Swampy mess creating controversy for south St. Louis County homeowner

OAKVILLE, Mo. – Call it a drainage disaster for one Oakville homeowner. Part of his backyard has been turned into a swampy mess after a broken sewer line was repaired as part of a construction project.

Now the homeowner wants to know who is going to deal with the problem that appears to have developed through no fault of his own.

“It’s knee-deep, knee-deep; it’s disgusting!” said Dave Thompson. “Smells like a sewer, that’s exactly what it smells like.”

Thompson believes the problem is a storm drain right by his property. The line had collapsed at some point in the past. But it was recently fixed for a project to build a new Mercy clinic not far from Thompson’s home on Pioneer Drive, just off Telegraph Road.

“This is the cesspool that is being dumped on my property,” Thompson said. “This is my backyard. This is where I’m building a life, a future; this is my future.”

Thompson admits the area is often wet because it’s a low-point. But he says it was never this bad until the new drain. He reached out to multiple agencies but got nowhere.

“I’m furious. I can’t get answers from anybody. I can’t get an answer from nobody,” he said.

Fox 2 learned that the Pitt Development Group owns the land where the clinic is being built. An MSD spokesperson says MSD required Pitt to fix the line because MSD is going to own and maintain it after the project is done.

MSD workers have been at the site inspecting the drain. But MSD says it won’t make any improvements to the line.

“The question could be, you know, but there’s water still running off into this person’s yard. What can we do to fix that? Can we extend that sewer out or do something different with that? We cannot do that because we are not funded to do that,” said Sean Hadley, MSD spokesperson.

After we started asking questions, project officials met with Thompson to discuss potential solutions. Those discussions are ongoing.

Thompson says he had no idea about sewer line issues when he bought the property more than three years ago. He wants a fix quickly.

“I think they need to rectify the issue. However they want to do it. I’m not opposed to anything they recommend or offer to help with this situation,” he said.

Fox 2 reached out to the Pitt Development Group about the issue. However, at this point, we have not received an official statement or been granted an on-camera interview.

And there is one more potential issue.

The site plan for the clinic says stormwater cannot be discharged into sinkholes. Thompson believes the area in question in his backyard is a sinkhole and he is trying to get it certified as one.

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