Family's Basement Has Been Filling With Blood for Weeks

A downside to living next door to a meat locker
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2019 11:18 AM CDT

If you're dealing with a basement water leak this fall, thank your lucky stars. As the Des Moines Register reports, an Iowa family has it much, much worse, having discovered "five inches of animal blood, fat, and tissue from a neighboring meat locker had seeped into the basement through a floor drain." Father of five Nick Lestina first noticed blood filling the basement of his Bagley home on Oct. 3, and he says the onslaught hasn't let up since. "I've had a company come out for cleaning and sanitizing, but they can't start that process until it stops coming up the drain," he says, noting he's staying with relatives in a nearby town while he prays for dry weather. "The smell is just like biodegrading meat," he tells KCCI.

An environmental specialist at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources suspects a blockage in the tile line that connects the drains of Lestina's home and Dahl's Custom Meat Locker, where NBC News reports hogs and cattle had been slaughtered on Oct. 3. But he adds "discharging animal blood or animal fat would be illegal." Meat locker co-owner Kaitlin Dahl says most bio waste goes into a catch drain, but excess blood was washed down a back drain with the approval of Guthrie County officials. "Everything was signed off on," she tells the Register. The meat locker, now pumping bio waste into a holding tank, has offered to help with related expenses, estimated at $4,300. NBC notes the family had been hoping to list the home for sale. (More unimaginable grossness stories.)

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