Maple Shade Residents Want Overflowing Sewage Pipe Fixed - New York News

Maple Shade Residents Want Overflowing Sewage Pipe Fixed

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Sue Colavita is seen cleaning up raw sewage that spilled out of a broken sewer pipe near her home. Sue Colavita is seen cleaning up raw sewage that spilled out of a broken sewer pipe near her home.
MAPLE SHADE, N.J. -

Every day, Sue Colavita makes the short walk to her Maple Shade sidewalk with her blue bucket in hand. Armed with bleach and a broom, she begins to scrub away the raw sewage that has been pouring out of her sewer pipe.

She's been doing this almost every day since 2008.

"It's nasty," said the 71-year-old Maple Shade resident.

Colavita says sewage has been coming out of her sidewalk ever since Maple Shade Township replaced the sewer pipe and repaved the road on Fork Landing Road five years ago.

"From every time you flush the toilet, it ends up here," Colavita said.

She believes the township is responsible and wants the pipe fixed. But after years of phone calls, letters and emails to local officials, she's been met with the same response.

It's her problem.

"We never had a problem in 29 years. And all of the sudden we have a problem," she added.

Maple Shade Township manager Gary Lavenia tells FOX 29 township crews have inspected the sewer line several times with underground cameras over the years and determined it's not a township issue. Lavenia says pluming problems on private property is a homeowner's issue.

Former Maple Shade Mayor Frank Troso lives across the street from Colavita. He says the problem started immediately after the township utility project and believes the township should foot the tab to get it fixed.

"It's a mess. It's bad for the children, it's bad for anyone and now the weather is getting warmer it's really going to be bad," said Troso.

Colavita contacted a plumber, who told her it would cost more than $2,000 to fix the sewer line. But after quitting her job to take care of her sick husband, it's money she doesn't have.

"With all my husband's medical bills, I can't afford that right now and I don't think it's our problem," said Colavita.

Colavita has written letters to her state senator and congressman to try to get the township to reconsider, but so far no luck. And to make matters worse, a Burlington County health inspector arrived at her doorstep Wednesday informing Colavita she faces fines if the plumbing issue isn't fixed by next week.

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