Sewage problems continue for Simpsons

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2003

Betty and Gregory Simpson may have a few problems with living at home, but home beats the hotel room they’ve been living in since last Friday.

The Simpsons have had a sewage problem for about a year and a half.

Gallons of raw sewage puddle into their yard, and when it doesn’t, it puddles into their home, rising from the toilet, sink and tub drains.

The Simpsons say they’ve contacted the Dallas County Water Board every chance they’ve gotten, but until recently, they’ve gotten little or no response.

The water board said earlier they weren’t aware of the problem, but Joe Thomas, chairman of the board says they’ve decided to work on communication between the systems workers and the authority members.

In June, Betty Simpson approached the water board and read a letter to them. The letter concerned a refund due her and the sewage problem.

Unfortunately, Thomas said the letter wasn’t finished, as the meeting was disrupted. On the advice of their attorney, Yusuf Salaam, the board entered

a closed session to avoid any more interruptions.

A copy of the letter was entered into the minutes, and Thomas said they didn’t get a chance to find out about the sewage issue. &uot;She turned the letter over to the secretary but I didn’t get a chance to see that. It is on record but I didn’t know anything about it. I knew if I had heard anything about that I would’ve taken action sooner,&uot; said Thomas.

Thomas used his credit card to pay for the Simpsons to take up residence in a hotel, the Residence Inn. He rented two double rooms at $44 per night and provided them with a $215 gift certificate to Shoney’s so they could eat.

The board met Wednesday night and agreed to reimburse Thomas for the expense, but after Sunday, no one knows what’s going to happen.

Thomas is not authorized to provide room and board for the Simpsons after that. The board is purchasing a new pump for the home, but no one is quite sure when it will come in.

Mary Shagat, a member of the Dallas County Water Board, said, &uot;This is an obsolete system we’ve got and sometimes we have problems finding things we need, even parts for it.&uot;

If the part gets in by Sunday, the Simpsons can move back into their home.

If not, they’ll have to move into it anyway.

Unfortunately for the Simpsons, no one is quite sure when sewage will strike them again.

Shagat said their sewage pump deactivates for some unknown reason. Previously, the general manager said the problem was an &uot;act of God.&uot;

Shagat believes the source is more terrestrial in nature, involving a tricky breaker.

The only option the Simpsons have is to remove the caps on the sewage line outside. This allows the pressure on the sewage lines to back into their front yard.

If they don’t, they get a house full of sewage.

The Simpsons have little faith the board will solve the problem this time. After months of seeing plumbers and water board workers, the Simpsons are a little tired of hearing it.

They’ve retained an attorney and are currently seeking legal action against the Dallas County Water Board.

A suit hasn’t been filed, but the Simpsons are ready to do it.

According to the Simpsons, their lawyer, William Faile, has decided to pursue the case in court. The Selma Times-Journal was unable to contact Faile at the time of publication.

Shagat says she doesn’t feel the Simpsons have a case against the board. &uot;I don’t feel like we’re due to pay anything,&uot; she said.

Thomas, after visiting the Simpsons home on Thursday, said he was concerned about the problem and would approach the board with new information. &uot;After going out there and smelling what was going on, I’m going to see if the board can do something about it.&uot;

Thomas expects to contact the rest of the board today, and with luck he’ll have an answer for the Simpsons before Sunday.

If nothing changes, the Simpsons will return home, hope the new pump arrives soon, listen for the &uot;blub-blub&uot; &045;- a sign their house will be flooded with sewage if they don’t act &045;- and let it flow into their front yards and not their homes.