Man says county destroyed his yard

Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - A Norcross man is upset with the way Gwinnett County handled a sewage backup on his Norcross property. He said the county destroyed his yard.

After his home flooded last month, Allan Gathercoal thought it was a problem with his piping. When he hired a plummer, he realized the problem had to be a county sewer line that runs through his back yard.  But he said before the county came out officials wanted proof it wasn’t his issue.

“I had to dig a hole to go down to find their connection and pull all of my tubing out, which took about a week and $1,200 worth of labor,” Gathercoal said.

When county workers came out they told him roots from his tree were blocking the line.

“We cut down your tree. We dig up your back yard,” Gathercoal said.

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Then, workers discovered one section of the sewer line was not connected at all.  It is a problem that should have apparently been caught by the county when it was constructed.

“They said, ‘Well, I guess it is our fault. It wasn’t the tree after all.’ They left here around 1 p.m. and they say, ‘Now we’re out of here. We got another job,’” Gathercoal said.

That was Monday.  Gathercoal said is wasn’t until Thursday, after Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips called the county that workers showed up and filled in the holes in yard and put his fence back up.  Still, Gathercoal said that’s just scratching the surface.

“The problem is I no longer have a back yard. I don’t have a tree. I don’t have a garden. All I have is mud now,” Gathercoal said.

A county representative told Philips the case has been referred to the Risk Management Division, which will work with Gathercoal to resolve the problem.