CHICAGO (CBS) — Raw sewage has been seeping into one property owner’s basement for months, because of a problem with a Harvey sewer main that workers only now are starting to fix.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory finds out why the city of Harvey has been neglecting its responsibilities.
“It’s a health hazard,” property owner Shermon Brown said.
The problem has been going on for six months. The mess in his basement comes from a city of Harvey sewer main, which has been getting clogged, causing raw sewage to back up into Brown’s property.
“They keep promising that they’re gonna repair it, but they won’t,” he said.
Brown has submitted multiple service requests and called many times.
“Twenty times. Twenty times, if not more,” he said.
He’s not only calling for his own sake. He has tenants who smell the raw sewage every day.
“Being a landlord, I don’t want anybody living under conditions that I wouldn’t want to live under,” he said.
It’s been particularly rough on tenant Bruce McChristian.
“I’m on oxygen. I have trouble breathing,” McChristian said.
He already had preexisting health issues, and needs an oxygen tank to breathe.
“This don’t make it no better,” he said.
McChristian lives on the first floor. One floor is all that separates him from the health hazard in the basement.
“You don’t want to come in. You don’t want to come in,” he said
Until the Harvey Public Works Department fixes the main, he continues to smell the sewage “every day, all day.”
“It gets so bad where I can’t take it,” he said.
So bad that he has to leave.
“Lately I’ve been staying at my daughter’s house, so I won’t have to breathe in so much of it,” he said.
The city knows about McChristian’s health condition, too.
“How does it make me feel? Like they really don’t care, I guess,” he said.
Harvey Public Works inspected the main more than a month ago, and discovered the 100-year old sewer had completely collapsed, but the inspectors never submitted a report to city hall.
After CBS 2 made city hall aware of the problem, it finally begun working on what could be a $100,000 repair. We’ll follow up to make sure it gets done.