A Nashville family is blaming a big sewer line project for turning their farmland into a soggy mess. It's gotten so bad, they're suing a utility district.
The farmland on Gower Road has been in Wayne Hess' family for more than 50 years, but now he says it isn't fit for crops.
"They've pretty much made it useless," Hess said. "It's like a swamp. Any time it rains, the water stands in the field," he said.
In 2006, Harpeth Valley Utility District took a portion of his 11 acres by eminent domain to run water and sewer lines across his property. After the project, his fields filled with water.
The Utility District is draining the water off his field with plastic underground pipes, but no one can say for sure where all the water is coming from.
About the same time state environmental officials starting getting complaints about the wet field, other neighbors complained that a nearby stream, Overall Creek, was drying up.
Michelle Eakin lives across the street from Overall Creek. She said at one time, the water was so deep that when horses would wade through it they would be up to their shoulders. She said now it's only wet for a few days after it rains.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been investigating complaints about the wet field and the diminished water in the creek.
Documents on file at the state show that the utility district says its sewer work did not impact the creek. The state asked them to do groundwater tracing studies. The utility told the state in May that they would provide that information when their consultants finish their work. No reports have been turned in so far.
An attorney for Harpeth Valley Utility District told Channel 4 it wants to reserve all comments for the legal proceedings.
Hess says he's not asking for a big chunk of money.
"All we're interested in, please just fix it back like it was to start with," said Hess.
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