Davenport Residents Hear No Easy Fix For Sewage Issue
Davenport residents in one neighborhood meet with city officials Thursday to hash out a sewer backup problem they've been dealing with for years. But residents found out the issue is far from being a quick fix. Dozens dealing with this ongoing sewage backup issue turn out to a neighborhood meeting hoping for solutions. City officials hoped to inform them on what is going on and what the city plans to do about it.
Toilets overflowing with sewage and residue stuck to the floors weeks later. That's what homeowners on part of West Garfield Street have to deal with during heavy rains. It's a problem some say the city has known about since as far back as 1992.
"It has been known that you guys have a problem in that district, why hasn't anything been done?" asked Jacklynn Draper. That question was asked over and over. Public Works Director Mike Clarke says a lot of the problem comes down to the city's aging infrastructure. Many pipes date back 150 years and all over there's infiltration of extra water getting into cracked pipes.
"We are in a very long, upward turn of repair and replacement of pipe systems," said Clarke. City crews have been into the lines with cameras and conducted smoke testing to investigate the problems. There's also routine maintenance trying to manage it, but Clarke says the city just doesn't have the resources to solve the problem completely, even over the next ten years.
"Your story is shared by others. It's not a good story," added Clarke.
That's not something these residents wanted to hear, when they've poured thousands into their homes on sump pumps, check valves, and not to mention the aftermath. "I got $4,500 damage this last time. Who's going to pay for it?" asked another homeowner.
For now, homeowners are encouraged to contact the city's risk management department to file claims and hopefully get some of their money back. However, many say even that won't make up for years of frustration.
"I feel like it wasn't our responsibility to do that," added Draper. "I didn't cause the sewer to back up into my house."
The neighborhood is included in the more than $2 million sewer replacement program slated for 2016. Clarke says to fix all the sewer problems it would cost a ballpark $200 million.