CHENEY, Wash. – When the Vincini family moved into a home in the country area last summer, they were excited to dig in to a new life in Cheney. But they had no idea they'd be digging in to something else entirely.
"It came up in here, there's a little drain," Brandi and Anthony Vincini told KHQ, pointing to their septic connection in the basement.
Part of their purchase agreement when they bought the home in June of 2012 was that the septic tank would be pumped. The gray water tank was, but the septic tank was never touched.
They learned that lesson the hard way when that they thought was water started flooding into their basement one January day. But it wasn't water at all, it was their septic tank backing up, covering their entire basement – including their two sons' bedroom – in two inches of raw sewage.
"We started seeing feces and toilet paper, and realized what had happened," Brandi Vincini added. "Then it was a whole new ball game."
After spending time cleaning it up, ripping up the wood floors, and digging in the frozen ground to find the septic system, they're still waiting for help.
Their homeowners insurance will cover the $8,000 or so in damages inside, but it will not pay to have the system pumped.
KHQ contacted the septic company involved, and the man who serviced half the Vincini's property told us he never certified the entire system had been pumped, and that it could simply be a system failure that happened months after his work was done.
KHQ also contacted the real estate company involved, and we were told they're still waiting for information from the selling agent.
As for the Vincini's, they now have to pay for their homeowners deductible, money to have crews come out to find the underground tank, as well as the money to have the system pumped again.
The couple did file a complaint with the Attorney General's office and with the Better Business Bureau against the septic company.
They say they're not after a huge settlement; they just want the problem fixed.
"Now we can't even use our basement," they said. "We just want things right, but we haven't gotten anywhere."
So if you're in the market for a new home, learn from the Vincini's, and double check that the septic work has, in fact, been done.