Sewage Pours Into Basement After UDOT Mistake

Aug 22, 2018, 1:45 AM | Updated: 1:52 am

SANDY, Utah – The last 48 hours have been a smelly challenge for a family in Sandy. Raw sewage backed up into their basement Sunday afternoon, forcing them out of their home. They’ve been trying to work out a temporary living solution ever since.

“Bubbling up, yeah, it just kept coming up.” That’s how Tim Nicholes describes the flooding at his home two days ago.

Early Sunday afternoon, Nicholes’ son came up from his basement room and said they had a flood.

“It almost ran over my shoes… so two, or three inches,” said the father.

At first, Nicholes thought the washing machine had backed up, but the smell told them it was sewage coming up the basement drain in the laundry room.

“It didn’t smell very pretty, you can tell,” he said. “We started sucking it up with a shop vac, and it just kept bubbling up through.”

“It was just awful,” said his daughter-in-law, Nicole. “As soon as you would get a whiff, you would just want to vomit.”

To make matters critical, she’s caring for her 8-month-old boy in their basement room. They cleared as much furniture and clothing as they could from the basement to salvage what they could.

“As soon as we discovered the carpet was soaked, we just brought this up as fast as we could to try and save it,” she said.

Nicholes’ landlord called Roto-Rooter, which came over to take a look at the problem.

“He couldn’t fix it,” said Nicholes. “He said it was a sewer blockage.”

Nicholes called Sandy Utilities which stopped the sewage.

Outside their front door in the 300 East block of 9000 South, the Utah Department of Transportation is in the midst of widening the road from five lanes to seven lanes.

“That’s terrible,” said UDOT spokesman John Gleason, referring to the sewage back-up. “That’s something you never want to see happen.”

A UDOT contractor made the mistake Friday, according to Gleason.

“They hit a line, which then in turn backed up a sewer line into a home,” he said.

The family tells me insurance will not cover their losses. But, UDOT says it will.
“We’re taking full responsibility,” said Gleason. “We want to make sure that we get that cleaned up completed and work with the homeowner. If there’s anything that was lost or damaged, we want to make sure that we take care of that.”

The Nicholes’ landlord put them up in a hotel for the first couple of nights. The contractor had planned to put them up tonight. But, UDOT said it will take care of the family’s lodging until they can move back home.

A cleanup crew is tearing out carpet and drywall. The Nicholes may be out of the house a month, or more.

“This is nothing that that they did themselves,” said Gleason. “This is our responsibility, and we’re going to make it right.”

That’s what Tim Nicholes needed to hear tonight.

“I appreciate it like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.

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Sewage Pours Into Basement After UDOT Mistake