Neighbors in fear of more sewage overflows

Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 18:33:32-04

West Winspear Avenue neighbors blame the mess in their homes on the overflow of a main line sewer, which is the responsibility of the Buffalo Sewer Authority.  

The overflows are causing at least six basements on the street to be submerged in sewer water filled with debris and human waste.

"We have so much water and so much garbage that it literally stunk up the entire street," Naisha Dowell, a neighbor, said.

Neighbors say the first overflow happened in 2015 and the latest took place in October.
Some say the stinky mess caused almost $9,000 in damages.

"Every year since then i have had my lines cleaned once a year so there are no issues on my end," Jennifer Tuttle, a neighbor, said.

Tuttle wants the city to take responsibility and pay up.

An official with the city sewer authority says the city looked into the overflow issue and found a blockage, which has since been addressed. The authority says it's continuing to investigate to make sure October's overflow was the last.

Tuttle filed a claim with the city to be reimbursed for the damages, but was denied.

"It's really unfair to have individual homeowners have to be bunting the cost of $8,000 - 10,000 of their own money every two to three years when the system could be proactively fixed," she said.

The city feels it's not financially responsible here because the sewer authority had no prior warning of a backup. In a letter sent to neighbors by the law department, the city says the authority is not obligated to tear up a street to inspect its pipes, unless there is a warning of a possible defect or hazard. 

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