State investigating complaint against City of Beaumont linked to sewage problems

Developing now--KFDM/Fox 4 has learned the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is investigating a complaint filed two weeks ago claiming problems flushing toilets and overflowing manholes in an area of west Beaumont.

It's just one of many sewage issues plaguing the city, problems that upset people like Diane Nevills.

"This was a lot of rain this weekend."

Nevills says every time it's rained since Tropical Storm Harvey hit, raw sewage has spewed out into the streets of her north end Beaumont neighborhood.

"I guess we need to kinda get a better grip on this problem because it can be pretty disturbing when you have sewage back up," said Nevills.

This past weekend's rains spared her but her neighbors were not so lucky.

Check out this raging flow of wastewater on Martin Street next to Martin Elementary School. Families nearby say the bubbling sewage has been a problem for months and they worry about children's safety, especially with items like a condom floating by.

The Beaumont Public Works Director, Joe Majdalani, says a lot of rain like this past weekend's reduces the capacity of the system.

Tropical Storm Harvey didn't help. Majdalani says the tropical storm caused more than $2 million in damage to equipment that helps with the flow of waste water.

Homeowners tell us they're growing frustrated with drainage and sewage issues they claim city leaders ignore.

"That would be a good thing if they could get together to decide what would be a better way to fix the problem, especially in the north end," said Nevills.

We obtained video Monday morning of a city crew making repairs in the area near the spill close to Martin Elementary. We also found several Public Works employees throughout Beaumont dealing with similar problems.

We're told they're getting dozens of calls each day and the rain is causing the ground to shift, taking a toll on Beaumont's aging infrastructure, an aging system with problems that date back many years.

The Public Works Director says despite a lot of improvements in the past two decades, the problems will take years and a lot of dollars to fix.

The Public Works Director says FEMA will reimburse the city for some of the repair costs.

In the meantime, residents who witness sewer problems in Beaumont should report them to 3-1-1.

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