Group of Detroit homeowners' backed up sewers caused by tree roots

Image 1 of 4

A FOX 2 follow-up for you about a group of homeowners on Detroit's west side dealing with backed up sewers. 

The city has done its investigation and they say it's actually the homeowners’ problem - not the city's -- and the culprit is mostly tree roots.

A camera shows tree roots invading Yolanda Bonner's sewer line. We couldn't even see past 50 feet before WaterWork Plumbing out of Ferndale got a cable in there and snaked her sewer line - all 75 feet of it. 

FOX 2 app users tap here to watch the video.

Yolanda was fed up after her basement has been filling with sewer water.

"A big frustration, it even makes me ill," she said. "It is hard to sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and you just smell sewer. I have to sleep sometimes with the doors open."

Yolanda's home was one of three residences on Normandy near Pilgrim FOX 2 spoke with, dealing with frequent basement flooding. Last week we told you the city investigated and it  
 found the sewer pipe coming from the home with the worst basement backup was 100 percent blocked by tree roots. 

A city official says the other homeowners FOX 2 spoke with, likely have similar blockages -and that part owners are responsible for. The city says it already removed blockages from their part of the sewer.

FOX 2: "How common is this?"

"(This happens) on a daily basis," said David Greylen, WaterWork Plumbing. "Probably when she had this flood, we had hundreds of calls coming in, we couldn't keep up."

Greylen was kind enough to walk us through what you need to do, to stay away from bad backups.
One - regular cabling or snaking of your sewer line. And then if it is more serious Greylen says put a line with a camera down the pipe to see what's going on. 

"We can see the condition of the pipe, see if there are any tree roots in it, is the line cracked, has it shifted, what is its connection to the city's main look like," he said.

In Yolanda's pipe, WaterWork also found a rag and other gunk.

In terms of how often should you be doing this? The city and the experts recommend at least once a year you should have your line snaked.

You can reach WaterWork Plumbing by calling (248) 327-4397, or on their website