Laura provides an article showing how Neighborhood Revitalization Partners tried to foist off responsibility on the city for sewer backups caused by their new construction. This, in our opinion, is a due diligence issue which affects not only the city but the planners, designers, and contractors. A similar situation exists on lower Denison, and our community did determine in the late 1970s and early 1980s that this same lower Denison area where they propose to build now would not accommodate any new construction or additional units. Here's this morning's email, with the article. I wonder how this issue was resolved?
From: Laura McShane
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 4:19 AM
To: 'McNamara, Nora'; TimFerris
Subject: RE: NRP et al questions
I am reprinting this article here--obtained via subscription service as a reminder of the potential problems posed by this project.
OLD SEWER SYSTEM PLAGUES NEW HOMES
Blade, The (Toledo, OH) - Friday, July 24, 1998
Author: KAREN AYRES BLADE STAFF WRITER
Hildebrand Avenue residents cleaned up feces and water damage yesterday after storms earlier in the week caused backups in the city's sewer system that flooded their basements.
The residents of the Toledo Homes Project said their basements have flooded three times during the first year in their new homes, and they're afraid for their families' health.
Almost all 12 homes in the project, which is owned by Organized Neighbors Yielding eXcellence and maintained by the property management firm, Gerdenich & Co., were damaged by the storm, Karen Walton, a resident, said.
``I love my house, but I refuse to go through this again,'' said Ms. Walton, who found waste coming through a drain in her basement. ``I had tampons and feces in my basement. This is a health problem. We've all got small children.''
A service hired by the property-management firm cleaned Ms. Walton's basement and several others, but neighbors said they want a longterm solution.
The sewer system in the area around the street and most of central Toledo sends sewage from houses and rain water from the streets into one pipe. More modern systems have two lines.
Unusually heavy rain Tuesday and Wednesday combined with the sewage from the houses might have created a situation that forced the sewage into the residents' basements, Bob Williams, the city's commissioner of sewer and drainage, said.
``The system was not designed to hold these homes,'' said Kurt Schell, a project superintendent with Neighborhood Revitalization Partners, which built the homes.
Mr. Williams said clogged city pipes and faulty connections between pipes on private and public property also could cause the backup, but the problem such as that at Toledo Homes occurs all over the city during heavy rains.
Regardless of the cause, Hildebrand residents, who lease the homes, said they're mad the houses were built in the area when the sewers can't handle it.
``Look at this. This is absolutely disgusting,'' Vickie Caulton, another area resident, said as she pointed to damaged personal items in her basement.
Mr. Schell said apparently no one with the city considered the ``antiquated'' sewer system when construction of the houses was approved.
Mr. Williams agreed, but he said some things could be done to prevent more flooding. Sump
pumps along with check valves and stand pipes could stop the sewage from getting into the houses.
The city would have to spend an enormous amount of money to improve the old sewer system, he said.
Mr. Schell said only some of the houses, because of their elevation, had sump pumps installed during construction. As of yesterday, none of the houses had check valves or stand pipes because city codes do not require them in new homes.
The city code and the old sewer system cover a large part of the city.
Ms. Walton said she has been trying to convince Roger Rife, who is in charge of managing the housing development for Gerdenich, to install check valves since the first floods several months ago.
Mr. Rife was not available for comment yesterday.
However, conditions for the residents may improve, WilliAnn Moore, ONYX president, said. She talked to several of them yesterday, and said if check valves solve the problem, the management company will install them in all the houses.
Ms. Moore said cleaning services soon will finish cleaning residents' basements.
Caption: BLADE PHOTO BY DON STRAYER Bob Williams, left, commissioner of sewer and drainage, explains shortfalls in the sewer system shortfalls to Pierre Taylor and Karen Walton.
Edition: CITY FINAL
Section: NEWS SECTION 2
Record Number: 9807240022
Copyright (c) 1998 The Toledo Blade Company