JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. -- Hours after Call 6 Investigates raised questions about sewage problems in a Johnson County neighborhood, homeowners are dealing with yet another sewer line break.
Hunter’s Pointe homeowner Mark Havens said the break happened at about 3 p.m. Thursday in front of his house, spewing raw sewage into his yard and the street.
It’s not the first time this has happened.
“Three times in five years is a little rough,” said Havens. “It’s frustrating and impacts our home value and well-being.”
The City of Greenwood provides sanitary sewer service to Hunter’s Pointe, which is located in unincorporated Johnson County.
An attorney for the City of Greenwood said crews are working to remedy the sewer line break.
“The repair will be completed this evening,” said Samuel Hodson, corporation counsel for the City of Greenwood. ”We do not anticipate any service issues for any our customers.”
The cause of the break is unknown and residents have been asked to stay away from the area if possible.
Havens already has a pending tort claim against the city for $2,000 in damage caused by his basement overflowing with sewage.
David and Huong Antonios have lived in the Hunter’s Pointe subdivision since 2012, and they’re fed up with their basement flooding with sewage.
“It smells disgusting,” said David Antonios. “It’s all your neighbor’s sewage. You know your neighbors, but do you really want to know your neighbors?” Watch their story below:
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) conducted an inspection in October 2017 and cited the City of Greenwood with several violations, including not properly mitigating bypass/overflow, which is a violation of a 2012 compliance plan.
IDEM also cited the city for not reporting or recording all collection system and basement overflow incidents.
In addition, IDEM also found the City of Greenwood was behind on its 2012 compliance plan and did not have a process in place for citizens to routinely report basement backups and overflows.
“IDEM staff spent several days investigating Mr. Antonios’ complaints and the staff was able to confirm that the collection system is frequently hydraulically overloaded and lift stations are stressed to keep up with wet weather flow,” read the IDEM inspection report.
The city has updated its compliance plan and is working on a $60 million sewer improvement project that involves installing 10 miles of new sewer pipeline and removing 10 aging lift stations.
As part of its compliance plan, the City of Greenwood is expected to start construction on the project this year and wrap in 2020.
Also part of the city’s plan includes pipe relining and replacement, public outreach and education on illicit inflows, implementing two-tiered rates or credits for compliant homes, and visually inspecting all manholes.
See a map of the project here.
IDEM spokesperson Brady Hagerty said the state is monitoring the City of Greenwood’s progress on their approved action plan.