Northsider reports sewer issue to MDEQ

By ANTHONY WARREN,

A sewer main break on Northside Drive has prompted one Northsider to file a complaint with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

Since December 10, raw sewage has backed up onto Stephen Parks’ property three times.

The third incident was on January 29, after heavy rains from the day before caused the sewer to back up into his garage. In each incident, the sewage has seeped under his fence and into his backyard.

“It bubbled up and I put some lime on it. It helps, but we haven’t had a good sunny day so it can dry up completely,” he said. “Of course, you have the stench.”   

Parks lives at 1317 E. Northside Dr., the break has occurred at 1309 E. Northside, a vacant home next door.

Sewage was still flowing on January 30

“The way the land, it goes between the two houses and into the creek.”

Parks is worried not only for himself but believes the sewage will impact the creek that runs behind his home, as well as the nearby commercial development. Whole Foods and Highland Village is located right around the corner, on Old Canton.

He has contacted almost everyone he can in the city, from Ward One Councilman Ashby Foote to Public Works Director Robert Miller.

Miller was out of town at the time, and Jackson Director of Communications Candice Cole said she would look into the matter.

Parks also called and left a complaint on MDEQ’s complaint line.

City crews responded to the scene on January 10 and told him it was likely a main break along the line that runs along Old Canton Road. The sewage is pouring out from the property at 1309, which sits at the corner of E. Northside and Old Canton. Parks’ home is served by a different line.

The break could mean major fines for the city, which is under a sewer consent decree.

Jackson entered the decree in 2012 and agreed to bring its sewer system into compliance with federal law.

Under the decree, Jackson is fined between $500 and $1,000 for each sanitary sewer overflow that reaches a body of water identified as “waters of the U.S.”

It was unclear if the creek behind his home was one of those bodies of water.

(Shown is a picture of the sewage in Parks' backyard.)

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