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Sewer nightmare solved

Older neighborhoods have unique plumbing problems depending on the year the property is built. The worst is the age of the original pipes. If not replaced could render the building unusable with unplanned huge bills. Did you know sewers have a limited lifespan?

Proactive is better than reactive

Before a 9-1-1 emergency of ruptured pipes and or backed-up flooded basement full of human waste learn solutions that may work for the neighbors of Wellington Heights.

Beneath the surface

Including potential solutions to choose from. Below is a list of people to help fix and finance.

What isn't known can hurt

Upon research and root invasion AGAIN reflected on what I didn't know did hurt. Hopefully, these lessons inspire solutions to other sewer challenges in the community.

When buying a 118-year-old house in 2018 the seller did not share concerns due to frequent flooding issues caused by root invasion. Previous renters who stopped by noted the ongoing problem following the sale. The first plumber confirmed the problem during a flooded sewer inspection.

This plumber did not educate on the proper maintenance of an older building sewer. Looking back understand the company only worked on new properties. Lacked knowledge facing Wellington Heights homes. Based on the plumbers' comments this is obvious now. Live and learn.

Lessons learned

  1. Ask a plumber or sewer company how long they have been in business.

  2. Do they have experience working on vintage homes the same age as your property?

  3. If possible, pay to have a plumber scope the sewer line before purchase. If the owner says no, run. Full disclosure saves property and money.

  4. Annual inspections assist in the certainty of the current condition of the pipes and help maintain clear water and waste flow.

  5. Have an emergency toilet solution. Composting styles to a simple five-gallon bucket with a toilet lid lined in two plastic bags. Check Amazon for options. Be prepared. Crap happens 💩.

Since 2018 heard stories from property owners of sewers that stopped working in Wellington Heights rendering the building unusable due to affordability. Worst case scenario.

Dreaded what if that happens to me?

What can go wrong might

Major tree loss from Derecho encourages remaining trees to produce more sprouts and roots to reproduce helping replace lost trees. Drought-like conditions in the summer of 2022 forced said trees to seek water creeping through previous access.

Confronted with new facts about sewer lines, either pays someone to clear the pipes year after year when root killers do not work. Costing hundreds of dollars per visit. Including a scope to see what is up when needed. Eventually requiring pipe replacement in a 9-1-1 emergency. OR research the long-term solution.

Questioning friends learn about sleeves or 'pipe lining'. This technique can repair a crack depending on the condition of the system. Easy fix. Unfortunately, the age of the condition and pipes mean a more extreme solution may be necessary.

But you might only need 'pipe lining'. Make certain to ask.

Who ya gonna call?

Three types of services for buildings to consider: inside the four walls, clearing the sewer, and replacing sewer pipes.

  1. Seeking a reputable plumber led to Colony Plumbing and Heating. Learned they only maintain in-the-house pipes and issues.

  2. Referred to Kenway Sewer Service. Learned they only clean sewers.

  3. Referred to Brecke. This company fixes and installs new sewer lines.

  4. Confirm the sewer contractor, call City of CR's Aaron Morrison at (319)286-5832.

Save time & $$$

The hardest part was knowing the right questions to ask. This can save money and time in making a call to the correct support.

Thankfully, having friends with experience lead to learning about introducing a sleeve to the drain. This led to learning about breaking the pipes while installing the new line. Virtually no digging. Depending on the situation. And, within a day new pipe that lasts more than fifty years is easily installed.

Forgivable loan

Depending on the condition of the sewer system repairs at any level require funds.

Before calling the bank and credit union dial Neighborhood Finance.

This company is designed with Wellington Heights' vintage needs in mind. Providing a forgivable loan to qualified homeowners. This means all or a portion of the repair is paid under certain conditions, like keeping this as the primary residence for five years and the loan zeros out. There are several loan options available.

Upon sharing sewer research and need they scheduled a call with the loan specialist, Bryce Drake. He will walk through the steps unique to the circumstance. Such as, which loan works best for the situation. Rules and best practices for acquiring the funds and more.

First-time homeowners can qualify for up to $15,000 in forgivable funds for a new sewer line.

Speak with a Neighborhood Finance specialist today to find out more about forgivable options for any repairs and updates the property could use or requires.


Next on the list, is Veridian Credit Union. You may be familiar with other banking solutions. Please contact the preferred provider to verify options using this list as a conversation starter.

A few, but not all options. Make certain to ask for more ways to borrow:

  1. An unsecured personal - loan is based on any credit currently available on personal accounts while using a formula to determine the amount.

  2. Unsecured vehicle loan - if a vehicle is owned a formula is used to assess its worth. This amount is available to borrow by turning in the car title.

  3. Unsecured Premiere personal - niche loan based on the criterion for low-risk borrowers. Meeting criteria, such as credit score minimum 720, direct deposit enabled, and higher from 60 to 120-month term. Check for more must have to qualify for this.

  4. Home equity - type one, like the vehicle loan through for five, ten, and 15-year terms. Rate impacted by loan to value.

  5. Home equity - type two, HELOC, or home equity line of credit. Apply for limit. Closing costs are included. Five years fixed. Ten years fixed for a determined time than a variable rate applies. Opened for 25 years unless closed early. The balance of the loan determines payment at any given time. The amount owed varies depending on spending.

Any loan officer at Veridian Credit Union can discuss these and other options on the phone.

Is this the end?

Fear not, funding is available. Hopefully, this blog helps with a few choices. Pick which works best for the circumstance.

This information provides a conversation starter to get what your home or rental property options require to function optimally.

Remember: "Proactive is better than reactive" 💩 Kind regards, Kim Phillips

Digital Ecosystem Facilitator

Beautification Committee Chair

Community Garden Facilitator


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