By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities family is dealing with a disgusting reality after city sewer water seeped into their home.

Mary Friesen Sprunk and her husband, Dave, live with their daughter and granddaughter in Buffalo.

Twice since last month, they thought dirty water was backing up into their home, so they tried to clean it out.

“It’s very gross. And to think they had their hands and feet knee deep into it,” Dave said.

The water first started coming up from the drain near the washing machine on Dec. 9.

“Water would travel into the family room,” Mary said.

What Mary and her family didn’t know was that it was actually city sewer water.

“My 2-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter was running around down here while my daughter was working with this because we thought it was water,” Mary said. “We didn’t know anything was dangerous with it.”

Mary said a city worker determined that it was a city pipe that was leaking. But she doesn’t feel her family was properly warned until later that what they were dealing with was a serious health risk.

“You have no idea what could be in there. Could be medications. If you have an open cut it could lead to a serious infection,” Mary said.

The leak stopped, but started up again on Monday. Mary’s family has had to find other places to stay while it gets fixed.

The city administrator told WCCO that it was a clay pipe that broke, and he understands the family’s frustration. He said the entire basement will be repaired at no cost to Mary or Dave.

But the Sprunks worry that the damage has already been done.

“Nobody said stop until it was done and cleaned up. That gets under my skin. We weren’t forewarned of that,” Dave said.

Mary and Dave said they are most worried about what their granddaughter was exposed to. They want the city to create a checklist, so next time this happens to another family they know right away what they are dealing with.

The city administrator said the repairs could take a while. They are waiting for a company to come in and look at the pipes. They are also worried about mold issues, so they want to make sure it is entirely fixed before the family returns.

John Lauritsen