Why Should I Care?

So our basement flooded a couple of weeks ago. It was storming heavily outside and I think when it was all said and done, we received 9 inches of rain in under 2 hours.

I woke up to the smell of uck and upon further investigation realized the basement was the recipient of gallons and gallons of filthy water. Yeah, it happens and it’s frustrating for sure. But here’s the rub…it wasn’t just water covering the floor. It was SEWER water(as in feces, toilet paper, and every type of nastiness floating by). Two inches of poop water!! Not cool…

I decided I better wake up hubbs and let him know what was happening since he is the master of resolving all disasters! As fate would have it, all of the wellies were downstairs. So, necessity being the mother of invention, Jeff donned a pair of gallon sized zip lock baggies and headed into the murky poop water that was now ankle deep. He went into the laundry room and discovered where the water was coming from. ‘No way to stop it; we have to wait for the storm to pass’. Great, I thought. Literally shit creek in my basement and NO way to stop it.

Shit Creek in my basement!

Monday mornings are usually crappy but this was the shittiest (literally) Monday I can remember. I quickly showered (yeah, I know…not smart since even THAT was probably pouring into the basement) and begrudgingly went to work. Jeff took the day off seeing as we had a cess pool of nastiness to be delt with. Once the storm abated, Jeff headed to city hall to speak with the city administrator. You see, this is the second time in 2 years this sort of thing has happened and we thought the city should be aware of it just in case it was a problem on their side. Since I used to work for the city, Jeff thought if he spoke with the administrator she may have some compassion and ask if there was anything she could do to help. Not so…she rolled her eyes, gave an exasperated sigh, and took Jeff’s cell phone number so she could send someone else to take a look. (No compassion for us…we’re not one of her ‘people’)Needless to say, my husband was H-O-T!!!!

Not very long after this pseudo conversation, the public works director showed up at our house. He is a good friend of our family and he shook his head sorrowfully and said he wished there was more he could do. He told us our house is the lowest point on the sewer line…too bad for us. Our house literally created a siphon that drew the neighborhood’s waste water to our basement! He suggested we file a claim against the city’s insurance.

(20 other families filed claims that day too. All of them were denied!)

Next stop, the mayor’s office. When I say ‘mayor’ I mean the local loan shark masquerading as the leader of our small town. He listened dutifully before sending Jeff off with an empty promise to look into it. It was easy to see the attitude of the city’s administration was ‘Why Should I Care’…We knew then we would have to get in touch with an agency that DOES care about the welfare of the people.

We contacted the Department of Natural Resources. You see, they take raw sewage VERY seriously! The only way for us to alleviate the problem in our basement was to open the garage door and let the poop water flow freely into our yard which then gently slopes down into a creek just behind our house. Two days later the mayor stopped by to chat. He reminded us there was to be a city council meeting in the near future and at said meeting he would speak to his alderman about the numerous issues brought to his attention in regards to the sewer backing up in several homes across the city.

We went to the city council meeting. There are 3 new sewer lift stations being installed over the next year. You see, when somebody decides they care about the good of ALL the people (not just the city administrator’s and the mayor’s friends), things get done.

I’m not really sure why I felt compelled to spill all of this to the void of a blog spot but I did. Perhaps in some small way you will see I care. Maybe you can be the catalyst for change in your community as well.

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