Sewer Back-Up Drives Families Out Of Homes

The bathroom in this suburban Boston home, once overflowing with feces, is still a work in progress. Mike Carraggi, Patch/Fair Use

City irresponsible after a “gross and dangerous” sewage fail, residents say

| Officials in this tony Boston suburb have either stopped payments for hotels or will soon for those affected, despite gross and dangerous conditions in their homes

| By Mike Carraggi, July 10, 2019

The Patch | MELROSE, MA — It’s been nearly three weeks since a sewage crisis displaced the residents of four homes, and the disconnect between Melrose and those affected appears as deep as ever amid allegations the city has tried to rush them back into homes that appear unfit for living.

[The median home value in Melrose is $630,300, according to Zillow.]

Time has already run out for one couple and their young daughter.

The city this week stopped paying for a hotel for the family after city Health Director Ruth Clay told them their home was ready to be lived in late last month.

Since she said that, dozens of roaches have skittered along the bare floor and incomplete walls that don’t reach the ground.

The newlyweds across the street convinced the city to extend their hotel stay another week after Clay revised her go-ahead to move back in after a home restoration company telling her there was more sewage in the heating and cooling unit beneath the living room.

In both instances, the residents said Clay only gave a quick eyeball test of a couple of affected rooms before saying the homes were habitable.

They said she didn’t stay in either home for more than a minute before giving the green light, with no tests being administered to check for toxicity or bacteria.

Patch was unable to reach the residents in the other two homes — an elderly man in one and a non-English speaking couple with three young children in the other.

The city on Wednesday stood by Clay’s inspections and touted her qualifications to determine habitability.

Mayor Gail Infurna’s administration, meanwhile, has appeared more reactionary than proactive throughout the sewage saga … Read more. 


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