Midtown business owner said she’s been stuck dealing with ongoing sewage issue since September

One business owner in Midtown is dealing with a very stinky situation

It’s a flow in the mud that trickles alongside Sonja Roesch’s home and business in Midtown that has made her nose turn.

“It’s terrible,” exclaimed Roesch, owner of Gallery Sonja Roesch, an art gallery and residential space, located on the 2300 block of Caroline Street.

Roesch said she first noticed a stench and dark-colored liquid coming from the ground last fall after crews began a reconstruction project on Caroline Street in September.

“We first noticed that the storage room was overflown with a stinky fluid. We couldn’t figure out what was happening,” she said.

Roesch’s son-in-law determined the problem to be raw sewage leakage from a pipe. Roesch then hired a plumber to sniff out the case.

“The plumber ran a camera and detected underneath the sidewalk, underneath the street, a construction, a clog, or something was wrong,” Roesch said.

Roesch said the breakage appeared in a part of the pipe that existed off of her property – and directly in the path of the construction project. She said she contacted the project’s contractor, J.D. Abrams L.P., but didn’t hear anything initially. She then contacted the City of Houston’s Department of Public Works.

“The city crew came out, I think three times until they found the broken pipe underneath the construction,” she said.

The reconstruction of Caroline Street is a TxDOT project, and J.D. Abrams L.P. is the contractor hired to do the job. Roesch said crews from the company came out in December to fix the leakage, but the fix turned out to be temporary.

“They started one day before Christmas, digging into the ground and trying to fix it. Since then, since Christmas, nothing has happened.”

In a statement to KPRC 2, a spokesperson for TxDOT said the agency was aware of the leakage and would work to resolve it.

“Unfortunately, after the initial repair, our crews found that there was still some back-up. Our crews will be on location in the next day or two to investigate again. We are diligently working to resolve this as soon as possible,” wrote Deidrea George, public information officer for TxDOT – Houston District.

Sonja Roesch hopes for a resolution soon.

She said representatives from the Houston Health Department regularly come to the address to document the leakage. She worries about her health as the problem persists.

“Because it’s a sewer backup, that’s kind of a health problem. So, that’s why the health department got involved and they have made it a priority ticket and the department comes out regularly – every couple of days – and checks on it,” Roesch said.