Tarpon Springs residents complain of months of continued sewage stench

Smell stems back to pipe fracture in 2013

Tarpon Springs, Fla. - Moving boxes are packed high inside the home of Tarpon Springs resident Linda Flowers. She's lived in her home on Spruce Street for over forty years, but believes she may soon be forced to move, due to concerns about the sewage stench she says has plagued her neighborhood since August of 2013.

It was then, the city said, that a pipe carrying sewage broke down near Spruce Street, causing sewage to spill. Flowers said the smelly mess pooled outside her house and seeped into the ground underneath her home. She said the leak also crept into a neighbor's yard.

"It was coming up everywhere. It was worse than I first thought," Flowers said.

Shortly after the spill, the city helped Linda's family by reimbursing them for the few nights they had to stay in a hotel. The city also paid for a cleaning crew to vent out air from inside the home. Lime was placed around the house to help with the smell.

But Flowers said that hasn't been enough to get the job done.

She said the last five months, there have only been a few days in which she has not had a headache from the sewage smell. She believes that thousands of gallons of sewage flowed under her house in August, and that the remaining contamination has made the awful smell linger the entire time.

Earlier this week, the temporary pump stopped, and sewage again spilled out onto the street, though not as much as the August spill, Flowers said. The pump was later repaired.

A city spokesperson told ABC Action News that the city cannot help Flowers any further in regards to the spill in August.

Flowers said she has acquired an attorney, and that a suit may be forthcoming.

The city hopes to have the sewer line permanently repaired by March 1.

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