AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s the day after the storm, and there was no sewage running down Virginia Avenue, but the damage had been done.
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible. We have been fighting this thing, and the county government just don’t seem like they are interested in it,” said Dennis Gates who lives on Virginia Avenue.
After a day of heavy rain, raw sewage bubbled out of a manhole on Virginia Avenue Wednesday.
City officials say Virginia Avenue is in a low-lying area, and the rain getting into the sewers overwhelmed the system.
“We have a large main pipe that goes to the wastewater plant. When it fills up, the other systems that feed into it have their capacity restricted, and as such, it ends up coming out in other places,” said Utilities Department Director Wes Byne.
That place is often Virginia Avenue, where neighbors saw sewage leaks back in late June, and we saw it happen in 2019 and 2017.
If it rains hard on Virginia avenue, raw sewage can spill.
“They should have a task force ready for this thing. They don’t. They don’t have a clue on how to fix it,” said Gates.
The city knows the problem, but fixing it is easier said than done.
“It is a long comprehensive process to get all the storm water out, get the grates out of it, and basically, increase capacity going to the wastewater plant, which is a multi-million dollar enterprise and activity,” said Byne.
Byne says next year, the city will begin the process at several spots across Augusta like Virginia Avenue, but in the meantime, residents worry about the next heavy rain.
“They should have figured this out by now,” said Gates.
The city knows the problem, but the solution will take more time and money.