Sewage spills out of manhole in south Augusta neighborhood

Whenever it rains, the manhole at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Coleman Street floods, filling the street with sewage. (WRDW-TV)

Whenever it rains, the manhole at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Coleman Street floods, filling the street with sewage. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, February 11, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Whenever it rains, the manhole at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Coleman Street floods, filling the street with sewage.

Some of what News 12 saw we decided is too nasty to even show you.

"You know your yard is turned into a cesspool of poo," said neighbor Jamie McGahee.

That's what comes to mind when McGahee hears it's going to rain, and she's not the only one.

"If it rains really, really hard, the whole mancover bounces up and down, then all of that, whatever people put in their toilets, comes out in my yard, down the street. I mean, it's awful," LaDonna Carter explained.

It starts at the manhole at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Coleman Street.

All the trash around it is left from last week's rain and the stuff neighbors thought was gone forever.

"I see all kinds of paper, you know, toilet paper and whatever else is with it. It's just really, really nasty. You don't want to walk through your yard," Carter said.

"They told me to bleach my shoes and take them off before I go in the house," McGahee said.

But her shoes aren't her biggest concern -- she's more concerned about her child.

"It's pretty disturbing that the county knows about this and it runs right past all her little toys and stuff," she said.

It wasn't until News 12 started asking questions that crews started hosing down the road today.

Neighbors say this isn't the first time this intersection has needed a good cleaning. With rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, they say it probably won't be the last.

"I always pray for soft rain so it won't back up," Carter said.

Hoses push the waste back where it came from and powdered lyme helps cover the smell, but neighbors are hoping for a more permanent solution.

"These places that have chronic problems will be programmed into our capital improvements plan, and we'll be planning permanent solutions to them," said Augusta Utilities Director Tom Wiedmeier.

I spoke with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Monday afternoon. They said they gave the City of Augusta an order to evaluate all the pipes and the whole collection system back in 2011.

According to the workers who were out rinsing off the road, homeowners could be adding to the problem, too. Grease that people pour down their drains could be helping cause the clog.


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