Raw sewage backs up into Denton home

DENTON, N.C. -- Donna Gilles lives on East Peacock Street where for three years raw sewage from the street has backed up into her front yard, kitchen sink and even her bathtub.

“I'm embarrassed,” Gilles said. “People won't come in my house when it smells that way. Who wants to walk in my front yard when it's covered up?”

“I just can't handle it anymore,” she said.

The last time there was a back-up was about two weeks ago, in the kitchen sink.

In 2014, Gilles says she reached out to town leaders but was told the problem was on her end.

So, she spent more than $10,000 on new sewer and water lines.

“I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income and have to pay all this money,” she said.

But the back-ups kept happening.

Town maintenance workers have snaked and flushed the sewer line nearly a dozen times.

But Gilles says they won't fix the problem long-term.

“I'm one person,” Gilles said. “I'm fighting against a town. I don't know what else to do.”

Denton Mayor Larry Ward says the town has never ignored any of her complaints.

"Every time she's called with a problem, we've been there quick, very quickly,” Ward said. “Every single time, so I don't think 'ignore' is the word there."

He says crews don't know what's causing the back-up.

"It's very hard to pinpoint what that problem is right there," Ward said.

But he says they will replace the pipe from Gilles' home to the main sewer line.

It’s a much-needed repair she says should have happened years ago.

“Fix whatever's broken under the road,” Gilles said.

Ward says maintenance crews will likely replace the sewer line in the next week or two.

But the street belongs to the state, so the town will have to check in with the Department of Transportation to see how to move forward with the plan. ​