AVONDALE ESTATES, Ga. -- In a leafy townhome complex east of Avondale Estates, the issue is a bubbling noxious puddle that has reappeared again and again for years.
"There's open sewage in a neighborhood that has middle class working residents with children," said Temple Elliott, a three year resident of a townhome complex called Stratford Green.
"No question," says another resident, Barbara Fisher, when asked if the bubbling liquid is actually raw sewage.
"Disgusting," says Elliott.
Residents say DeKalb County has ignored their calls to repair the sewage line. DeKalb County says residents are making the wrong phone call.
"They want the county to come out and fix it. And what we have told them is we cannot and will not fix it because it's a private line on private property," said Burke Brennan, a spokesman for the county government.
"I think it's a government problem," counters Fisher. At least part of the problem is rooted in a 2007 letter sent by DeKalb county which says "water and sewer mains in the subject subdivison shall be maintained by the county." Brennan says the letter was sent mistakenly.
"An employee did send out a letter saying that we would accept responsibility for a repair. That employee wasn't authorized to do so," Brennan said.
As a bureaucratic standoff emerges, the noxious pool bubbles, unabated.
"The smell is just awful," said Elliott.
It's a problem the county says residents will have to solve themselves.