If you've been through Chesapeake lately, you probably caught a whiff of their big problem.
" I didn't know what it was for a while. I thought it was the garbage, but that don't stink that bad," said Julie Hall, a Chesapeake resident.
"We got an overflow of sewage from Chesapeake. They're leaking anywhere of 90,000 to 100,000 gallons of raw sewage per day," said Kevin Snodgrass, a sanitation worker for the city of Marmet. That means more than 7,600,000 gallons of excrement have dripped into the Kanawha River.
On June 28, two pumps in Chesapeake stopped working. They're supposed to flush the waste all the way to Marmet, where the water gets treated. But the city of Chesapeake has yet to fix the problem. So instead the sludge flows into the Kanawha River. Snodgrass said at this rate, the waste has floated all the way up to Ohio. He adds that little can be done to effectively clean up the problem.
"There's no way, you're not going to clean up what's already happened," Snodgrass said. "It's in our streams. It's already out there."
13News obtained documents from the city of Chesapeake, which state new equipment has been ordered with construction starting Monday, Sept. 24.
But Department of Environmental Protection officials said that's news to them. In August, they ordered Chesapeake to fix the pumps or hire a contractor within 15 days. DEP said they've yet to receive official confirmation from the city.
"As long as they're in violation, the work has to be done, it has to be corrected," said Tom Aluise, a spokesperson for DEP.
Dallas Marcum lives across the street from Chesapeake city hall--and had what was going--or flowing--on.
"It's not the right to the community and the people who lives here," Marcum said. "This is up to the mayor. Be honest and be up front with the people. My goodness, this is a bad condition."