Sewer Sinkhole Fills Homeowner With Frustration

Charles Shelton's yard is a neighborhood attraction, for all the wrong reasons.

"I call it a sight for sore eyes," Shelton said.

It's actually a sewer system sinkhole. The City of Moss Point tried to fix the massive hole on Friday. City workers fished out this corroded piece of sewer line from deep in the murky mess, that's when Shelton realized he had never been connected to the sewer system.

"I've been paying sewer bills for the past two years, and I'm not even hooked up!! I'm just laying there, letting the sewage go into the ground, and I'm being charged anywhere from $40-45 a month for it," Shelton said.

He's got the bills to prove it. Shelton estimates he's paid $1,300, while his neighborhood's sewage has flowed freely under his yard.

The city installed a temporary sewage line to bypass Shelton's house and stop the backup. But because city workers only come out once an hour to turn it on, in the meantime it's still filling up the hole, and now is seeping into Shelton's house.

"When you walk in my house, that's what you smell.  A brand new house, two years old, and there is sewer all through it, in my dream house," Shelton said.

His nightmare continued Friday evening, when a cleaning company arrived to help decontaminate the house. Twelve hours later, they're long gone, but there equipment remains.

"They couldn't fix the problem, because every time they sucked up sewer, it was steady backing up into the house," Shelton said.

This sewage problem has torn up Shelton's yard. Now, it's tearing apart his home.

"Just think, other people use the bathroom, and it comes down in my yard. All I want is for them to come down here, fix the hole, fix my house, and I'm satisfied. I'll never say another word about it," Shelton said.

Ironically, Shelton worked for Pascagoula's Public Works Department for five years, connecting sewer lines. He says this is one problem he never dreamed of having.

Mayor Xavier Bishop says, "I apologize to Mr. Shelton that the city has dropped the ball on this, all the way around."

Bishop says the public works department will hire an outside contractor to fix the problem, and he plans to present bids for the work to the board of alderman at Tuesday night's meeting.