Sewer line backs into man's yard, city begins clean-up - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sewer line backs into man's yard, city begins clean-up

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By Megan Boatwright
Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter

FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB) --  Whenever rain comes down the fast and hard, things are bound to backup.  That's what happened to a Fort Oglethorpe man Tuesday.

Johnny Lewis has a sewer manhole on his backyard.  Monday night rain and sewer water started bubbling into his yard.  Lewis says this has been an ongoing problem for 10 years.

"I'm just feed up with it," says Johnny Lewis, "The sewer is coming our more and more." 

You'd probably be feed up too if this happened to your yard backed up whenever rain comes down hard. 

"I've been paying property taxes for 15 years I think they should do something about it," says Lewis. 

The smell in Lewis' backyard is obvious.  Sewer water, you can even see pieces of toilet paper in the water.  It's coming from a city sewer manhole, and has turned the yard into a goopy mess. 

"They're not keeping it drained out," Lewis says, "It needs to be updated." 

That's only part of the man's problem.  The other, and to him, bigger issue is the drainage ditch behind his home. 

"It's causing my property to erode and chain link fence to fall in the ground," he says. 

Lewis tells Channel 3 he contacted the city of Fort Oglethorpe many times over the years, with no luck.  That changed Tuesday. 

"We've had an inch and half of rain since this morning," says City Manager, Ron Goulart, "It's difficult under these circumstances." 

Not long after Channel 3 arrived at Lewis' home so did a public works truck.

"We're trying to jet the lines to make sure they're as clear and clean as possible," says Goulart.

Crews quickly begin working to get the water to recede, as for the drainage ditch? 

"The issue is these easements belong to the property owners," Goulart says. 

Goulart says if Lewis and his neighbor petition to sign over the property to the city, they'll maintain it.

"I understand they're frustration," Goulart says.  "We'll do what we can to help."

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