12 On Your Side: 83-year-old woman stuck in stinky situation

12 On Your Side
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

WAYNESBORO, Ga. -- An 83-year-old grandmother ended up having to move out after sewage spilled into her home. Now city officials are stepping in to help her, and they could help you, too.

The evidence of the spill still lingers around Mrs. Eddie Webb's home.

"It was down in here, all down the hall of the bathroom in the back bedrooms," said Webb, as she pointed toward stained flooring and walls.

The 83-year-old came back home after living in a motel for a few weeks. It was either stay there or live in the mess inside her home.

"It was pure poop and urine that's what it was," she said.

Webb's sewage backed up into her house last month. It filled her tubs and overflowed into her yard. She says this wasn't the first time it's happened.

"I'm scared to death," Webb said.

Her house is one of the older ones in the Waynesboro neighborhood. Even older than her home are the pipes underneath it.

"It is pipes! It is pipes because it's coming from the pipes," Webb said.

City Manager Jerry Coalson says Webb is responsible for replacing the decaying pipes.

"The service line actually belongs to the property owner," Colason said.

The cost for replacement? Nearly a thousand dollars.

"I don't have. I don't know what I'm going to do," Webb said.

Webb told city leaders about her pipe problem, which she can't afford to fix.

State law prohibits a city from flipping a homeowner's bill, but certain grants do allow small towns the flexibility to help citizens.

HUD recently granted Waynesboro a Community Development Block Grant for sewer work around the city.

Coalson says he was able to include Webb's pipes in the project since she came to him for help.

"We develop our projects around helping folks and providing services," Coalson said.

Webb's pipes are scheduled to be replaced in January.

"That would be an answer to my prayer," Webb said.

There are several grant programs that cities apply for every few years. Sometimes, like in this case, the grant money can be used to help you.

Inquire with your city leaders about grant programs if you're interested in getting help.

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