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Multiple sewer backups put city in hot seat

Homeowners sue when pipe fix makes matters worse
Published on Jun 28, 2006

David and Suzanne McKenna own their home on Maybell Way in Palo Alto, Calif. Their residence suffered serious damage as the result of two backups of the city sewer serving their home. After the first backup, their homeowner's insurance company paid to install a new lateral sewer pipe from the house to the sewer located in the street. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. But about a month later, the sewer again backed up into the McKenna home. This time the insurance company hired Spectrum Leak Locators to investigate the cause of the second backup. Their video inspection found the replaced lateral pipe was clear of debris and in perfect condition. Spectrum discovered tree roots at the city's "wye" joint connecting with the McKenna's new lateral pipe to the city's main sewer. The video inspection revealed toilet paper and effluent on the tree roots in the sewer main pipe, which was half-filled with standing water. After paying the McKenna's second homeowner's insurance claim, the insuran...

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