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Workers Clear Sewage Backup in San Juan

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SAN JUAN – A Hidalgo County man said a pungent smell of raw sewage continues to be an issue in his neighborhood.

Edelmiro Gomez and his wife live on Mint Street off Cesar Chavez Road. He said he’s witnessed dirty water coming from down under.

"It came up like a fountain, sometimes this high," he said.

Viewer videos also show the sewage leaking in front of homes.

“It's an ugly smell, it contaminates everything. It's bad, we don't want to go out,” Gomez said.

San Juan city manager Benjamin Arjona said they brought in weekend crews to cleanup and flush lines.

“Sewage backups, we usually get them once every two or three months, we don't get that many,” Arjona said.

Arjona said one of the main sewer lines backed up. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS people flushing non-flushable items down the toilet are to blame.

"The more you start putting raggies, disposable wipes, it creates a buildup inside the sewer line,” he said.

He added it's a gravity-based system. Diapers, baby wipes and other items pile up.

“The only thing we can do is educate our citizens. Whatever belongs in the trash needs to be thrown in the trash," he advised.

Arjona said each cleanup can cost the city a few thousand dollars. As long as people are flushing, he said it could mean another backup and more money down the line.

If you ever have a backup like this, you can immediately call police or contact the San Juan Utilities Department at 956-223-2200.  

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