Residents hope sewer repairs will alleviate sewage backups

Residents hope sewer repairs will alleviate sewage backups

ARNOLD, MO (KTVI) – Reoccurring sewage backups in some Arnold, Missouri homes has left property owners frustrated and angry. A number of residents in the Bayshores subdivision found raw sewage backing up in their basements a year ago and then again in December following heavy rain storms.

One homeowner, Rex Crowder, complained he had no backup problems during the major flooding in 1993. However he has now been forced to renovate his basement twice because raw sewage backed up through a basement floor drain.

Hazel Neibert, who has lived in her home for some 50 years, said "it never happened before all the years I've lived here.  Three times in a month and then again in December it came up. "A spokesman for the utility that manages the sewer system, Missouri American Water Company, noted the firm does not want its customers to face backflow problems in their basements. He said Wednesday, “The part that we are working on right now is 'cure in place pipe'. It is a $300,000 commitment; we are going to be replacing or servicing about 8,000 feet of sewer main and that is just inside the Bayshore subdivision. "

That will begin in a matter of days.

The Missouri American Water company purchased the Arnold City sanitary sewer system in the spring of 2015. The utility committed to make a $5 million investment to modernize the system.

Earlier this week workers cleaned out the sewer pipes removing roots and debris in preparation for sealing the older pipes with a new 'cure in place' lining.

Neither the utility nor the Arnold City manager had an explanation for why rainwater got into the sanitary sewer system last December. That overflow caused sewage backups in a number of Arnold city residential basements.

The utility has been inspecting its sanitary sewer pipes with a camera and also checking lateral lines that run from the main to the individual homes. Those lateral lines are the property of the homeowner and must be maintained by the homeowner. Utility spokesman Brian Russell said Wednesday the firm is notifying property owners whenever they spot leakage, broken pipes or poorly connected piping on the lateral line.  Breaks in those pipes could also contribute to the backup issues in the home owner's basement.