LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It’s bad enough when it floods, but to have sewage coming up into your house, well, that’s a nasty problem to have to deal with. Some residents say it’s a chronic problem in the Greinwich Village area and they blame the city.
A few residents on Taylor Street in Greinwich Village said, when there’s a big rain, sewage comes up into their homes.
“Every time we have heavy rain, our sewage back up. The toilets don’t want to flush. Water building up in the tub from the rainwater. It’s coming from the city line that’s behind our house,” resident David Stevens said.
“The toilet can’t flush. The sink can’t go the water down. You can’t wash the clothes at all either, honey. I believe everybody in the neighborhood having some trouble," Franchesca Schmitt said.
Michael John Nickerson said it happens in his house and those he maintains for the Lake Charles Housing Authority.
“If you use the bathroom, flush the toilet, things like that, it comes up and it overflows. It comes in the bathtub. Now, when the water goes down, it works fine, but when it rains or floods, you can’t hardly use the toilet or nothing,” said Nickerson.
There is a pumping station in the 3600 block of Taylor, which city officials say was recently refurbished and fully operational.
Stevens said a city employee gave him a backflow preventer, but a plumber friend advised against installing it.
“It opens up, and when you flush out, it let everything out,” Stevents said. “And if the water coming in from the city lines, it’s stop it. But he say over time, tissue would get stopped up inside and if Rotor Rooter got to come out, by them using their rotor rooter, they’ll pull it and it’ll get stuck and be a whole other problem.”
A spokesperson for the city acknowledges that Taylor Street residents experienced sewage backup issues in their homes and said they are taking steps to remedy the problem.
“During a recent heavy rainfall, some Taylor Street residents experienced sewerage backup issues in their homes. The City of Lake Charles is aware of the incidents occurring on Taylor Street and is taking steps to remedy the problem,” said Katie Harrington, spokesman for the city.
“Rain events can result in increased flows to wastewater treatment plants, ranging anywhere from 12 to 14 times their normal flows," Harrington said. “The city is in the midst of a multi-year program to address these issues. The city has committed significant resources to improving aged infrastructure. Residents can help by keeping drain lines free of grass clippings, litter, and other debris.”
“Residents are reminded that it is a violation of city ordinance to dispose of these items in this manner. Additionally, it is a violation of city ordinance to drain private yards, swimming pools, or roofs into the city’s treatment system,” Harrington said.
Harrington says it’s also important to not flush items that may plug lines. That includes wipes, feminine hygiene refuse, and other non-biodegradable items.