Janesville couple struggles with overflowing storm drain - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Janesville couple struggles with overflowing storm drain

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A retired couple thought they had found their dream home, but they say it has been more of a nightmare.

A storm water drain on the Janesville couple's property floods their backyard during storms, making it hard to use the backyard.

It is a tale of he said/she said between the homeowners, the builder, engineers for the builder & the City of Janesville, and the county; a web KWWL's Jessica Hartman been working hard to untangle.

The homeowners are asking KWWL to get involved after 2 years of city council meetings, 2 attorneys, and exhausting their options.

 Home video shows rushing water from an entire subdivision draining into the backyard of Paul & Mary Loy's home before flowing into a field.

 "This has been a nightmare. It has affected my health," said Mary Loy, the homeowner.

  The drainage is part of a storm easement the Loys say they weren't aware of until after they bought their property and then were told the drain would extend past their backyard. 

   "Paul was told it would be extended out and it would be covered. We would not even see it. It would be a small mound of dirt," said Mary Loy.

   KWWL's Jessica Hartman caught up with the builder Jim Sands.

   "The 10-foot sewer easement is actually on their lot. But the water never gets out of its banks on to their backyard," said Sands.

   But the home video shot by the Loys proves it does.

   Sands says the Loys knew and he even extended the drain pipe an extra 40 feet to its current location.

   It was originally designed to rush past the home's foundation, as seen in a photo the Loys took back in March of 2014.

   "My hands are tied. I have to do what the engineers write up and we do as they say," said Sands.

    The Janesville City Engineer approved the initial lot plan, but that didn't include the home itself.

    The Bremer County Building & Zoning approved the building permit.

    There are no rules for how close a storm drain like this can be to a house.

    "I just want to know why doesn't anyone care? Why doesn't anyone listen?" said Mary Loy.

   The Janesville City Engineer says they want the builder to change the storm drain system by putting in a retention pond in the empty lot next door to the Loys' property.

   That possible retention pond would also depend on other property owners. All of the homeowners in the subdivision would need to sign off on the new plan.

  But, the City of Janesville says the earliest that could happen would be next summer.

  With hands tied the Loys can only continue to wait.


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