Neighborhood Sewage Buildup Caused Explosion in Richmond Woman’s Home

Adele Muhammad, of Richmond, VA, was caught in a foul mess in her home on April 29.

Muhammad walked into her bathroom to wash her hands, and she noticed something horrible upon entering.

“When I walked in the bathroom my foot slipped and I grabbed the doorknob and I looked and I said, ‘what in the world is going on?’” Muhammad said.

Muhammad’s home and toilet was backed up with the entire neighborhood’s sewage.

“They told me it was from flushing the sewer. It all gushed back up into the toilet and it all exploded out all over my bathroom,” she recalled. “It looked like blue snow because I had a burgundy shower curtain that was blue and white and the commode was blue. And plus, the slush that was on the floor it was just slimy.”

Muhammad said crews were flushing out a sewer line in front of her house on the day of the explosion.

“It smelled like 500 port-a-potties that haven’t been changed in a month,” she stated.

According to WIVB, two sewage workers came to her home to assess the damage but offered no assistance to Muhammad.

“They went in and looked and they came back out and we were standing right here and he said they’re not going to do no clean up,” she disappointingly recalled. “All you have to do is wipe it down,” the sewage workers told her.

Regarding Muhammad’s sewage spill, city officials said that “blow-backs” happen from time to time and that there was a miscommunication between the city’s Department of Public Utilities and Muhammad.

City officials were unaware of the exact cause of the problem, but there were signs of tree and root blockage in the sewer lines. To cut down on root intrusion, all trees should be located at least 10 feet away from any sewer line.

Richmond has been having plenty of issues with their sewage systems over the last few weeks. Perishable News reports that the Virginia Department of Health(VDH) had to close the Black River due to contamination from a sewage spill in early April.

Media General contributor Kerri O’Brien believes that sewage backups in the city are happening more often than people think, and they’re costing taxpayers a lot of money.

Over the last three years, O’Brien found, the city of Richmond had to pay more than $100,000 in repair costs for sewer blockage and damages.

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