Enough, Girard residents tell city of repeated sewage backups


Joe Turner spent a week removing sewage water that flooded the basement of his North Ward Avenue home on Labor Day after heavy rains.

Every day after work, he had to clean and disinfect the basement.

The smell was so strong, he and his wife April had to light candles throughout the house to dissipate the stench.

“It’s so gross. It smells so bad, you almost can’t take it,” he said.

A week later, more rain hit the area, and he was back at square one. There was about 2 feet of sewage in his basement, he said.

City officials have been in contact with homeowners who had issues after heavy rains. The city had engineers do a telescopic study to check if the sewage system lines were blocked. They determined they weren’t.

Mayor James Melfi said there were about 12 calls about sewage backup after the storms. He said heavy rains overload the wastewater system’s capacity, and he recommends homeowners install sump pumps and check valves to help prevent the issue.

Turner, however, says they have been dealing with this for about 10 years. Some years it won’t happen, but some years it happens twice a year, he said.

“It’s a pain in the butt,” he said. “Raw sewage shouldn’t be flooding into our homes.”

Read more about the issue in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.