The nightmare started when Charlene Brewer says she woke up at three o'clock in the morning and heard water running over. Brewer says she went outside to investigate and a pipe gushed sending raw sewage all over her clothes and skin. Charlene and husband Bryant Brewer have reported sewage overflow problems to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality three times since May.
"Sewage backs up out of my sewage clean-out which I have to leave open to keep it from flooding out of my drains. This raw sewage relieves the pressure from all the other homes around here and it floods into my carport flooding it" says Mr. Brewer.
The water could carry things like Hepatitis-A, e-coli and methane gas. But the even bigger problem is where the water drains according to the DEQ. A ditch, only a few feet away, drains into the Black Bayou, polluting a popular recreational area.
"I feel it's par for the course living in Benton, LA" says Mr. Brewer.
After repeated calls to local agencies Mrs. Brewer says they have devised their own solution. "Now I live with this big, ugly, green bucket over it and the smell of sewer non-stop. I open my back door and all I smell is raw sewage. It's nasty. Even when it's dried up, it's moldy and crusty and nasty smelling out there and I have a one-year old grand-baby who's just learned to walk. Now how am I supposed to stop here from running all through that?"
Ironically Benton Mayor Albert Doughty lives directly across the street. He is the one listed on the DEQ paperwork as the responsible official. We knocked on his door but he did not answer. As we were leaving, NBC 6 News Photojournalist Shayne Wright waved to him through the window, but he did not come out to answer our questions.