Backups filled Penticton home with 18,000 L of sewage, lawsuit says

Paul and Shirley Varga’s lawsuit against city hall claims sewage twice backed up into their home

The city is facing litigation in Penticton’s courthouse over a sewage backup that allegedly filled a home with 18,000 litres of sewage waste. File photo

Something stinks in the City of Penticton.

At least, it did in July and October 2015, when the city’s sewage system allegedly backed up into a property on Gahan Avenue, to the tune of about 18,000 litres on both occasions, according to a lawsuit filed against city hall this week.

Filed on Monday by insurance broker Shirley Varga and lawyer Paul Varga, the lawsuit claims that on July 22, 2015 at around 5:30 p.m., the couple found that sewage was coming out of their toilet, shower drain and bathtub drain from the city-owned sewage system.

“The flow of sewage waste coming into the home continued unabated for approximately three hours and at one point filled the entire ground floor to approximately eight inches in depth for a total volume of approximately 18,000 litres of raw sewage,” the court filing says.

In the first sewage backup, the Vargas claim, the entire ground floor of the home and its contents were affected.

Remediation reportedly was underway by Oct. 22, 2015, when the plaintiffs say they found sewage coming out of their toilet, shower drain and bathtub drain a second time at around 7:20 a.m.

“The plaintiffs were unaware how long the second sewage backup had been occurring before it was discovered flowing into the Residence,” the filing says.

“After discovery, the inflow continued unabated for approximately one hour and at one point filled the entire ground floor to approximately eight inches in depth for a total volume of approximately 18,000 litres of raw sewage.

The Vargas claim to have lost the costs of repairs to the residence, personal possessions, use of the residence, the reduction in the property’s value and “further particulars of special damages to be determined.”

The Vargas pre-emptively claimed the sewage backup is not a natural occurrence on city land, adding it’s a potentially “dangerous thing likely to cause harm” and that the city failed to prevent the backup.

From the city, the pair is seeking a return on damages and costs to the property.


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