Repairs start after sewage backup ruins home again

Rosemarie Paley stands next to the bulkhead of her Duncan Road home. The home was flooded with raw sewage for the second time in two years causing heavy damage and a terrible odor. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)


The City of Everett has reacted to Rosemarie Paley’s pleas for help after her basement filled with raw sewage – toilet paper and excrement – and a smell she describes as “beyond belief” Saturday night when a cap blew off a sewage trap.

Paley, who is disabled, lives in public housing on Duncan Road with her mother, who is also suffering from serious health issues.

For the next twelve hours, they were forced outside their unit, which was made unlivable.

“I went to the city. I was ignored,” said Paley. “The Board of Health did nothing. I called the mayor. He never called me back.”

Monday morning, Duncan Road was covered by used toilet paper and excrement after Paley’s apartment was pumped out by a team from Servicemaster as city crews began to repair the broken sewer line on the street.

The used toilet paper and excrement spread all the way down Duncan Road to Winthrop Street.

Also, a thick nauseating stench permeated the air in that area of the city Monday morning.

Rosemarie Paley shows photos of the raw sewerage that flooded her basement after the main backed up. Her Duncan Road home was flooded by raw sewerage for the second time in two years causing great damage and leaving a terrible odor. October 5, 2020 in Everett, Massachusetts.

Street cleaning is not the responsibility of the EHA. Housing Paley and her mother are not the responsibility of the city.

Bottom line – inertia for the residents and neighbors.

“My mother is in shock. Her possessions have been ruined. It was bad enough the first time. This is even worse,” said Paley.

The first time was last year when a cap blew off a trap in the same place, filling her basement with used toilet paper and excrement, requiring her to vacate temporarily her unit while it was cleaned up by a hazmat type team.

“The city didn’t help me then. It is the same thing today,” she told the Leader Herald.

Paley said the Service-master employees estimated there were 900 gallons of toxic waste in her basement before they pumped it out into the street.

Donna Paley stands next to an industrial dehumidifier. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

“Now I’ve got machines all over my house trying to move the air and to rid my unit of the stench. My washer and dryer have been ruined, again., We have suffered a terrible loss, again,” she said.

“Why doesn’t city hall do anything to lend a helping hand,” she asked.

“I am calling out for help on deaf ears during a pandemic,” she added.

She said Everett Housing has been fine but the response from the city has been zero.

I read last week the mayor appropriated $500,000 for flowers to be put all over the city. Well, how about us- ing some of that funding to house me and my mother while my city apartment is toxic?” she asked.

“My house smells like a Porto Potty that’s been used by a small army. My residence is toxic.”

“My mother had chest pains. We’re sleeping with open windows in a space that wreaks of excrement and toxic waste. What do I have to do to catch the attention of the mayor?” she asked.

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