Raw sewage going into the Ohio River - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Failing sewage tanks send raw sewage into Ohio River

The Ohio River is just steps away from Bromley, Ky but for the ones who live here, the sparkle is tainted by the smell. (Photo: FOX19) The Ohio River is just steps away from Bromley, Ky but for the ones who live here, the sparkle is tainted by the smell. (Photo: FOX19)
BROMLEY, KY (FOX19) -

For years residents in Bromley, Ky say they have been dealing with failing septic tanks and their raw sewage going directly into the Ohio River.

It's a million dollar view some say. The Ohio River is just steps away from Bromley, Ky but for the ones who live here, the sparkle is tainted by the smell.

"On a hot day down here. Oh, it's terrible," said Fred Brooks. "I know what's in that river. I lived around it too long. It's a shame that it's part of your drinking water."

It's a small neighborhood along Route 8 with approximately three dozen homes. Most of them were built more than 20 years ago. All of them have septic tanks. Now, those tanks that are failing and the raw sewage is making it's way right into the Ohio River.

"There is a tank located somewhere in here, in this area. As they use the restroom, it goes into the tank and as the tank fills up with liquid, the fluid overflows and goes into the pipe that goes out into the river," Tim Bailey explains.

Several of the homes have tapped into a 12 inch line that runs directly into the river. As their septic tanks overflow, the excess runs through the pipe and into the Ohio river.

"It stinks. It's raw sewage. It's just not necessary. It comes right out of the ground right there and then it just feeds into here," said Holly Bram.

Bram has lived along Route 8 for 23 years and for the last five she says her sewage has been dumping right next to her mailbox. With no city sewer service and no money to fix her failing tank, Bram says she has no choice.

"I just don't understand why they don't think this is a priority because yes it is a priority for this neighborhood," said Bram.

"There is no easy way to get sanitary service to them," said David Rager, Executive Director of SD1.

Rager says they've been working with Bromley for years to bring in sewer service but the cost isn't cheap. Though they have a high pressure line running right in front of the homes, it is too dangerous and costly for the homes to tap into it.

"Trying to get them sewer service is important but trying to figure out how to get it paid for is the challenge," said Rager.

"That is unfortunately not totally uncommon in scattered areas and this happens to be one of them," said Steve Divine with the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

Divine says he knows about the problem too and says instead of levying fines against the low-income homeowners, they are waiting for state grants or some other funding source to put in sewer service. It is money that after four years of trying still hasn't come through.

"Until there is a bigger picture fix which again comes down to dollars it's kind of in limbo," said Divine.

So for now, they wait hoping funding from the state will eventually come through. Until then the million dollar view will come with just as many questions about the future.

"We just have no option and whatever they have to offer, I am grateful and I'm up for it but this has to go," said Bram.

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