Septic Tank Troubles Plague Saucier Neighborhood - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/04/04

Septic Tank Troubles Plague Saucier Neighborhood

Neighbors in Palmer Creek Estates are getting frustrated with longtime septic tank troubles.

Raw sewage often fills their yards and flows into the nearby creek. They've brought the problem to the attention of the DEQ, the Department of Health and the Army Corps of Engineers, but so far, little has been done.

"You'll see, when you get over here, it didn't do the trick," said Lori Miller, as she led a reporter to the sewage puddles in her backyard.

Her yard is frequently soaked with sewage. Miller's failing septic system is one of many.

"This flows all downhill. It's only downhill from my property," she explained, pointing toward nearby Palmer Creek.

The creek is just a short walk down the hill. When it rains, sewage flows freely into the creek, which feeds the Biloxi River.

"Everyone's system in here that fails in one way or another goes into the ditch, which leads to the creek," said Jennifer Miley.

Miley has home video showing sewage trickling downhill and into a lake that sits in the center of the subdivision. Failing septic tanks affect dozens of homes in Palmer Creek Estates.

"Some of them are worse than mine. And I couldn't imagine anybody having any worse a problem than mine," Miller said.

The state Department of Health is well aware of the septic tank troubles. The department's own survey of 84 septic tank systems found that 50 are not working properly. That's a failure rate of 60 percent.

"They've came out, did their investigation and just more or less left it at that. They didn't even want to contact us and tell us the case was closed," said a frustrated Miley.

Concerned neighbors say, despite the frustrations, they'll keep complaining, until someone helps.

"Oh, everybody's saying there's a problem. It's just nobody's wanting to take the responsibility to fix it," Miley sighed.

The latest letter from the Department of Health refers to working out a "long term solution", but offers no specifics about that fix.

By Steve Phillips

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