Storm water, raw sewage flood Atlanta homes

9:30 AM, Jul 11, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- For homeowners in the Peoplestown section of Atlanta, recent storms have meant a river of raw sewage and drainage water spewing from an underground sewer line into basements and garages.

PHOTOS | July 10 Storms

One family says it's happened before, and they turned to the city to solve the problem.

For Staci and Kevin Lynch, this makes the third time in three years that raw sewage and storm water has flooded their Atlanta Avenue home.

"We've complained to the city's Department of Watershed Management, we've complained and worked with our city council person. We filed claims with the city law department and the law department buries it. Watershed doesn't seem to fix the problem," Lynch said.

For the Lynch family, it has meant losing valuable family photo albums, baby toys, clothing and even bicycles. All of them have been contaminated by the raging waters. At least six other houses along Atlanta Avenue also have basement and garage damage.

11Alive's Help Desk contacted Watershed Management to do something quickly and not wait for customer complaints. Within 45 minutes of our call, the heavy equipment arrived, but so far Watershed officials say they see no immediate fix in sight. They say it could require an engineering change.

Involved in the problem is a city sewer trunk line that carries both storm water and raw sewage.

All the homeowners know is it's blowing off the top of the manhole covers and getting into their homes.

"The gravity of this cannot be over-estimated. They are pumping sewage into our house," Lynch said.

"We are trying to raise two children here, and we are trying to make this our home for our family, and it's pretty difficult," he said.

Atlanta Watershed Management officials said they will get to the bottom of the problem and get it figured out, but they have given no timetable. For the homeowners, this means it can easily happen again.

Keep in mind if you have a sewer issue on your own property you are responsible.

And this footnote -- as soon as the Help Desk learned that the Lynch family had a 7-week old son and their air conditioning was flooded out, we contacted Home Depot and they are supplying an air conditioner unit for the family.

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