Property Connected to Sewer

Last Monday we told you about a Tallahassee woman who says for almost 30 years, she's paid the city for sewage services she may have never received.

City utility workers say they had already started to investigate the property owned by Ms. Jeanette Martin after being told by one of their contract plumbers that Martin's property wasn't connected.

The city says it's learned the property has been connected since 1952. About two weeks ago, a plumber contracted and paid by the city to work on Jeanette Martin's plumbing problem told her, “You aren't connected to the city sewage line.” He said he discovered this after he asked the city for the sewer tap in location and couldn't find it.

The city utility workers say the mistake was theirs and it's caused some confusion.

"There was an error made. There were two taps and we sent them to the one tap when it was the other tap that's been connected since 1950," says Michele Bono of City of Tallahassee Public Information.

The city says there this documentation proving the property was hooked up in 1952. The document indicates there are Y shaped sewage pipes on the property, meaning two opportunities to tap in.

"If she was tapped in to the city at that time, according to what we have seen, we haven't seen anything from her house to the main line that they say she is tapped into," says William Foutz of Mt. Bisby Primitive Baptist Church.

Not everyone is pleased with the city's investigation. Reverend Foutz says the exposed pipe isn't a tap in, it's only a pipe.

"He dug up the ground and said it's not tied in, so what am I supposed to believe? I believed him because he's the plumber," Jeanette Martin says.

The key to proving Ms. Martin wasn't connected to city sewage was to find where the waste was going, such as a septic tank. The city or Reverend Foutz have yet to find one. The reverend says he will continue to look for it.