During the public comment period at the July 12 Berkeley County Council meeting, retired Navy veteran Michael Schlievert told council members that sewage is backing up into some homes in Carnes Crossroads.
“We have a problem at Carnes and that’s the sewage," Schlievert told council members. "The sewage goes uphill not downhill."
Crews from Berkeley County Water and Sewage have been out to the area, County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said. He told Shlievert at the meeting that the agency's director would speak with Schlievert about their findings.
Schlievert told The Berkeley Indpendent that back in June, sewage water flooded into his home on Wodlin Place in Carnes Crossroads, a development off Highway 17. It wasn’t just a small amount of the stuff.
“I heard this gurgling sound and I didn’t pay any attention to it, and I flushed about three times and the next thing you know, I had sewer water coming up everywhere,” said Schlievert, while sitting in his living room. “Then I went into the guest bathroom and it started coming up in the guest bathroom toilet.”
The water, which Schlievert said contained everything you could imagine, also began to fill inside his bathtub and shower. While Water and Sewage did not confirm exactly how many houses have been affected by press time, Schlievert said he talked to some neighbors who said they’ve had a similar problem.
“It took me three days to clean up,” he said. “I spent a lot of time. I mean, I mopped and then I mopped and then I mopped.”
He called a plumber to his home. During the interview at his home, he provided the plumber’s assessment of what is causing the issue.
The plumber told Schlievert the sewer line flows uphill from the main line to the home. Improperly pitched piping is holding water and waste, the plumber concluded.
“Roughly about 10 feet underneath my porch had a 12 foot back-pitch," Schlievert said. "In other words it was lifted up at an angle at about six to eight degrees."
Following a request for an interview by The Berkeley Independent, county and BCWS administrators sent out a statement regarding the issues at Carnes Crossroads.
Berkeley County Water and Sanitation (BCWS) aims to address all sewer and/or water complaints in the timely manner and works to fix issues immediately. In the past several years, BCWS has received a total of five sewer system problems in the Carnes Crossroads area. Of those, two were concerning homeowner issues and three were the responsibility of BCWS.
The Berkeley Independent will update this report online as more information becomes available.