Northland homeowner shocked when city says raw sewage problem is hers to fix and pay for

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KANSAS CITY, Mo, — For the last three weeks Rheta Williams’ house of dreams has turned into a nightmare.

“I bought this house two years ago and I thought that it was going to be my place to live. It’s just devastating to be displaced for so long for something that could have been rectified a long time ago,” Williams said.

Williams said she had to leave her home after she began having sewer issues. She said the issues began after Kansas City employees worked on her neighbor’s yard.

“The toilet was slow to flush, I was getting gurgling in my sink, I noticed an odor, so I went downstairs and we found raw sewage. It was in an unfinished area in the laundry room,” she said.

Williams said she was advised to contact the city for help and the answer she received shocked her.

“I purchased this home thinking it was on city sewer and if I was going to have a problem with my main line that the city would take care of it, and I thought that’s where my money was going to every month with my sewer bill and that’s not the case,” Williams said.

“This is her home and the fact that she is all of a sudden faced with $25,000 worth of expense that she should not have to take care of. Certainly a little piece of this was hers but the majority of it is something the city should be responsible for,” Daniel Terry, Rheta’s boyfriend, said.

Williams said the city told her the septic lines under and around her home were part of a community line and that she would need to pay for the repairs.

“I pay sewer every month, just like everyone else, and all of my neighbors did not know that was not a city line,” Williams said.

Williams said she took out a loan and dipped into her retirement in order to get the line repaired so her sewage can run again. But she fears this is only the beginning of an ongoing problem.

“It’s an entire community, it’s not just Rheta. There are three different houses here that have had raw sewage backed up in their garages or basements and disrupt their lives and it’s only going to get worse,” Terry said.

“My hope is that the city will take responsibility for the sewer over here for not just me, but all of my neighbors, so we aren’t hit with this huge amount of money,” Williams said.

Williams has filed a claim against the city. FOX 4 reached out to city leaders who told us they’re investigating this issue but haven’t made a final decision.

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