12 News Investigates: Sewage leak frustrates Fondren neighbors

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Sewage is spewing in the middle of an intersection in Fondren. Neighbors said it smells so bad that they don’t want to go outside.

“I would say two months. Oh, easy. Two years. The hole has been there two years. There was a while where it would come up every once in a while, but it’s been bad lately,” said Shell Enns.

The hole is located in the middle of the Hartfield Street and Oxford Avenue intersection. There is sewage pouring out of it. Enns said she’s lived on Hartfield Street for the last seven years.

“We can smell it in our living room. We used to could smell Pig & Pint up the street, but now we can only smell sewage,” she said.

Fondren Neighborhood Association President Adam Strong joined Dianne Nelson for an interview about the hole.

“Part of our mission is to help make sure the city follows through,” he said.

Nelson moved into a house on Hartfield Street in June 2021. She said the smell is so horrendous that she’s embarrassed to invite friends to her home. She said the hole is also dangerous.

“There was someone going entirely too fast. It was on a Sunday, and they ran a stop sign. They hit that pothole. They hit another car with a family of four or five, spun that car around and hit two more cars. It’s real deep,” she said.

Nelson said she reported the problem on the City of Jackson’s 311 app. The app told her the request was “in progress” and then “on hold.”

“Of course, you can’t get anybody from the city on the phone and the 311 app. They probably have tons of requests to repair it. Anyway, nothing has been done,” she said.

Jackson’s Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams said the reason the sewer bubbles up is because it has nowhere to go. He said this is the top priority.

“See, if we can get a jet truck and remove any blockage, that would be causing to flow out of the ground. That’s number one, but if we can’t get it resolved then our next step is to get a contractor out there,” Williams said.

The contractor would look at what would be needed for the sewer main to be repaired.

“We’ll try to go there and treat it. Sometimes we’re successful and sometimes were not. I think we’re beyond that right now, so probably this week, we’ll get a contractor this week to take a look at it to see all that will be needed in order for it to be repaired,” said Williams.

Meanwhile, the sewage has flowed into yards and puddled up on the street in front of another neighbor’s house.

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