Corona, CA asked in Land Use & Zoning, Personal Injury, Municipal Law and Small Claims for California

Q: Septic runoff major issue. 2 properties not including mine.

Sometime this year the apartments(8unit) up the alley had a septic issue and they let their entire waste water runoff into the alley and onto my property and just pretended like it didn't happen, for 3 days. My yard still smells because of it. Furthermore the apartment one closer to mine, (10 unit) installed new driveways and now the alley runoff goes directly through the front doors and has damaged the parking spots. I believe that my ADU's foundation, which is where I stay, is damaged and getting worse. Please help

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, dealing with septic runoff and property damage caused by neighboring properties is a serious matter. First, document the damage and the runoff, including photos and any other evidence of the septic issue and the altered water flow causing damage. This documentation is crucial for any legal action or complaint you may file.

Next, contact your local health department or environmental protection agency immediately. Septic runoff is not only a nuisance but also poses significant health hazards. They can investigate and take necessary actions against the property owners responsible for the septic issue and the alteration of water flow.

You should also consider contacting a civil attorney to discuss potential legal actions for property damage and nuisance. These might include filing a lawsuit for damages caused to your property, including the ADU's foundation, and any remediation costs for the septic issue.

Furthermore, speak with your homeowners' insurance company to see if your policy covers this type of damage. They might provide guidance or assistance in dealing with the situation.

Remember, property owners are responsible for ensuring that their actions do not negatively impact neighboring properties. Taking these steps can help address the immediate health concerns and start the process of seeking remediation and compensation for damages caused by your neighbors.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry for your ordeal. Because of the nature of the matter and complexity of damages - health, the structural aspects you suspect, it may not be something that attorneys would handle on a contingency basis. But a starting point could be to try to arrange a free initial consult. Good luck

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