OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) - Olive Branch residents are upset over bubbling sewage problems they said have been going on for years. It's a problem they said happens every time a heavy rain comes.
"It's terrible. The smell is awful," resident Micheal Pennington said.
White foam, human waste, and rain water spray out from a manhole in Pennington's front yard on Alexander Road. He said it is impacting his quality of life and putting his health in danger.
"I can't let my pets in the front yard. There's everything you can imagine coming out of the city sewer," Pennington said.
Every time it rains his lawn turns into a pond filled with sewage. The rushing water has ripped apart his grass and caused a trench as well. But he's not the only one. Other residents said they are fearful for their health and safety.
"You know, we really fear for our health; for what's coming out in that sewage," resident Michael Gard said.
Gard has lived at his home since 1999. He said sewage flows into his yard and his toilets don't flush when it rains.
"Sometimes it's a problem that might last an hour or, like yesterday, it was more than 24 hours. We've had all the rain this week. It's been tough," Gard said.
Olive Branch City Engineer Steven Bigelow said he is aware of the problem. He said the city has hired an engineering team to design new sewage lines. He said the construction should begin by mid-summer.
Bigelow said he believes the problem with the pipes is their age. The older they get, the more likely rain water can leak into a crack and cause the pipes to overflow. As a result, it leads to blood boiling for some neighbors who cannot stand the sight, or the smell.