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Underground Mistake Backs Up Pittston Sewer | News

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Underground Mistake Backs Up Pittston Sewer
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An on-going sewer line replacement project is blamed for a stinky mess in part of Luzerne County.

Some residents in a Pittston neighborhood say workers clogged their sewer lines with concrete and that ended up leaving a mess in their basements.

Ann Marie Gross's basement now has two inches of water mixed with raw sewage.  She said the problems began a few days after contractors hired by the city drilled bore holes into Mill Street.

"I'm not a scientist. I thought that would be the thing to do before you drill a hole and make sure you won't hit nothing, but all they checked was the water and the gas lines not the sewer," said Gross.

According to the Pittston City manager, the bore holes are filled with concrete to stabilize the area around the old mines.  Eventually new sewer lines will run on top of the concrete. It's all part of the nearly $1 million Mill Street sewer project.

The city said it's tough to spot the old sewer lines underground because some are over a century old.

Plumber Joe Stoss said it's no easy task.

"I would have taken a visual first check to see where the line is coming out of the house.  If it's coming out of the left side of the house and you're going to drill in that same vicinity, well I'd have a camera in there to make sure you didn't hit the sewer line," said Stoss.

And Stoss said there may be more folks running into a stinky situation in the neighborhood.

"If they notice a lot of gurgling a day or two after they leave I mean something's up. If your sewer line never blocked before and something like that is going on and a month or two later, like this lady, that's a problem," added Stoss.

Problems like these are not cheap.  It cost Gross close to $300 to call the plumber.  The city said it will hold the contractors responsible for any damage caused to the sewer lines. 

If Pittston residents have a problem, they should stop by city hall and pick up a property damage form and call their insurance company.

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