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'It's gross' | Sewer line leaks into Tulsa man's yard

Latimer St. Sewer Repair
Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 19:45:53-04

TULSA, Okla. — Imagine not being able to use your own bathroom for a month because of a broken sewer line. That’s been the case for a Tulsa man who lives near Latimer and Harvard.

He recently reached out to the 2 News Problem Solvers for help when the city wasn’t taking action.

Rick Willis has been dealing with the smelly stench of human waste for a while until the Problem Solvers stepped in.

He says the city sewer line in front of his home has been broken for about a month.

Anytime he or his neighbor flushed their toilets the waste would back up and come out of a trap next to his door.

“It’s gross. It’s bad. It’s a health problem and it was going down the ditch to the flood drain," Willis said. "That was my big concern because it was all coming up right here and we are breathing it and it was a bunch of crap."

That left him with no choice but to leave his home every time he had to go to the bathroom.

“I go to McDonald's just to use the restroom. I’ve been to Braum’s just to use the restroom. They are all right here within a half a mile but it’s a pain in the butt to have to do that when I got home and it’s paid for and I can’t use it,” Willis said.

He had a company come out and clean his pipe but that didn’t fix it.

He says when he talked with the City of Tulsa, he was told it was his responsibility to fix it.

“They talk about $17,000. I just might as well go ahead and dump in the yard because I ain’t got it.”

When the 2 News Problem Solvers contacted the city about the issue and explained what was happening, the city checked it out.

They ended up pumping out the raw sewage and are installing a new sewer line which should be complete in two weeks.

Willis says that makes him very happy.

If you’re connected to a city sewer line and have an issue, the City of Tulsa says first have a plumber send down a camera through the residential line to determine if the problem is in your line or the city’s.

If they discover it’s on the city’s line, then you should contact the City of Tulsa's lead engineer Aaron Johnson by email at or by phone at 918-596-9564.

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