After a heavy rain, Gene Norris said before he steps foot in his backyard in Simpsonville, he can smell what's back there.
"You could smell you know what!" Norris said. "Stuff you flush down your commode was floating around in the backyard."
He said last Saturday after a storm, his yard turned into a lake when the creek near his backyard overflowed and sometimes so does the septic tank.
"I can find toilet paper and condoms hanging from the side of it," Norris said.
He said the problem is an area of his backyard used to be a ditch. He said he made a deal with the city to put down a culvert and bought the pipe for it. He said the city installed it, but when it rains and the creek overflows, erosion causes the pipe to separate.
"So, it starts breaking down, and you have sinkholes here and sinkholes there," Norris said.
But he said now, somehow the city water pipeline and the sewer line are forming the mess in his yard all at once. And he said at times, sewage spews from a manhole near his front yard, too.
"These sewer lines that they have in the city are not adequate enough to do what they're supposed to do," Norris said.
He put down chemicals to absorb the water and the smell and called Sylvia Lockaby, his city council representative, to take a look.
"It was unreal," Lockaby said.
She said after touring the yard, she called a crew with the public works department.
"We went to the service road and they checked two more manholes over there and we're working on it," Lockaby said. "Nobody wants it in their yard, and I'm here to help Mr. Norris."
And maybe soon Norris can step in his backyard without stepping in it.
Norris said he has a meeting with public works officials on Thursday and also plans to soon meet with DHEC. He said he appreciates the city's attention on the matter.
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