Home 2.0 Blog Archive

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Lessons Learned from the MSD

Two words that no homeowner ever wants to say are 'Sewer Backup', but on Friday the 13th I found myself on the phone with the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) of Greater Cincinnati having that conversation after I noticed the clean out at the end of the driveway starting to leak raw sewage (you're welcome for not posting those pictures!). 

Thankfully, the backup never made its way into the house and the blockage was at the street, which meant that the Metropolitan Sewer District is responsible for all the costs associated with fixing it. The story behind the blockage is also a valuable lesson learned that I will be sure to take into account in the construction of the Starter Home 2.0 Oakley Project.

The source of the problem was not a blockage in the line, but rather the result of MSD, when re-lining the main sewer pipe in the street, lining right over the sewer lateral that was going to my property, instead of leaving an opening at the lateral as they should have done. Consequently, with this opening lined over, there was no place for the liquid waste to empty to (except for the minimal amount that was able to seep around the liner) causing the drain line to back up until it began to escape out of the clean out. The crazy thing I learned is that this is actually a somewhat common occurrence at new homes in the area that were built on vacant lots. That said, when building the next house in Oakley, I will be sure to have MSD run a camera down the main line in the street to make sure that they did not line over the lateral on that property as well.

To fix this situation, the MSD had to close off the street, and bring in a full crew of trucks, equipment, and workers to saw cut the pavement and get down to the sewer line where they could cut in a hole in the lining and complete the connection from the sewer lateral to the main pipe. I had a front row seat to all the action sitting on my porch all Friday afternoon and evening, and it was actually a really interesting process to watch, despite the inconvenience of it all for my neighbors and myself. 

After working until 10PM on Friday to fix the problem, the crew came back earlier this week to fill back in the hole and patch the pavement, closing out the sewer saga. In the end, things could have been much worse and I was proud of myself for how I was able to keep calm and handle the matter in an efficient and effective manner. It was validation that I have what it takes to respond to the crises that inevitably pop up in construction and real estate development. After all, Sh*t happens...