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Jail May Be To Blame For Raw Sewage Into Brighton Homes

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Sewage flooding one of the homes in Brighton (credit: CBS)

Sewage flooding one of the homes in Brighton (credit: CBS)

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Raw sewage has flooded two homes in Brighton and the owners say they think they know where it’s coming from.

The homes are along 16th Avenue near the Adams County Jail. Fifty homes use the same sewer line in the area.

One of the homeowners affected by the sewage problem says damages are costing at least $30,000 and her homeowners insurance doesn’t cover sewage flooding. There are dumpsters now filled with everything that has to be thrown away because its unsafe to keep.

“These have been the worst two days of my life,” homeowner Audrey Gress said.

If home is where the heart is, the dumpster outside now holds the most precious of memories for the two Brighton families.

“We’ve done so much to this house to make it ours and it’s gone, it’s gone,” Gress said.

It was gone in four hours, according to Gress. Monday night she came home to raw sewage spilling into her home from air vents, tubs and bathrooms sinks. The sewage was touching nearly everything inside the home.

It was the same situation for Gress’ neighbors.

“The carpet had four inches of raw sewage in it. It’s devastating,” Lisa Roberts said.

Both homeowners say they were told the problem could have generated from the Adams County Jail, just a few blocks away.

“The city worker told us he found t-shirts, blankets, slippers, pencils in the sewer system they had to clean out,” Roberts said.

The sheriff’s office says a grinder, which breaks down debris going into the sewer pipe, was backed up from the jail. They’ve since unclogged it. They also say it’s a common problem for inmates to flush all kinds of items down cell toilets.

The city of Brighton is now investigating a cause but says it’s too early to say why the mess happened.

“Whatever the cause is, if it’s the city or the county, we’ll take responsibility,” Kristen Chernosky with the city of Brighton said.

The city plans to send a camera down the sewage line as part of their investigation. It’s an investigation the homeowners say can’t happen soon enough with mounting concerns about health and the cost to replace everything that made their house a home.

“I don’t feel safe washing these clothes and re-wearing not knowing what kind of diseases could be in there,” Roberts said. “We very scared of that.”

“I’m calling leaving messages and it’s so hard to get any type of response,” Gress said. “We’ll, I have two kids that are in a hotel room right now.”

The city says they are working with the homeowners to provide temporary housing and to file a claim with the city’s insurance, but until a cause is determined, it’s unknown who will foot the bill for all the damages.

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