Some Jackson residents have recently learned a valuable, and costly lesson about city sewer right of ways. After experiencing problems with their sewer lines, they were surprised to find out they were responsible for fixing issues, that weren't on their property.
It's something every house in Jackson has. A sewer drain running from the house to a public sewer main commonly located under the middle of the street. What most people don't know is, that if anything goes wrong on that line, even into the street, they're responsible.
In the past week, Jack Myers learned his sewer drain pipe was plugged up, under the street in front of his house. He thought that was the city's end of the line, but they say the whole thing is his.
Myers says, "If you got to work on your sewage from curb to the middle of the street you gotta pay for it, that's unfair to me."
The Jackson Sewer Department offered to repair the line, but for cash only.
"They told me the street would have to be dug up and it would cost me $780 dollars," says Myers. "I've had rental properties here 40 years and I have never heard of having to pay from the curb to the middle of the street, or a sewer line they have always gone to the cleanout and done it before, this one is on city property."
Jackson public works director David Willis says residents have been responsible for fixing their city sewer drains since the ordinance was adopted in 1972. Aging public sewer mains could expose more residents to that city law.
"As our sewer system, public sewer system ages along with the service laterals and all they're deteriorating along with our public sewer, the older it gets the more frequent these replacements could become," says Willis.
We called a handful of neighboring municipalities to find out residents there don't have to pay for sewer repairs in the streets. In Pearl and Clinton, the Public Works Department said anything under the street was their responsibility.
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