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Sewage repairs not a day too soon for Raleigh neighbors

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The sewage and stench remained for a week before a resident had enough.

It was the evening of May 4, 2016, when 20/20 Rental Management received an after-hours phone call from one of its tenants in the 4700 block of Hollowell Lane in Raleigh.

The property management firm dispatched Wake Sewer and Drain to the cul-de-sac. After an inspection, WSD determined the issue to be raw sewage spilling from the city-owned manhole on the property.

According to 20/20, a call was then made to the City of Raleigh. An employee was unable to verify the specific person or department where the call was placed.

The sewage and stench remained for a week before resident Stacey McAllister grew frustrated.

"The smell was unbearable. I had to pull out incense and warmers to just keep the smell down in the house," she said. "It was nasty. It was real nasty."

A Raleigh Public Utilities worker was performing routine maintenance in the area on Wednesday afternoon and immediately recognized the foul odor. McAllister said she told the city worker about the smell. He agreed it was raw sewage.

Within a matter of hours, crews were on the scene cleaning up the mess.

"I don't know what they used, but they got rid of the smell right away," McAllister told ABC11.

The cleanup lasted throughout the night and wrapped up shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday.

"I felt like the city workers really did their job because as soon as I told them, immediate action they took," McAllister said.

Sewer Maintenance Superintendent Matthew Vessie said the raw sewage was caused by clogged PVC piping because of a build-up of grease.

He said the property owner would be responsible for the cost of the cleanup because it was on private property. Vessie also stressed the importance of only using the sink and toilet as designed and to discard grease and other foreign objects in the trash when finished.

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