Man’s home never connected to sewer… Yikes!

Thanks to Sonja for tipping me off to this story. What type of problems might exist when a home is not connected to the sewer line for twenty three years? Might this impact marketability? Any health issues? Watch the video here to listen to a story from a Stanislaus County home owner (City of Ripon).

Let me close with a statement from the news story: “The problem has been repaired, but the sudden absence of regular “fertilization” may keep his lawn from looking so lush.”

If you have any real estate appraisal, valuation consulting, or property tax appeal needs, contact me at 916.595.3735, or via Facebook.


  1. says

    What an unbelievable story. My first thought was about the health issues. I am a little surprised the video didn’t say anything about the result of dumping raw sewage into a person’s front yard.

    • says

      Good point, Bryan. I think one of the most compelling questions out of this whole thing is: what type of an effect does 23 years of sewage have on a property? I would’ve loved to see them interview a sewage expert or something to that effect.

  2. says

    I cant believe that the city only gave him a refund for sewer fees he paid for 23 years. The city inspector was at fault for not truly inspecting this home correctly before they closed up the hole. That is what the sign off was for, and his lawyer did point to that final inspection. However, that lawyer was not very good, he missed the best opportunity for recovery of damages. The tract looks like it was built in the 80’s, and likely he can successfully sue the builder of the tract for negligence. Unless this man built this himself as a general contractor, I cant believe his lawyer didn’t think to go after the builder for loss of value. The statute of limitations in this kind of case relates to when he learned about the problem. When he goes to sell the house, this will need to be disclosed on a TDS form, and all subsequent buyers need to know about this, and no one would every pay top dollar for this house. I’m so sorry for this guy.

    • says

      Very good point, Sonja. $1,800 seems like a very minor amount for the city to pay in a situation like this. You are right about disclosure and how this could certainly turn off buyers. If there was an identical house for sale on the same street, I bet many buyers would prefer the house that didn’t have sewage seeping into the ground for 23 years. This subdivision does not look custom, so I highly doubt the owner built it. It looks like a very standard tract subdivision for Ripon.

  3. says

    I can only shake my head. Somebody did not do what they are supposed to do. If that was me, I’ll be hysterical! Paying all those money over the years on a service that is non-existent. Whaaaattt??!!! I hope the homeowner will be provided with some sort of break on this. The city government should return his payment, or the homeowner should not pay in the future until amount equivalent to the amount that he has already paid is reached.

    • says

      I think I’d feel similar. Maybe they can hire an appraiser to determine if there is any impact on value for this house – and then he can receive that amount from the appropriate authorities. Messy situation.

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