QUESTION: Why hasn’t anything been done to stop sewage from bubbling up from behind the Bojangles restaurant along Huffman Mill Road? This same problem was apparently reported to the local health department over a year ago.
ANSWER: In much the same way that fried food clogs the arteries, the grease from the deep fryer can do quite a number on a restaurant’s plumbing when it’s carelessly poured down the drain.
In fact, this sort of blockage is precisely what members of Burlington’s city staff believe has caused a noxious fluid to ooze out of the ground behind the Bojangles franchise on Huffman Mill Road.
Although previously unknown to Burlington’s water resources department, this seepage was quickly identified by staff members who were dispatched to the eatery on Monday in response to an inquiry from The Alamance News.
According to Bob Patterson, the city’s water resources director, the department’s staff found the fluid gurgling up perilously close to the banks of Gum Creek. Patterson said that the staff ultimately traced the problem to a pipe that the restaurant uses to funnel its wastewater into the city’s sewer system.
“There’s a private sewer lateral that comes out of Bojangles,” he went on to elaborate in an interview Monday, “and since the overflow is coming from their line and not ours, they’re responsible for cleaning it up.”
Patterson said that the restaurant has agreed to bring in a plumber to work on the blocked pipe. He added that this same plumber was apparently called out about a year ago to correct a similar problem in this location.
The city’s water services director stressed that, in the future, anyone who spots a sewer leak here or anywhere else in the city should bring the problem to his own department’s attention.
“The best place is to call is us,” he insisted. “Even if the problem isn’t with our lines, we can figure out where it’s coming from.”
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