John and Joan Middleton have had sewage in their basement five times since they moved into their house on Floradale Road in Salina in 1966. And they're not the only ones; a number of their neighbors have also struggled with the problem.
"Every time it flooded with sewage, we were told something was being done to fix the problem," Joan Middleton said. "We'll see some activity. We just assumed something was actually being done."
But, Middleton said, it seemed little progress was actually being made. That lack of progress was particularly evident after the record-setting rainfall that came last July 12.
"That was the most devastating," Middleton said. "Some of our neighbors were forced out of their residences. We all had sewage in our homes. All but two of the pump stations in the entire county failed. There were no auxiliary pumps. Those homes are not safe to live in."
The 25 homes affected are all connected to the Bloody Brook sewer trunk and stand on Floradale, Sunflower Drive, Midwood Drive and Brookview Lane.
Middleton said that she and her husband were away at the time of the July 12 flood and returned home to find drying fecal matter coating much of their home's basement.
"It looked like a tornado had struck," she said. "We lost so much that we can't replace -- old yearbooks, a poetry book my daughter made in the second grade -- treasures we kept. It's a feeling of being violated. You think your home is a safe place to be. When you find out it's not, it's very unsettling."
The county responds
Representatives from Onondaga County have said they're doing all they can to rectify the 40-year-old problem plaguing residents of the Floradale Road area. Randy Ott from the Department of Water Environment Protection gave a presentation to the affected residents on May 24, along with several other county representatives, including county attorney James Albanese and legislator Jim Farrell.