Drainage problems plague Starkville neighborhood

STARKVILLE — Residents in northwest Starkville say drainage problems are making their lives miserable, and they think the city is doing too little to fix the problem.

Rachel Campbell, who has lived on the west end of Carver Drive since 1981, recently told The Commercial Dispatch that her front yard is disgusting because sewage backs up in it.

“Around 1986, the city took that sewage drain from the middle of the street and moved it right to the edge of my yard,” Campbell said. “From stool to those sanitary pads, tampons and any waste you can think of, when it gets backed up, my yard is a sewer.”

Carver Drive is surrounded by a drainage ditch that acts as a catch area for the drainage basin of northwest Starkville. For years, the problems there have been a topic of discussion for residents and city officials

Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk said city leaders have taken steps to improve the sewer system. There also are problems with storm water drainage, and aldermen are starting to look at ways to alleviate those, she said.

In a recent annual report to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Starkville Director of Public Services Doug Delvin listed several projects that have taken place over the last year, including replacing sagging sewer mains and repairing storm water beaches.

Still, residents of Carver Drive say problems persist.

Walter Collins, who has lived on Carver Drive for 26 years, said his home has flooded more than once.

“It’s something that always is on your mind when you see the forecast,” he said of the flooding. “For us, when it rains, it means a lot more struggle than just getting wet. It feels like you are incarcerated. You can’t go anywhere.”

Rodney Miles, whose mother lives at the end of Carver Drive, said people in the neighborhood feel like they’re living around poison when sewage overflows.

“It really is hazardous to everybody. That drainage is a mess,” Miles said. “They claimed they fixed it last summer, but I have definitely seen it since.”