It was last week that residents along N. 4th Street in Uptown Harrisburg reported sewage backing up in their basement.
On Monday night, the Harrisburg City Council Public Works Committee discussed the situation and discovered it's something that may happen more often as the city replaces its aging sewer system.
"There should be no backup in those homes because those homes have been there, they haven't had a problem before," said councilwoman Susan Brown-Wilson. "Now, all of a sudden, I've got sewage backing up in my basement and I've never had that problem before, until the street got fixed."
Mayor Linda Thompson said last week that the city believes the problem is related to a "cracked manhole pipe," but public works director Kevin Hagerich admitted it could be a case of pipes to and from the home not being able to keep up with the change in pressure created by the newer larger pipes installed by the city. Council members were concerned for residents.
Public Works Committee chairperson Sandra Reid asked Hagerich if residents could expect problems when the city repairs the larger lines outside their homes.
"It could be a problem, yes," Hagerich said. "Because if we're out there replacing our lines and your lines are about as old, you'll probably need to replace your lines."
That prospect alarmed council members who realize the potential cost involved in fixing the pipes to their house.
"Replacing pipes from a house out to the connection is expensive and the average family in the city does not have $10,000 in the bank," said Wilson.