Consumer Watch: Ind. homeowner claims raw sewage found in yard


by Andy Treinen

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 6:42 PM

HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- For two years a homeowner in Henryville, Ind. says raw sewage has been flowing into his front yard. Fed up with what he calls a poor response from the Clark County Health Department, he called Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen.

There is a smell that accompanies the pool of a problem sitting in Ryan Beyl's front yard.

"Let's see if it's got that black stuff in here. I mean you can see all the black water and sediments in there,” Beyl, said, while showing us the feces in his front yard.

Beyl says when he called the Clark County Health Department in October of 2012 he was told it was not sewage, just groundwater.

"I took the health department's word at it. I believed that they're the experts when they told me, they said it's groundwater; so it's groundwater,” explained Beyl.

Beyl next door neighbor was also in deep. He paid to have a drainage system put in. In the meantime Beyl went on mowing it like it was just wet grass. But eventually with the problem piling up Beyl could no longer get a mower through his yard. He had to turn to fishing boots and a weedeater.

"You can only imagine when you hit a nice water patch and that stuff goes flying in your face,” explained Beyl.

Fed up and smelling something suspicious Beyl paid to have his own test run. He called the health department back after the results came back positive.

We visited the Clark County Health Department after the test came back positive for e-coli.

“Right, but that's not a guarantee it's human," Scott Wilson said.

Wilson is the environmental health supervisor for the Clark County Health Department.  He says he's been proactive since taking over the case in May.

"They wouldn't even believe it when I sent them pictures like I sent you," countered Beyl. Beyl says he's not looking for a handout in fact he'll be happy to pay for all the repairs to his yard, but not before the raw sewage stops flowing.

"Stop the sewage and I'll pay somebody to come out and put drain lines in and take all of that stuff to the end of the road but, nobody's going to fix it until the sewage stops,"  Beyl said.

Wilson says he's working on getting the now confirmed human waste stopped. He showed WHAS11 aerial pictures showing the septic tank up the street, where the waste is coming from.
Wilson says since they've turned a valve on the source septic tank Beyl yard is drying up.

"No matter if they're mad at me or not whatever, I’m still going to do my job and this will be taken care of one way or the other.  You know there will be a solution," Wilson says.

Beyl, his expectant wife and his 2-year-old son hope that solution comes sooner than later.

"I mean if this was in their yard this would have been fixed probably a year and a half ago," concluded a frustrated Beyl.

Beyl's wife was so frustrated with the situation she called the state. The health department confirms the state of Indiana is now involved, and monitoring how the case is being handled.