Homeowner: Sewage flowed from street, soaked inside of new custom-build Orlando home

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando family is blaming the city after sewage flowed from the street and soaked the inside of their new home.

The custom-built home on Lake Highland was just finished in August and will already have to go through a major renovation.


Homeowner Julie Simon said the city was warned about a potential problem last year, and that this has happened to other homes in the neighborhood at different times.

Simon said the sewage started bubbling up from a pipe and flowed through their yard and inside their home. It soaked the walls, went through floors, and seemed to spread.

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She said they have 18 inches of drywall that will have to be taken out and replaced.

Simon said her builder contacted the city back in August expressing concerns about the sewer in the neighborhood.

The email to the city read in part: “We had our plumber check for an emergency service and he believes that the terra-cotta sewer pipe under the road is likely damaged and taking on water.”

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But in a statement Friday, the city said this was unrelated to the situation in August, which it said was caused by residential construction on the property.

The city said the pipe clog was caused by non-flushable debris like shop towels and grease, and that it plans to add a liner to the interior of the pipe to prevent this from happening in the future and has set-up a routine cleaning cycle.

Simon said she’s pleased the city paid for a crew to help clean up the mess.

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The city said the incident it a good remineder to residents of what can and cannot be flushed down the drain, saying in part:

“This is a great reminder to all our public that they play an important role in the functioning of the city’s waste systems and we have reinstituted our social media education programs to advise home-owners of what should not be flushed, there is a post from this week https://fb.watch/jtLOISya94/, plus this site people can visit, Orlando.gov/WaterEducation. The best prevention to not have a recurrence not just here but anywhere in the collection system now and after the lining is completed is for all residents to not flush these types of debris.”

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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