JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A large, temporary pump for raw sewage has been stinking up a Jackson neighborhood for months. And the city says it doesn't have the money for a permanent fix.
You can see the pump clearly from Alex Hamlin's bedroom window, on Edmar Place in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Northeast Jackson. The sewage pump has been blocking one side of the driveway to Hamlin's home since January.
"It smells bad. We have to smell it every time we pull up to our driveway," said Hamlin.
And the constant noise has forced Hamlin to add a new device to his nightly routine.
"I've been wearing ear plugs ever since. It's still hard to get to sleep though," said Hamlin.
The pump doesn't just affect the Hamlins. The temporary sewage line, set up by the City of Jackson, runs across the street and over several front yards.
WLBT followed the temporary pipe and found that it ends in an open manhole in someone's front yard.
You can hear raw sewage flushing into the hole, just feet from someone's window.
"The city needs to do more work than what they're doing," said Jerry Bulley, who regularly works in the neighborhood as part of T Landscaping. "I don't see how people can stand coming out of their houses smelling stuff like this."
One neighbor of the Hamlins agreed.
"[The city] doesn't seem to be really trying to look for a permanent fix. This has been a temporary fix since the end of January," said neighbor Becky Keith.
The city is looking to secure an estimated $900,000 for a permanent fix. And once the funds are secured, it could take several more months to replace the 15 inch line.
The city plans to bid out the project, since the collapsed line is too big and set too deep for city maintenance forces. After the 60 day bidding process, the city estimates it will take 90 more days to replace the pipe.
"The condition of the line is such that the whole section needs replacing," said David Willis, deputy director of the City of Jackson's public works department. "That line was installed in the late '50s, and if you can get 50 years out of concrete pipe, sanitation/sewer, you've done pretty good."
Willis said there are sections of older, deteriorating sewage lines throughout Jackson that could collapse, like the one at Edmar Place, at any time.
"We're in the early stages of putting together a master plan with implementation schedules, so hopefully, we can get to those before they turn out like this one," said Willis.
Meanwhile, those who live and work on Edmar Place hope relief comes soon.
"Between the noise and just recently the smell has gotten worse because of the heat. I know one afternoon it was just very overwhelming," said Keith.
"3 On My Side needs to be out here," said Bulley. "They need to do something about it. It's bad, it smells real bad."
The city said running the temporary pump costs about $300 a day in fuel and labor, because a crew has to man the pump 24-7.
Officials said that money is already built into the city's water and sewer budget, which is funded by ratepayers.
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