Residents claim neighborhood sewage is holding them hostage in their homes
SPRINGFIELD- Neighbors in the Riverscape subdivision claim they are being held hostage by acrid smell of sewage that hangs in the air.
It caused them to contact the Investigative Unit. Neighbors are fed up. The smell is enough to make your eyes water. They claim they've contacted the state and parish leaders for years. They've also contacted MODAD, the company responsible for the sewer. They feel like their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
The quiet, quaint and comfortable Riverscape subdivision in Livingston Parish is where Julius Guidry wanted to live out his golden years. Guidry and his wife purchased three lots. They were about to build their dream home when those dreams got crushed.
"If I would have known, I would have never bought the land," Guidry said.
Guidry and other neighbors documented the problem with their cell phones. Routinely, they claim seeing raw sewage spewing out of the sewer. The river of sewage slices through Guidry's property. Early Monday, neighbors said that workers were out there fiddling with equipment.
The Investigative Unit called MODAD and even showed up at their offices in Denham Springs. There were questions at to what workers were doing at the subdivision this morning, but an employee at the office said they had no comment.
"I've contacted MODAD at least four times and my wife has contacted them," Guidry said.
Guidry is not alone and is demanding a fix in the family friendly subdivision.
"They see the water, and they are stomping in it," Danielle Bradley said. "That's how I found out about it initially, what was going on. My granddaughter was out here in her rubber boots playing in it."
Bradley claims she's been calling MODAD, the parish and state for years. This isn't the first time, the Investigative Unit has reported about issues with MODAD. In 2013, the Department of Environmental Quality found violations including high fecal coliform levels in 140 MODAD facilities. The state ordered MODAD to clean up the mess. At the time, MODAD told DEQ money was lacking. Nearly 17-million dollars was needed to get into compliance.
"It is extremely frustrating to know that we have agencies to protect us, to help us in these situations and they don't seem to feel this is important enough to return our phone calls or even come out to take a look at what's going on," Bradley said.
Over the years, MODAD has repeatedly refused requests for an on camera interview regarding their repair schedule or how much of a rate increase customers might see. According to DEQ, MODAD told the state it won't be able to get into compliance until it gets a rate increase from the Public Service Commission.