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Chattanooga residents urge city officials to address sewage issues

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

People in the DuPont/Access Road area of Chattanooga say the city is ruining their neighborhood and property values with a smelly sewage pump station that is too close to home.

The City of Chattanooga invested $21.6-million into the Dupont Pump Station Project, a two phase rehabilitation project intended to stop overflow of sanitary sewage. The project is part of a much larger $250-million city wide effort to bring sewer infrastructure up to code. 

The project is currently affecting Lupton City, Fairfax Heights, and the Bagwell City neighborhoods.

In Tuesday's city council meeting, Danny Grimmett urged council members to reconsider the construction of a new sewage plant in his neighborhood. 

"It's almost unbearable to go out in your yard I mean everybody in that area has complained about this," says Grimmett. 

Grimmett, who has lived in Bagwell City for 30 years, says he learned about the city's plans two weeks ago. 

Crews are in the process of building a  7.5 million gallon holding tank near Grimmett's home. The tank will help control sewer overflows throughout the city, but Grimmett says the rotting smell and mosquito infestation isn't worth it. 

"If you were buying a house would you move into something next to that? I wouldn't. I didn't plan on this and they're sticking it down our throats," says Grimmett. 

Grimmett gave council members a petition with signatures of 130 residents, who are against the sewage construction. Drake Boscaino was one of the first to sign it. He says he worries about the  health of his five year old daughter.

"It's hard on her because she cries because she can't come outside and play in the yard it's just horrible," says Boscaino. 

Boscaino says he doesn't understand why city officials would agree to put the tank in a residential area. 

"They said that they can't put it across the way because of sinkholes but DuPont Parkway is a man-made bern and this is all the same area property. If there sinkholes here next to the river why would there not be sinkholes over there," says Boscaino. 

As the city-wide project  progresses, residents are pleading with city officials to reconsider.

"I have nowhere to go this is my home. I can't sell it. I don't know what to do," says Boscaino. 

Phase two of the sewage project is set to finish in the fall of next year. 

That system comprises about 1,250 miles of sewer lines, 60 pumping stations, 130 residential/grinder stations, eight combined sewer overflow facilities and the Moccasin Bend treatment plant, according to the Chattanooga government website.

The city provides wastewater service to 400,000 people living in Chattanooga and several Hamilton County and Northwest George municipalities.

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