Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Metro Water flushes raw sewage into Percy Priest home

by Andy - September 23rd, 2009 - 2:24 pm Messed Up Results, Public Work Whose fault is it? That’s a question being asked by a Nashville couple whose basement flooded with raw sewage. It all begins Saturday September 12th. That’s the day the commode in the Percy Priest Lake residence of Arnold and Tina Bailey begins bubbling over with raw sewage. The Bailey’s show me pictures of a basement mud room that is blackened by the disgusting mess. On the day Messed Up arrives, Mrs. Bailey is packing her trunk with suit cases. The woman tells me she has respiratory problems and the on going environmental disaster is forcing her to stay with relatives in Kentucky. Her husband, Arnold stays behind to manage the hideous mess. The retired military pilot says dealing with metro has been messed up, so much so, he wrote this letter to Mayor Karl Dean. My name is Arnold Bailey. I live Clearlake Dr west. On Saturday public works was cleaning sewer lines next to my house at the sewage pumping station and back flushed raw sewer water into my home. They started cleanup late Saturday night, ran blowers and drying equipment, and tore out walls and contaminated items and were going to remove contaminated tiles and clean the air ducts. This afternoon they pulled out the workers and said they were still investigating who was at fault for this problem. This was and is a very serious health problem. They told me to contact my insurance company for repairs. It was a metro pump truck that was blowing the lines at their pumping station. My wife has acute asthma and could not be in the house so we slept in our Motor home. The motor home went for maintenance today so she left to stay with relatives until work is complete. I am staying in the house but am not comfortable with it. Metro caused this problem and they need to take care of it. This pumping station has been a problem for the 25 years that I have lived here with spills, overflows, smells, noise and chemical sanitation blocks hanging next to my pool and patio. I am requesting your help in solving this problem as I have run into a solid wall and they are treating me poorly and seem to think that it is my problem not theirs. When he gets nowhere with the city, Arnold Bailey calls That’s Messed Up. I call his Councilwoman, Vivian Wilhoite who tells me she has all ready been investigating the matter. She tells me that Metro should be more responsive to her constituent’s needs. “They are trying to tell me that this is an act of God. Don’t ever tell me that it is an act of God for him to put poop in a man’s house.” Wilhoite tells me she tells water department officials to handle this matter now, because she doesn’t want to see it show up on her council desk later, with much heftier price tag. “This better not end up on my desk. Approve his claim. Take care of this now. It’s only right. I’m not so sure Metro isn’t at fault. That goes along with running Metro Water. If Mr. Arnold was in his yard and did something to the line, that is one thing. But in this situation, he was in his house, and poop comes back up the line.” The councilwoman indicates that Metro Water was pulling out its crews and limiting the city’s financial responsibility in the matter. She says she told them to reevaluate. “I asked they open this back up. This makes no sense. It makes no sense. Look back at this and provide me a reason why he should not be compensated. I better not see this a year from now when it could have been resolved on the front end.” I talk with Sonia Harvat who represents the Metro Water Department. Harvat says the Bailey’s troubles begin when a sewage pipe is blocked in the neighborhood. Harvat says the pipe is blocked with house hold materials including grease, which neighbors have been dumping down their drains over time. According to Harvat, Metro crews pumped the line clean, and when they did, there was a sudden surge that forces its way through the pipe, that pressure rushed to the lowest point, which just happened to be the commode in Arnold Bailey’s home. “Metro Water Services is paying for the initial clean up,” Harvat says. “Our priority is health and safety. Our system was not malfunctioning, our system was not broken. It was nothing inside our sewer system causing the back up it was grease! Metro will look to see if there was negligence on the part of metro water services. Did we break something that caused the over flow, but there was no negligence and that is what claims will look at it to see who pays for it.” Bailey says the city did initially hire a company to clean up the filth. But after a few days, the city pulls the plug and the cleaning stops. Thanks to Messed Up and Councilwoman Wilhoite, the city has reconsidered its position. An attorney for Metro Legal tells Messed Up, the city will pay for the clean up as long as it is deemed reasonable. A water department official tells Messed Up “We don’t want to build the Taj Majal, but we will pay for the mess.” Arnold and Tina Bailey say that’s the least the city can do for what they have been through. Check out this link that educates citizens on the do’s and don’ts of flushing things into the system.

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