27 Investigates: Pump station creates smelly situation

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Imagine coming home to find five feet of raw sewage filling the basement of your home. For Lordstown resident Shannon Weilacher, it has happened three times and all because she lives close to the Trumbull County sewer pump station.

Weilacher lives on Palmyra Road near the station and earlier this week a power failure sent 60,000 gallons of raw sewage into her basement. She said wall to wall sewage water filled the entire area, and the worst part was when the pump came back on, all the water drained away, leaving sludge behind.

“You could smell it, you could see it. It is just a horrible smell,” Weilacher said. “I can’t have my grandchildren over. My kids go stay somewhere else. I stay here because I’m not going to a hotel room.”

This is the third time Weilacher has had to deal with sewage problems. The sewer line runs through her property, and her house sits at the lowest elevation along the route. When the pump station fails, the sewage pours into her basement.

Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill said he is familiar with Wielacher’s issues but says his hands are tied.

“There is nothing we can do about this at all other than make phone calls,” Hill said. “If someone calls up, we will do anything we can to address the issues but it is not our system.”

The mayor said he called Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer Rex Fee Thursday night about the problem. Fee said his office is looking into the it and hopes to have a resolution soon.

“It was an issue we did not realize what would happen when we had it installed. Whenever we have a problem like this, we don’t just put it back the way it was, we try to improve it,” Fee said.

In the meantime, Weilacher is waiting for the next insult.

“Oh, yes. All the sewage, the 60,000 gallons, I get charged for it when it goes down into my sewer again,” Weilacher said.

For now, Weilacher will have to clean up the mess herself and submit the bills to the county and request reimbursement. The last time those costs were about $11,000.

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