Overflowing sewers continue to impact Bluff City homeowners

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BLUFF CITY, TN (WJHL)- Problems with overflowing manholes continue to plague Bluff City homeowners as heavy rains cross the Tri-Cities. News Channel 11 spoke with city workers today who tell us how they’re handling this stinky situation.

David Wilson is a civil engineer with the company Mattern & Craig. Bluff City has contracted the company to perform engineering services for over 15 years. Wilson said, “Obviously what is happening, we hope will never occur again and we hope to correct the problem.”

Wilson said the city and his company are working to solve any overflowing sewer problems as quickly as they can. “The main problem has been an aged system and aged pump stations,” he said.

Two temporary pumping stations have been installed, while crews work to install permanent stations, to try to help with overflow. But residents said Tuesday when heavy rains came through, those temporary stations failed.

Bluff city resident Tommy Moore said, the water gushes up over a manhole near his property line and drains onto his property, down the driveway, and into his yard. Moore says the stream of overflowing water makes its way down his sloped property and into Boone Lake.

Moore said, “(The city) is saying its drain water but that’s impossible. It stinks and it’s raining for hours and h ours, shooting up out of that manhole just like it did before.”

Carolyn Payne lives near the Moore’s and says she is unhappy that the City has not fixed this problem sooner, as many residents have been dealing with overflow issues for nearly two years.

Payne said, “I think it’s an embarrassment to them and they’re trying to wiggle their way out of it now. They have to take some accountability on this.”

Wilson said he understands the homeowners’ frustration but says that the city is taking care of the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. “If it were happening to me, I would be terribly upset but from what I’ve seen the City has done everything that we can possibly do it this time and we’ve moved ahead and we’ve tried to do so responsibly.” “So, I would say please bear with us,” he said.

Wilson said if everything goes according to plan, he hopes to have the permanent pump stations in operation by the end of September with the underground pipe replacement and repairs being slated to finish by the end of 2017.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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