Family's home floods with sewage on Detroit's west side

DETROIT – A neighborhood in Detroit has been struggling with floods of raw sewage after a cleanup crew may have made a worse situation than the one they were hired to clean up.

For approximately six weeks, Zollie Grant and his wife have been living with sewage in their basement that overflows into other parts of their home on Appoline Street. Their backyard was dug up months ago and repairs have yet to be completed.

"Sewage keeps coming up into the basement and they've pumped it out maybe four different times," Grant said. "All these different code violations and they have not complied."

The landlord had the backyard dug up, and had the water and sewage pumped out of the basement into the street and adjacent yards.

Detroit's west side (WDIV)
Detroit's west side (WDIV)

"I'm a cancer survivor. Five years this week, I'm clear, " said Esther Bostick, a neighbor whose home has been contaminated too. "I don't want to develop something else because my system is not up to par."

Grant said he has tried to deal with the owner of the property, Irving Seals, who said this is not his fault.

"I haven't seen the notice. I haven't gotten a notice," Seals said. "The guy at the house hasn't told me about the notice." 

City health inspectors have been to the home multiple times, most recently Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm quite sure that when it all boils down, I'm responsible because it's my house." Seals said. "I can't do anything about it. I'm not a plumber."

Grant and his family can't afford to move out, a problem made worse by the destruction of many of their valuables as a result of the sewage leak. 

"We have to go," Grant said. "We don't have the funds to leave."

There is no short-term solution, but Grant and his family are planning to try to move in with another family until they can find a new home.

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