12 News Investigates: Sewer tap woes in Jackson

12 News Investigates

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A sewer line repair has been costly for one Jackson woman. Many Bufkin is settling into her new home in North Jackson. She moved there from the Fondren neighborhood.

“The sewage line was not draining properly, was backing up into our tub, and we were like this is an issue. Let’s call a plumber, and whenever the plumbers came out, they found that the pipe in our yard was broken, but also the pipe in our street was broken,” said Bufkin.

She paid for the pipe in the yard to be fixed. As for the broken line in the street, Bufkin reached out to the City and Councilwoman Virgi Lindsay’s office.

“I asked multiple times, and I explained to them this is a pipe in the street, and this isn’t in our yard, and it’s in the street, and it’s a sewer issue and that’s not our responsibility as a resident. And they kept saying, ‘I’m sorry. We don’t have the funds to fix our own pipes anymore.’ And it now has to be on the resident that the City of Jackson cannot fix their pipes anymore due to a lack of funds,” said Bufkin.

This proposal outlines what Bufkin paid after she hired a plumber to do the work:

  • Bust and remove asphalt in road
  • Excavate and uncover broken sewer tap
  • Remove and replace sewer tap and make proper connections to main
  • Ensure proper operation
  • Backfill excavated site
  • Provide subcontracted asphalt company to repair asphalt in road

Bufkin was shocked the money for this repair would have to come out of her own pocket. The grand total was more than $8,000, which she paid to get the repairs done.

“We didn’t have that money. And from the sell of our house, we had to use some of the profits from that which we had other plans for, and now we weren’t able to use it that way.”

Councilwoman Lindsay’s assistant said it was the Jackson Public Works Department that made the decision to discontinue subsidizing the cost of sewer taps city-wide and not the City Council.

The City said the policy was put in place two years ago to no longer support that service because of resources.

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