Bronzeville Woman Pays Plumber To Fix Sewage Backup, Only To Find Out It Was On City Property – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — A CBS 2 viewer contacted us after she got fed up with the raw sewage seeping into her home in Bronzeville.
But when she tried to fix it, she ran into costly trouble – and now she has a warning for others.
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As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported Tuesday night, homeowners in Bronzeville are often scared and see the backups of the sewers when it rains. The first call is usually to a plumber, but Ginneh Strickland warned others to call the city before paying anyone.
If you look at Strickland’s Bronzeville brownstone from the outside, you wouldn’t know she’s been dealing with a stinky problem for months.
Strickland: “It was toilet paper, sanitary products — everything entered my house.”
Terry: “No doubt it was sewage.”
Strickland: “No doubt it was sewage. I had to get on with it right away.”
With a tenant in the yard, Strickland hired a plumber to quickly fix the problem.
Strickland: “I wouldn’t want a human being to live with that smell.”
Terry: “Was it that bad?”
Strickland: “It was rotten.”
She replaced her pipes to avoid congestion – which involved digging underground in the backyard, and a hefty price tag.
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“At a cost of about $6,500,” Strickland said.
But after she did her part, it was determined that the problem was not on her property.
“The plumber says it’s on the edge of town,” Strickland said. “He said he did everything he could do.”
The city of Chicago has a Private drain program, where homeowners can be reimbursed up to $20,000.
The city explained how it works: “Residents who repeatedly experience water through their sewers are advised to hire a licensed sewer contractor who will ensure that a home drain inspector from the Department of Water Management (DWM) is present while they are in charge. rods and filming If damage is found, the DWM inspector determines the location and whether the repair qualifies for replacement from the Private Drain Program.
But there’s a catch — the homeowner must first be willing to pay a plumber $6,500 to determine if the backup is on the city side.
“I don’t know what my neighbors have, but I don’t know that all my neighbors have $6,500 to hire a plumber, to have them dig it up for the city—to roll the dice, maybe qualify for the program and maybe not,” she said.
Strickland solved the problem and now she is ineligible for compensation – because the city has not seen the work.
She warns everyone to do one thing if they have sewage backups.
‘Call the city first. Apply for the program,” Strickland said.
Strickland said she wished she had known about the program. Flyers about the Private Drain Program have appeared on the doorstep in Bronzeville in recent weeks.
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As to whether people actually paid $6,500 for a plumber to investigate a backup and then get the refund, the city had no answer Wednesday night about how much it paid out.