S.O. from Franklin County, Ohio writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our association needs to enter our condo unit bi-monthly to snake our sewage line. We feel this is too invasive, and that it is just a band aid for the bellies we have in our sewage line. We have had back-ups and understand the need to prevent future back-ups. We just don’t like that we have to take time off of work to allow the plumber in, and they have to bring their unsanitary 399 lb. equipment into our home bi monthly. What can we do to eliminate this? We feel hopeless at this point.
Mister Condo replies:
S.O., in a word “yuck”! That sounds truly gross and unsanitary to me. However, as you have pointed out, it is also completely necessary based on your description of how often the sewer backs up. I understand your feelings of being invaded but this condition exists and the only current solution looks to be the frequent snaking of the sewage lines. I am not sure you can do anything to eliminate the need for the equipment to be used. Have you asked about some type of engineering study to be done? Is the problem with a city-owned sewage line or the association’s sewer line that connects to the city line? While clogged or backed up sewage lines are not uncommon, a line that backs up every other month is indicative of some type of damage or design flaw. I would encourage you to work with your Board to see if an engineer can look at the problem and suggest a solution. Depending on the expense of the solution, the association might not want to spend the money but should be encouraged to do so. It would be a long shot to claim that the snaking of the sewage lines is a breach of the peaceable enjoyment of your unit but it might also be worth your while to speak to a locally qualified attorney to see if you have any legal remedies available to you. All the best!