Iowa Family Sues City of Davenport Over Sewage in Basement

June 4, 2013

A Davenport, Iowa, family has sued the city, saying raw sewage backed up into the basement of their home during heavy rains last month because the city failed to maintain the municipal sewer system.

Ronald and Linda Wiebold filed the lawsuit Friday in Scott County District Court, the Quad-City Times reported. Named as defendants in the suit are the city of Davenport, Mayor Bill Gluba and Public Works Director Mike Clarke.

More than 4 inches of rain fell in Davenport on April 17 and April 18. The Wiebolds’ attorney, Mike Meloy of Bettendorf, said the city’s failure to maintain its sanitary and storm sewer systems directly caused sewer water to infiltrate the storm water system and back up into the Wiebolds’ basement.

“It was up to the third step in our basement,” Ronald Wiebold said. “We had feces on the floor. It was nasty.”

The Wiebolds said sewage backups have also plagued other homes in the neighborhood.

“If the city of Davenport didn’t repair Brady Street for 10 years and it was full of potholes, the citizens of Davenport would raise hell,” Meloy said. “These people are fed up with the situation. There will probably be more lawsuits filed by more residents on this matter.”

The Wiebolds are seeking monetary damages and asking the court “to order the city to fix the sewer system that they own, operate and maintain.”

City spokeswoman Jennifer Nahra said officials are processing the Wiebolds’ claim. She said if evidence reveals the city is responsible for the backup, it will pay for the damage.

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