NFL legend Joe Montana joined a group of fed-up San Francisco homeowners in suing the city after sewage-tainted storm water rushed into pricey houses earlier this year.
Nearly 60 plaintiffs said the city failed to make the proper repairs to wastewater facilities that have been associated with previous flooding in the ritzy area before an atmospheric river and bomb cyclone combination walloped the area, killing two, on New Year’s.
“The part of this system that runs through the Marina is antiquated and has been neglected and inadequately maintained by the city and county of San Francisco,” according to the lawsuit obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
“As a result, the system routinely gets overwhelmed, overflows and inundates plaintiffs’ properties and neighborhood with untreated sewage and contaminated water.”
San Francisco residents and advocacy groups have been consistently calling on the city to address the aging sewage system over the last two years after experiencing repeated flooding in low-lying areas, including the neighborhood that football superstar and former 49ers quarterback Montana calls home.
Median home prices in the enclave are $2.6 million, according to Realtor.
The flooding issue was further inundated by the 2021 closing of a city outfall, which allows excess water to go into the bay rather than escape through manholes onto the street, the lawsuit claims.
When the intense storm pummeled the Bay Area on New Year’s Eve, more than 18.6 million gallons of untreated or partially treated wastewater overflowed from the city’s sewer system onto city streets, only 2.3 million gallons of which escaped into the bay, according to San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board records obtained by the Chronicle.
The dirty water “flowed in and around Plaintiffs’ properties, permeating the soils, walls and floors, and depositing highly contaminated and toxic fecal and other raw sewage matter in and around Plaintiffs’ homes.”
Homeowners tried to file claims for damages against the city, but were denied, the lawsuit states.
San Francisco, however, claims the catastrophic flooding was caused by “almost unprecedented” high rainfall, not neglect at the hands of the city.
“It was the strongest storm to hit San Francisco in more than 170 years,” Jen Kwart, spokeswoman for the Office of the City Attorney, said in a statement.
“The storm, and not the city’s infrastructure, was responsible for widespread flooding throughout the city. We are reviewing the complaint and will respond in court.”