Plumbing problems forces woman to place a portable toilet in her yard

Leiana Victor said she was forced to put a portable toilet in her yard because she can't get her sewer lines repaired -- she blames her neighbor.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 11:20 AM EST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/Gray News) – A homeowner in Kansas City has a portable toilet outside her suburban home because she’s having a hard time getting repairs.

She blames her neighbor.

It’s a complicated project involving aging water lines and zero help from the city or water department because the pipes in question run through her neighbor’s yard, which is private property.

“It is humiliating and sad. I own a home and I’m not able to utilize it... and it’s upsetting,” said Leiana Victor.

Aging clay pipes now have roots growing through them and piping needs to be replaced. The home has already had a sewage backup and plumbers warn sewage pipes could collapse with any strong gush of water.

Victor claims plumbers are scared off by her difficult neighbor who’s concerned about the potential construction mess in his yard.

Victor provided text messages. Interestingly enough, her neighbors Bob and Jane Bromberg shared the exact same messages with KCTV5.

Neighbors respond

The Brombergs declined to do an on-camera interview with KCTV5 but did agree to meet at their attorney’s office. They provided a timeline of events from their perspective. They denied being difficult neighbors and said they are willing to allow the project to move forward.

The Brombergs said they would sign a contract to allow work outside of the easement. They also accused Victor of harassing them.

They said the project scope changed and they are confused a plumbing project has led to such hard feelings in the neighborhood.

The Brombergs sold Victor her home and said they had no idea the sewage pipes ran through their property.

The Brombergs also included an email to the city where they questioned how and why a neighbor’s sewer line is connected through their yard. They ask if Victor possibly qualifies for assistance to address the underlying issue.

KCTV5 reached out to the city and the water department for insight and received the following response:

We aren’t able to provide an interview and KC Water cannot get involved in civil disagreements between property owners.

Plumbers outline concerns

KCTV5 connected with two different plumbing companies who have looked at this problem. Both explained the project would likely require work outside of the easement because shores are needed for worker safety.

Dirt and grass would need to be placed in sections of the Bromberg’s property to complete the project.

One plumber company agreed to speak to KCTV5 but didn’t want the name of his company mentioned. He described “red flags” with the neighbor and numerous attempts to make the project work.

That plumber expressed never seeing anything like this in his decades of experience.

Another company echoed those concerns saying plumbing projects like this take place all the time across the city where neighbors either knock on doors or bake cookies as a thank you.

“I have never, ever come across a neighbor that was not more than accommodating their neighbor have basic plumbing to their house,” said Kalen Barker with Brightside Plumbing.

The Brombergs deny any characterizations that they are difficult, and their behavior contributed to two plumbers canceling contracts.

Victor claims two additional plumbers refused to even consider the project once she shared concerns about her neighbor.

Victor’s portable toilet

Victor tells KCTV5 the portable toilet can be cold at times but praised the company who set it up and services the portable toilet. It’s currently tucked on the side of her home.

“They come and clean it every two weeks and it’s... kind of nice in a sick way,” said Victor.

Victor showed KCTV5 how she uses sponges and toothpicks to slow the drain of water when she showers or washes dishes. She uses as little as possible.

She says she only wets her toothbrush and spits in the trashcan to minimize turning on the sink.

Victor also praised her neighbor across the street.

“Every week he grabs my laundry and does it. Wow. He also asked me how I wanted my bras washed,” said Victor.