Residents with rare sewer pipe setup in Kettering may get relief soon

UPDATE: Residents in Kettering with rare sewer problem may get relief soon

Neighbors say approximately 10 homes don’t have their own pipes going directly into the county’s sewer system, but instead are inter-connected. Because of the unique setup, when one pipe breaks, it’s a lot harder to fix the problem.

A plumber called the situation a health hazard, and on Monday officials from Kettering and Montgomery County will discuss the next steps.

EARLIER: Residents with unusual sewer setup in Kettering may get relief 

Sabrina Olt made a routine call to the plumber Thursday morning.

“It started coming up out of this drain over here, then it went, like, all the way into here and it was just a big hot mess,” Olt said of the sewer backup.

Gene Claywell, owner of Dayton Sewer and Drain, said the main sewer was backed up because it had tree roots in it. The problem was just on her line to the sewer system so it didn’t take long to fix.

“It’s a huge health hazard, because you’re not only having your waste coming back into the house, you’re having everyone else’s,” Claywell said.

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The city and county are hosting a meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday in the South room in the Kettering Government Center, 3600 Shroyer Road, to help resolve the issue.

Montgomery County Environmental Services spokeswoman Samantha Elder said the agency is hosting the neighborhood meeting to discuss proposed sanitary sewer improvements to the properties along Maplecrest Drive.

Officials from Kettering and Montgomery County will provide a brief project update, followed by an opportunity for residents to ask questions publicly. Following the public presentation and forum, residents will be provided an opportunity to speak one-on-one with members of the project team.

“The May 13 meeting regarding Maplecrest Drive will act as an opportunity for Montgomery County and the City of Kettering to share information of our plans to address the sewer lines and dedicate time to answering specific questions from residents,” Elder said.

Jenny Harlow said she can’t live in her home because a broken pipe keeps sending sewage inside.

“They’re all chained together,” Harlow said. “It’s just a big mess.”

Harlow said that a line connecting her house to the county’s sewer system is broken, causing it to back up in her basement.

“We’ve run bleach down it a bunch and had to clean up sewage many times,” she said. “The location of the crack is underneath my next-door neighbor’s yard, her backyard.”

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Harlow said fixing the broken pipe would compromise the safety of her neighbor’s home, and putting in a new direct line to the sewer system would come with a price tag of $38,000.

“It’s gotten to the point where we can’t run any water, we can’t do baths, do dishes, no laundry,” Harlow said. “Then I finally rented the apartment across the street here to take showers and use the water.”

When the problem first came up nearly a year ago, she said neighbors sought to figure out a way to solve the problem.

“But everything is absolutely the same right now, and nothing has been fixed,” she said.

Brian Hartt lives on Maplecrest and said that neighbors have been waiting to have a meeting with county officials regarding a timeline on when the issue will be addressed.

Previously, Kettering and the county have disagreed about whose responsibility it was for the Maplecrest houses.

Earlier this year, Kettering law department officials found records indicating that Maplecrest and other neighborhoods in northwest Kettering were originally part of Carrmonte Sanitary Sewer District, which was created in the 1920s. Since this sewer district was formed prior to formation of Kettering, the city said the sanitary sewer lines – and this problem – are Montgomery County’s responsibility.

The city noted that Maplecrest property owners have paid sewage fees to the county for the last 75 to 100 years.

The county had argued that the existing Maplecrest sewer lines are a private system connected to the public system. 

Several residents in a Kettering neighborhood want an ongoing problem with their sewer lines to be addressed soon.
Photo: Staff Writer