12 ON YOUR SIDE: 11-foot hole leading to raw sewage causes problem for S. Augusta neighborhood

News 12 First at Five/ December 3, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga.--A South Augusta neighborhood has been dealing with a dangerous problem for about 6 months now. The manhole cover to the sewer has been missing, and kids have been playing in and around the deep hole.

Julia Alexander lives nearby, and she says, "It's a health hazard one, that a child or animal may fall in, and worst of all, it makes the whole community smell badly."

Alexander noticed the problem about 6 months ago just a foot or so off Nichols road. The hole is two feet wide and 11 feet deep and leads straight to raw sewage below.

This past weekend, Julia realized how dangerous the problem had become when she found children playing in it.

"They were going to find buried treasure or they were going to fish, they're children. So I spent my weekend basically fishing kids out of here," she says.

She says she has called 911 and water works several times, but no one has come to see about it. She says one person told her it was uncovered because they had been flushing the drains out.

She asked, "Have they been flushing them out for six months?"

So, she called News 12 out and we gave the Utilities Director a call. About 10 minutes later, a supervisor came to take a look, and he told us the problem would be fixed within a couple of hours.

Utility workers went to work soon after, vacuuming out the debris in the hole, and then replacing the missing cover. However, they told us they have no record of any complaints in the area.

Kelsey Henderson, the collections manager with the Utilities Department said, "I did check our database, and we did not find any reports or work orders that were issued. But, sometime people call the wrong department and information gets lost in the shuffle."

Despite the mix up about the complaints, folks in the neighborhood are just thankful to see the 6 month long problem resolved without any injuries.

Alexander says, "Thanks to Channel 12 and thanks to ya'lls urgent response, and thanks to you calling these good people out here, this will end on a very good note."

If you have a similar problem or a work order to file with the Augusta Utilities Department, they say the best way to get the issue resolved is to call the city's 311 number.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 newsroom@wrdw.com Fax: (803) 442-4561
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