Neighbors in Batavia neighborhood complain about continuous raw sewage smell

BATAVIA, Ohio — Something stinks in one manufactured home community in Batavia. Neighbors in Greenbriar Estates said they’ve been complaining for months about a smell making their lives more difficult, but it’s still there.

“It’s raw sewage,” Chad Blackburn said. “It’s like a toilet that hasn’t been flushed in a week and it’s like that every day.”

Blackburn called WCPO Tuesday to ask for help. He’s been complaining about smelling raw sewage leaking into a creek behind his home. Other neighbors like Heather Kellerman smell it too.

“It’s like of like living next to a dump almost,” Kellerman said. “You can’t get away from the smell like even going into your house.”

They believe it’s coming from a septic tank that’s leaking. Neighbors have been complaining for months, voicing concerns on the Greenbriar Estates Facebook group. One person wrote on Sept. 17, “is it me noticing or is that sewer smell extra strong today? It’s horrible!!” Another person wrote on Oct. 2, “I thought they fixed the sewer smell but it’s back.”

WCPO called the Clermont County Health Department Tuesday. Communications coordinator Keith Robinson confirmed there is a sewage leak, and they’ve sent the property manager a notice of violation to correct the leak saying:

“We sent an inspector out to the property on 11/7. The inspector noticed sewage entering a creek. We sent the property manager a notice of violation to correct the sewage leak. Our recommendation was to contact a qualified professional to fix the leak. We will make another site visit to see if the sewage leak has been fixed. If it is not repaired, the next step would be to refer it to the Board of Health to be declared a public health nuisance. Residents should avoid touching or contacting the area containing the leak until it is cleaned up.”

Blackburn said they haven’t received any notices.

“We typically just get told oh, we’re taking care of it, it gets shrugged off, or they just don’t answer the phone,” Kellerman said.

WCPO called the Greenbriar Estates’ office Tuesday afternoon, but no one answered. We left a message. We also went to the office and asked for the property manager. An employee there said they are under new management, but he said the manager wasn’t there. He did tell WCPO they are in the process of fixing the sewage leak but didn’t give specifics of what they’re doing or when it will get done.

Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, some workers were running the pump near where the sewage leak was coming from. Neighbors said this tends to happen around 7 a.m. and occasionally around sunset every day, but they just want someone to fix the problem.

“We shouldn’t have to live like this, we own our homes, and it’s like they don’t care,” said Blackburn.

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