Neighborhood Sewage Everywhere; Possible Help On The Way - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/1/2008-New Chapel Hill

Neighborhood Sewage Everywhere; Possible Help On The Way

It is a serious health risk. Raw sewage running right next to some East Texas homes.  The residents are so frustrated they are asking for help. KLTV 7 went to New Chapel Hill in the Jackson Oaks subdivision where the smell is just half the problem.

"My next door neighbor sewage is running down my driveway," said Nola Chandler whose yard is full of sewage.

"Our children are having to step over it. They have a trampoline next door that my grandson loves to play on but I tell him not to walk in it and stay on the road because it's so gross."

It's not just Nola's problem, but a problem for all Jackson Oaks Residents. Built in the 1980's the sewage system just can't handle the amount any more but neither can the ground. There's a lot of clay in the soil leaving sewage everywhere.

"I can be in my bedroom I can always tell when my next door neighbor has flushed or washed a load of clothes or whatever because I can smell it. All I have to do is walk to my window and i can see it rolling down," said Nola. 

In some areas it is so saturated the sewage just sits on top of the ground. In some lots owners can't mow because all that's underneath their weeds is sewage.

"We're frustrated because we don't know what to do," said Nola.

After petitions and meetings they got the attention of Commissioner Bobby Van Ness and State Representative Tommy Merritt.

Just Monday Smith County Commissioners signed a request for a $350,000 grant from ORCA to help fund "The lines from the houses to the streets. In the neighborhood. That's a sweat equity grant," said Van Ness.

A sweat equity grant means residents would have to help put in those lines. 

"It's going to take some kind of way to pump it out," said Nola.

"We are seeking a second grant through EDAP for the transmission lines," said Van Ness.

"It's not healthy. We need to be able to get rid of this sewer," said Nola.

For now, though, residents are crossing their fingers, hoping to one day be rid of this foul-smelling problem.

The community is also requesting 2-million dollars from the Texas Water Development Board. If approved that grant would be used to take the sewage from the neighborhood to a treatment plant. The money could come in as early as June.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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