Bell St. will get sewer system

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

City leaders have decided to do something about the sewage backup on Bell Street.

One week ago, The Times reported on the plight of William Smith and his home on Bell Street. Smith has owned his property since 1973, and he still operates on a septic tank.

On Thursday night, Smith attended the Demopolis City Council meeting and again pleaded that something be done to solve the sewerage problem on his road.

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Mayor Austin Caldwell was one step ahead of his constituent.

At first, it didn’t appear Smith understood what that meant. Caldwell’s answer was so blunt and simple that it looked like Smith wanted more answers. In essence, Smith got the answer he has wanted for three decades.

The city has agreed to install the sewerage line and Smith will no longer need a septic tank in his back yard. And the same will be true for every other resident on Bell Street.

There is one catch to the installation of the new line, though.

One of the reasons the city has never been able to install a sewerage line on the Bell Street property is because that property lies lower than Highway 43. And even if a line were installed, gravity would not push sewage from Bell Street to Highway 43.

More than a month ago, the city council proposed that Bell Street residents work with a local builder who plans to develop the property behind Bell Street. However, there are no immediate plans to develop that land, leaving Bell Street residents with no solution for years to come.

When Caldwell and the council learned that, they and the water board decided to go ahead with installation of the sewerage line. However, Smith and any other resident who wants to hook onto the line must purchase a grinder pump.

A grinder pump will be placed on each owner’s property and will manually pump sewage up the new line and into the main line on Highway 43.

Either way, the city solved the decade old problem on Bell Street and within the next month, Caldwell said the line should be installed.

According to Byron Cook with the city water board, the line will cost somewhere between $3,000-$5,000 to install.