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Contractors work to find cause of sewage smell in Downtown Sherman

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - The city of Sherman began smoke testing Sunday March 28, as part of their ongoing efforts to identify the source of sewage issues.

“The sewage system in down town Sherman, has for a long time been a source of complaints from business owners down here” said Community Support and Services Manager Nate Strauch. “The pipes are really really old, and in some cases over a century old- they’re cast iron pipes” Strauch said.

The city hired a company to begin smoke testing on the miles of pipes underground Sherman’s oldest central business district, Downtown.

“Pipes have shifted, leaks have sprung out and we really just don’t know where the problems are” said Strauch.

He says it’s an issue the city is actively working to fix, and since crews began they’ve discovered over two dozen leaks.

“It’s not life threatening or anything like that, it’s really just an unpleasant smell, that’s really want it comes down to,” Strauch said. “And for some of our downtown businesses, the smell comes and goes with weather and things like that. So really this is just the first step so we can help these businesses operate like the rest of businesses in the city.”

For downtown businesses, the smell is just another issue they say they have to work around.

“Rain. Rain has been a huge issue because it brings the smell back up, and we’ve had issues with flooding for a while,” said Sarah Willhite.

Willhite has worked at the Old Iron Post for five years. She says she loves working in Downtown Sherman, but wishes she didn’t have to work around things she can’t control.

“(I) Was not prepared, I forgot to open the doors so it was a little smoky in here this morning, but it’s fine now,” said Sarah.

Crews will continue smoke testing and the city has authorized $85,000 for this initial phase.

Strauch says once they identify all the leaks, he anticipates it will cost millions over course of the next year or two to repair.

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