UPDATE: Sewage overflow continues in Hixson neighborhood, but lo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Sewage overflow continues in Hixson neighborhood, but long-term solution in the works

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UPDATE: Sewage overflows have been a problem for one Hixson neighborhood for quite some time, according to the people who live there.

In recent months, every time it rains hard, sewage overflows into Drake Boscaino's backyard, where there's a manhole. He says it started for him after the city sprayed a foam inside the sewer pipe to try to fill cracks.

"The sewage does not stop at my backyard," Boscaino said. "It sits here. My dog runs through it. This is highly toxic."

He didn't know about the problem when he moved to Memphis Drive a few years ago. He says some of his neighbors have had issues for 20 years or more, but it's hard for homeowners to just pick up and move.

"This is on my property," Boscaino exclaimed. "This is where I live. Where can I go? I can't escape it, and neither can any one of these other residents."

Boscaino called the city and sent videos he took of what was happening. Finally, the city came to his home Monday evening to lower the manhole in his backyard. This will hopefully solve Boscaino's problem, but it won't take care of the rest of the neighborhood.

Mike Patrick, Director of Waste Resources for Chattanooga Public Works said as a long-term solution, more than 7,000 feet of upsized sewage lines are planned, along with a new pump station near Rivermont Park.

"We're going to construct a 20.5 million gallon per day pump station at the end of that upsized line to carry wastewater flow to the plant," Patrick explained.

It's a $15 million dollar project in the permitting and design stages.

"This new solution potentially solves an additional overflow downstream affecting the Lupton Drive area," Patrick added.

He said sewage overflow happens in dozens of other areas in Chattanooga. Patrick said the city has spent $165 million in the past three years to fix some of these problem spots, but overflows can't be stopped.

"You cannot completely eliminate overflows, especially when it rains like it did last week," Patrick explained. "All we can do is hopefully reduce the number [and severity] of overflows."

Patrick said construction of the new pump station should begin in the fall of 2018, and hopefully, it will be up and running by early 2020. Overflow mitigation projects totaling $160 million are planned for the next three to four years as part of an overall goal to meet new EPA guidelines.

PREVIOUS STORY: Residents in the Dupont area of Chattanooga told Channel 3 overflowing sewage continues to plague their neighborhood.

Channel 3 spoke with Drake Boscaino who lives on Memphis Drive. He said the sewage has been coming into his backyard for years.

Boscaino claims he has called the city's Public Works Department several times and has yet to see anyone. 

He shared a message for city leaders with Channel 3 Sunday, saying "It makes me feel ashamed at our local government because they're putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. If they can't solve the problem, we need to get some other people in here who can.

Channel 3 reached out to Justin Holland from Public Works. He said the system is built to hold a certain amount of water, and given all of the rain we saw over the last few days, the system got overwhelmed.

Holland said Public Works had proposed a 7 million gallon storage tank for a wooded area on the street, but residents asked that it not be installed.

Another Public Works official said they hope to have a crew in the area tomorrow, but that depends on the weather. 



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