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School Drain System Being Blamed For Damaging Home

By Tracey Leong, tleong@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 08 2013 02:06:44 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 08 2013 02:14:05 AM CST

A Redding homeowner is saying that overflow from a storm drain on Manzanita Elementary School in Redding caused more than $80,000.00 worth of damage to their property.

The Redding School District is rejecting the claim, saying that it is not their responsibility to pay for the damage.  Superintendent Rick Fauss says the school predates the homes so the homeowners are required to protect their own home.

John Waterhouse, a tenant renting from the owner says he is frustrated with the school district.

“I’m angry, if that’s the case if our claim becomes rejected then we’ll see them in small claims court,” said Waterhouse.

Waterhouse and his family have been living in the home on Monte Bello Drive for close to six years.  The home is directly behind Manzanita Elementary School.  In early December, the property suffered major damage because the storm drain at the school overflowed.  The kitchen, bedrooms and dining room area were hit the hardest.  Waterhouse says he moved most of their personal belongings to the front of the home to keep them safe.

In addition to the repairs the homeowner will need to pay for, Waterhouse says he has also spent thousands of dollars.  He says it’s the school district’s responsibility to pay for it.

“There is a clause in the law that says that uphill neighbors are responsible for their drainage to their downhill neighbors if they altered the drainage,” says Waterhouse.

Waterhouse also says it is very unfriendly of the district because he and his family have always tried to watch out for the school.

“We have called the police numerous times and saved them thousands and thousands of dollars and basically policing the playground, they know it and this is the thanks we get, wow great,” says Waterhouse.

The district has recommended for the Board of Trustees to reject this damage claim.  The board will be meeting at Manzanita Elementary School Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss this matter.