NORTHFIELD — Fuae Avenue is pronounced “fay,” but ask Barbara Monahan and she’ll call it “phew.”

That’s because a sewage line backed up last Saturday where her washing machine discharges and filled her finished basement with human waste.

“Everybody flushed their toilets and gave it to me,” she said Friday morning.

She hired a remediation company to clean out the space. Workers were there for 15 hours. Since then, she has had a pile of furniture and personal items on her front lawn with a spray-painted sign reading: “Don’t touch. Contaminated.”

“Nobody wants ‘used’ when other people’s feces were on it,” she said.

After that, she called the city. Mayor Vince Mazzeo said officials are investigating what caused the backup and deciding how to resolve the situation. An insurance adjuster examined the debris and the basement Thursday.

“These things aren’t foolproof,” he said. “I hate to use that term, but things happen.”

Monahan said she is level-headed about the situation.

“I don’t think somebody got up that morning and said, ‘I’m going to dump seven inches of crap into Barbara Monahan’s basement,’” she said.

Fortunately, neither her two children nor her 75-year-old mother has become ill from the sewage.

“If you told me one of my kids was sick, then you would see a different Barb Monahan,” she said. “I don’t care about this other stuff. It’s just stuff.”

Nevertheless, she said she expects to be compensated for what was ruined by the sewage flowing into her home like water from a fire hydrant.

“I think that what happened was a mistake,” she said, “but I also think that I shouldn’t have to pay for one thing.”

Mazzeo said Monahan was the only homeowner on the street who was affected, so it was likely a clog in the lateral line running to her home between Mount Vernon and Davis avenues that caused the problem.

“What can you do?” Monahan said. “It was a crappy weekend.”

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