In Your Corner: Sewer Dispute

By Ryan Elijah

June 18, 2010 Updated Sep 19, 2008 at 9:12 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's Newscenter) --
Matt and Brandy Snyder returned home April 30th to find 3 inches of water and sewage in their basement, despite a lack of rain. It took the help of family and friends to clean up the mess which claimed, carpet, furniture and many belongings. The Snyder's say the city came out and fixed the sewer line that night, but their claim of nearly 24-thousand dollars in damages was denied recently by Fort Wayne's Insurance board.

Matt Snyder- "we're paying for this service that backs up into our basement, but they decided that they don't have to take care of it."

Their insurance company also told them they wouldn't cover the damage since "sewer backup coverage" wasn't an option on their policy.

The city of Fort Wayne agreed to look into the incident for us. They said the area just off Coldwater road where the Snyder's live does have a problem with restaurants and other individuals putting grease down the drain, which in turn, clogs city sewer lines.

Ozzie Mitson/City of Fort Wayne- "The city can't be held negligent in this instance, because we didn't know about the problem. We routinely check high fat or grease areas, particularly around restaurants every 30 days. We feel badly that this happened, but we can't be negligent."

Mitson added that city workers use cameras to find clogs in lines and clean them and that older lines like the ones that service Archwood lane are more susceptible to the problem. The city will soon roll out a program designed to cut down on the problem. As for the Snyder's they've spent all the money they can, for now, trying to repair their home and they say the entire process has been consuming.

Brandy Snyder- "everything has been put on hold, financially, because of what happened".

The Snyder's have considered all options, including taking the city to small claims court, but for now haven't made any decisions.
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