San Benito Resident Asks City to Look Into Sewage Stench in Neighborhood

4 years 2 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 08 2017 Aug 8, 2017 August 08, 2017 5:30 PM August 08, 2017 in News

SAN BENITO – A resident in San Benito said their neighborhood smells bad.

Resident Estela Najera-Garza said the stench produced last Friday in the area of Bowie and Ballenger streets worry her.

She said her mother lives there, so moving isn't an option.

Najera-Garza said the smell "was so intense,” she believes raw sewage was also coming out of a nearby manhole.

"I thought about people's health because a lot of elderly people live here, including my mom," she said. "And they don't have a voice, because they're old-fashioned and don't want to speak up.”

She said she called the city to report the problem. She added she's constantly calling the city about the same issue.

"I feel like the city is not doing anything, I mean, like I told you, I call them at least twice a month," she said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to San Benito Public Works director Adan Gonzalez, but he wouldn't meet with us.

Instead, city spokeswoman Martha McClain sent the following statement confirming there was an issue in the area Friday. It reads in part:

"There was no sewer spill at the site...only a sewer stoppage, which was cleared by (a) Vactor truck. There is no history of work orders on Bowie and Frontage streets."

McClain said a clogged pipe caused the back up, but it's unclear what clogged the system.

Najera-Garza insisted it's not the first time this happens. She said residents there aren't doing more to report it because they can't.

"I worry about (my mom's) health because, like I mentioned, most people here are elderly and most of them have some type of illness… My dad was ill, (and) my mom is ill."

Najera-Garza said she wants the city to take a closer look at the underlying problem, instead of doing patch work every time the stench resurfaces. 

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