Rain causes raw sewage to flood downtown businesses, streets

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 20:45:58-04

One downtown business owner says he got a pretty raw deal because of the rain. His restaurant on South Chaparral Street was flooded with raw sewage, but he blames the city for the mess.

Curt Broomfield, owner of South Beach Grill, says whenever there’s heavy rain, storm water floods into the sewage lines. He says pressure builds up, and all that sewage has no place to go but inside his restaurant.

Broomfield is not the only downtown business owner dealing with this issue.

With heavy rains today, there was raw sewage in apartments, and toilets in other businesses backed up. Waste floated along downtown streets. 

"We’ve got toilet paper, but we also have poo associated with some of this," business owner Kyra Shook said, looking at the mess running along Chaparral. 

There is plenty of sewage in curt Broomfield’s restaurant.

"Since one o’clock this morning I’m cleaning sewage out. The rain is just now starting, we have three days of this," he said. 

Business owners say with heavy rain the sewage backs up, and then they start to see things like sewage manholes popped open.

but manholes aren’t the only things getting blown open with the pressure…

it also blows out the seals underneath your commode. and you can see my ladies’ restroom is filled with raw sewage.

and it’s been a problem downtown, for 3 years. 

curt broomfield: ever since the city did phase one on the redo of chaparral street. this is the 8th time it’s poured raw sewage into my building.

city officials tell us…the chaparral street project started further down the road…
and the engineering and utilities departments say there were no projects 3 years ago that would cause this.

they add that this year, the city has doubled the budget to rehabilitate the sewage system, from 6 to 12 million dollars. 

immediately. we’re starting in some of the older portions of town, that’s where we’re finding the most problems. and we’re trying to seal the system up again.

it’s a 15 year plan.
but as broomfield waits for the city to flush out a resolution…

curt broomfield: i can’t open, i can’t sell. all they’ve done is put me out of business.>

he also worries about how this infrastructure problem will impact future downtown development. 

curt broomfield: what are they going to do when this brand new hotel has sewer water backing up in it? the city needs to fix they’re stuff."

  for now the city says they’ll clean up the mess caused by the sewage overflow.
   as for what’s causing this mess, the city blames an old sewage infrastructure.
  that’s what the 15 year plan would address.

business owners aren’t the only ones impacted by raw sewage overflow. 
it’s also running through neighborhoods…like here in an alleyway near hewit drive. 
raw sewage, toilet paper, and other things that have been flushed down a toilet ended up on the streets today. 
a nearby homeowner is concerned about all the trash in his neighborhood…
but he’s even more concerned about it ending up in the bay. 

"I worry more about the quality of our water, which is so important to tourism and our bayfront. And I’m aware that we have problems with the quality of water in the bay. Anything that’s flushed down a toilet ends up in this alleyway, and then into the bay," homeowner Roger Braugh said. 

whenever sewerwater flows into the bay…the city needs to report that to the federal and state governments through t-c-e-q.
this week’s rain has caused one overflow issue so far.