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Walker County, GA

Raw sewage leak a stinking situation

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Megan Boatwright
WRCB Eyewitness News Reporter

ROSSVILLE, WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - Neighbors who live near an empty home in Rossville say sewage backed up in the front yard two months ago and has been standing there since. 

One neighbor says the smell is so strong he doesn't like to be outside. 

A registered letter was sent to the homeowner Friday, giving him ten days to repair the line that's caused the standing sewage problem.

The catch is, no one lives there, so the sewage has to be coming from somewhere else. 

"It comes and goes according to the wind. That's the reason we don't use the porch that much anymore," for the last two months Robert O'Donnell has avoided opening his windows and sitting on his front porch, all because of a smell. 

"I can't describe it. It's bad. It's just sewage and it's real bad," he says.

It's real bad, and standing for the last two months in his neighbors front yard.  Only catch is, "the house there is empty at 105," O'Donnell explains.

The city of Rossville first heard about the back-up when the woman who lives in the house next door complained.

"So hers is most likely tied into that line and whatever the problem is it's just letting it back up into that backyard," says Mark Harris, Director of Rossville Public Works.

Which means the waste standing in the front yard of house number 105 is actually coming from 107, next door.  Still since it's on this property, the man who owns the home is responsible.

And the City of Rossville is giving him a ten day deadline to make repairs to the line. 

"If he doesn't repair it, we'll cite him in city court, because you can't have sewage coming out on the ground even though it's not his sewage." Harris explains.

O'Donnell has live here for 25 years. He says the sewage line at that house has been an ongoing problem.  Whatever caused it to back-up in the front yard, he's just glad the bugs and smell will soon be cleaned up.  "After 10 days we can go back to living out here,"

Channel 3 Eyewitness News spoke to the man how owns the home Friday, he says no one has live in that house for the last two years.  He lives in Chickamauga. He says he only visits the house once every few months and didn't know about the standing sewage.  He and the woman who live next door both declined to talk to us on camera.

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