Hey DPU I have your Wastewater!

$1,505 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 41 months
Hey Richmond Department of Utilities – I have your Wastewater please take it back!
 
First of all let me say how much I appreciate those of you who have come here to read my story.  I know that we are all busy and have complicated events going on in all of our lives.  It is so very hard for me to ask for help, but this is something that is beyond my current capacity to handle by myself.

I became a dialysis patient starting back in 2013, during that time I was given no chance to live.  Despite the fact that many doctors wrote me off, I am still here today having survived against all odds.  This is an ongoing struggle with many doctors’ visits per week, and due to the medical challenges of just staying alive it is very difficult to find work with such a limited time to do any gainful employment.  So this forces me to live on a fixed income, with no provisions for emergencies.

During this time I had purchased a house to move into that due to being on dialysis and wheelchair bound I would no longer be able to live at the new house as it had long stairways that kept me from even entering the premises.  This left me in a difficult situation, as I had a note on a house that was purchased during the great recession, and like many was underwater.  I continued to pay on the note despite not being able to live there while recovering and improving my health.  My friends moved into the house in order to get a larger house and be closer to their jobs, of course this helped me as they were almost able to pay the monthly mortgage note.  This allowed me to help them with getting them a nice house with a lower monthly payment, and they helped me as I was having difficulty selling the house, and was not well enough to coordinate any possible sale or rental of the property.  Shortly after they moved in the main bread winner of the family lost their job, and it took many months for them to find a new job due to the recession.  I was able to help them during that time, but in doing so I burned through all my reserves that I had set aside for repairs etc.  Although they would not have been enough in this case even if I had them.

On Dec 30, 2015 sometime during the overnight hours, the basement was flooded with three feet of wastewater.  The Gas Furnace, Water Tank, Washer and Dryer have all been damaged by the fecal waste in the water that I believe came up from the sewer drain line.  My friends called the Department of Utilities to have them come over to resolve the issue.  The people who showed up seemed to be unable to resolve the issue, and stated that it was not their fault.  When I, the homeowner, attempted to contact them that same day, I received no response from the supervisors that I called and no clarification on why they believed it was the fault of the home owner in this particular case.  I called again for each day (outside of Jan 1st, 2016 as I assumed they would be away).  No response to this day.

During this time I have been in contact with my Insurance Company, who cannot do anything about it until the water is removed.  Removing this much water is an extremely costly procedure.  Requiring multiple truckloads of water removal.  Even with the water removed the source is most likely not related to the building but very likely due to sewer lines backing up into the house.  This is not a normal covered item in Insurance policies.

The results of all this are that my friends who are being as understanding as anyone could be, have had to live in this house for the past few days as I have been trying to work this out with the various people involved in a very smelly environment which is dangerous to them and to those around the house.  They currently do have electric heat but that is not sufficient and combine this with the colder weather here in Richmond now, my very good friends are miserable.  They are just getting back on their feet and like myself have no resources to assist me with this clean up.

 This forces me to make a decision basically to use the money that I have earmarked for Dialysis and keeping me alive (including the 1k per month for medications that I need) so that the house can be cleaned up due to the Wastewater that DPU deposited into my basement. From what I am hearing this will cost me more than 2 – 3 months of dialysis payments.  I cannot do without dialysis for that length of time.  It is simply not possible.  So this forces me to do one of two horrible things, pay the money and get it cleaned up and items repaired or to not do anything and force my friends onto the street and potentially foreclose on a rather nice if smelly house.  Neither of these options are good, and I certainly want to continue to live.  I am working with my Dialysis Center to see what options are available to defer payment or to figure out what can be done from the medical side to assist.  Still this will take time and that is something that I and my friends have very little of right now.

What I am needing is the money or resources provided to do the following:

!) I need the Wastewater removed.
2) Determination of what happened and to fix the issue quickly before it should happen again.
3) The basement needs to be cleaned up and disinfected.
4) The Water Heater will need to be repaired.
5) The Gas Whole house heater will need to be cleaned and repaired.

This will get the house back to serviceable condition.

 

So essentially I am looking for financial assistance or volunteer support with cleanup and supplies to bring this back from the brink of a major disaster for me and my friends.  I would like to have the Department of Utilities contact me with options to help me resolve this problem versus the silence that I have received from them thus far.  And hopefully determine through their assistance where the problem occurred and what can be done to keep this from happening at some later time.

 

I thank all of you who made it to this point.  I know it has been a long read, but this issue is complicated.  I appreciate your time and any assistance you can offer me.  Advice is accepted, and I will try my best to respond to everyone with any concerns or possibilities that I have as yet not considered.
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Update Jan 26, 2016:

Sorry for the lack of updates recently.
The water is out of the house, the area has been remediated. So the danger is past. There is still much to do but the Recent Snow has slowed that all down.

Still need someone with a Truck to help remove a Washer and Dryer from the Basement. And move some of the last bit of trash from the basement to the Dump.

We have added baseboard heat to the first floor to help with heating until we can get a replacement gas heater for the house.

Also need to find a lawyer, this has been difficult mainly due to the snow right now.

Thanks to all that donated, it has made this considerably easier than it would have been without your help. And especially thank those that donated time and effort to help clean the basement outside of the wastewater being removed.

This will probably be the last update for a while, so that I do not spam your inboxes with unnecessary information.

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Update Jan 13th, 2016:

The basement has been cleaned up more by some awesome friends who volunteered time to deal with the feces infested items that needed to be thrown out. It was a very nasty job that needed to be done. I love my friends, I cannot say that enough.

Everyday we make progress, and everyone's assistance here has allowed for this progress to happen. The money will be going to the people who emptied the water out of the basement. He stated that it was going to cost 1900.00 so far, but agreed to in essence a discount and just what GoFundMe has provided here as payment.

I still have to replace the gas heater, which is going to be significant costs. Still looking for pricing on that.

Water Heater has been repaired and is operational. And additional Baseboard heaters were installed in order to assure that the Renters had adequate heat.

There is still much to be done, it is a slow process.

Rotor Rooter is not working with me on pricing etc. All through this they have been saying that they will work with me, and understand my financial issues. I admit that they have worked with me to make it so they can charge me there normal pricing. I know they are a business but as other contractors have shown me during this time. There are people who truly care, and then there is Rotor Rooter.

They are requesting me pay 9k (they know that I do not have it) for the sewer line. I have been told by many friends that making a decision where I pay for this over my medical needs is foolish. But, there is nothing that I can do. I need to get this replaced so that we can open up the area it connects to the city and see what happened. Not sure yet what I will do.

The updates will be slowing down now. I think we are past the critical point. Just need to figure out how to see the connection to the city without costing me an additional arm and leg.
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Update Jan 10th, 2016

Yesterday was another busy day at the house. There is still a lot of cleanup that needs to be done. The Wastewater has been removed, and a plumber came out to inspect the sewer drain. There was an issue, but it did not explain how 3 feet of wastewater entered the basement. If anything it shows that the sewer was structurally sound and that something else other than a sewer line collapse caused the flow of Wastewater into the basement.

Research still goes on, still much to consider. Need to clean and repair the water heater, along with repair or replace the gas heater to make it livable again. The smell is gone, and the sewer system appears to be working so things are certainly better.

Still have no idea on the overall cost, the plumber ran 530 dollars to jet flush the drain and record a video of any damage. Not sure yet on the cost of the removal of water and labor to clean the basement out. Not to include lost time, health, stress, and suffering all of this caused.

Once again, I am very thankful for all those that have helped, and are helping. I have some of the best friends in the world as far as I am concerned.

Please continue to share the story and the page, and share the WTVR story as well.

http://wtvr.com/2016/01/05/homeowner-tenant-frustrated-as-northside-basement-festers-with-3-ft-of-sewage/
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Update on Jan 8th, 2016

I see a few more donations came in, I appreciate everything given and I am so thankful for what you have enabled me to accomplish.

The Wastewater is out of the Basement, however it appears that something has plugged the drain, this would make sense since the water was not draining out after having come into the basement. I have hired a plumber to jet flush the sewer line and to put a camera down there to examine and note any damage to the line. This adds additional costs, and still doesn't explain where 3 feet of wastewater came from overnight. I know the local creek flooded, which probably backed up the sewer system. But of course DPU thinks otherwise.

We will find out what happened, and how it happened. Just have to take one step at a time.

Once again, everyone please share the story below and this GoFundMe page please. Any help is appreciated.

http://wtvr.com/2016/01/05/homeowner-tenant-frustrated-as-northside-basement-festers-with-3-ft-of-sewage/
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Read a Previous Update
Verna McNamara
40 months ago
1
1

I'll see how I can help financially. Unload all your city real estate if you have anymore. The City of Richmond is poorly run and does not care about its citizens. They will never own up to any fault.

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$1,505 of $8,500 goal

Raised by 17 people in 41 months
Created January 5, 2016
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AM
$50
Amelia Morris
40 months ago
1
1

From The Nunnery

GS
$50
george sarkees
40 months ago
2
2

I hope you reach your goal, my good friend

$20
William Lemmond
40 months ago
1
1

Sorry it can't be more, right now, Ed. Maybe more next month. Do you already have good lawyers lined up? I'm still in touch with ones who knew and liked my Dad.

$50
Shannon Harrington
40 months ago
1
1

Best wishes!

TP
$50
Thomas Pancoast
40 months ago
1
1

Shit...

JS
$50
Jeff Sinclair
40 months ago
1
1

Best of luck getting this mess all sorted out.

LM
$25
Les Muir
40 months ago
1
1
$10
Charles Flowers
40 months ago
2
2

Blessing's come in all sizes, iv'e had mine. Everyone will help. :) Chin Up.

BR
$25
Barbara Richter
40 months ago
1
1
$50
Kieron Torres
40 months ago
1
1

:-P

Verna McNamara
40 months ago
1
1

I'll see how I can help financially. Unload all your city real estate if you have anymore. The City of Richmond is poorly run and does not care about its citizens. They will never own up to any fault.

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