to the owner and reviewed her estimates for the repairs. The estimates were only received on the 29th of November, and contain items that are clearly not the responsibility of the City. The City is willing to compensate the property owner for reasonable repairs that are the responsibility of the City within the limits of the law. At this point the ball is in her court, and we are awaiting her response.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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