Discovery of problem leads to another according to East Side neighbor

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An East Side neighborhood has been plagued with problems since it was discovered that a local gas station`s storage tanks have been leaking petroleum. People in the neighborhood say they have been dealing with a multitude of problems, and to them it seems the hits just keep coming.

“I can`t flush, I can`t run any water through here and I didn`t have this problem before,” said Mark Murphy.

Murphy is rehabbing his home in the 3000 block of Cleveland Avenue, but his biggest project over the past three weeks is a sewer backup he says started when the city was doing work on the sewer main and caps.

“Sludge has been backing up,” he said.

Murphy suspects this is a result of another problem in this neighborhood.

“DNR sent them back there because they were drilling here putting in monitors,” said Murphy.

Petroleum contamination caused by leaks in the old gas storage tanks at the Inner City Oil Company, which is right across the street. The Department of Environmental Experts confirms petroleum has seeped into the neighborhood`s sewer system, and Murphy believes in the process of finding that out, the old clay sewer lines were damaged.

“The vibration maybe collapsed part of them of them,” Murphy said.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against Zill, LLC, which owns the gas station causing the problem, but that doesn`t help Murphy or his neighbors right now.

“The city has to correct this, they caused this this problem wasn't here until they started fooling with the sewers behind my house,” he said.

While FOX 4 was there, a city crew showed up to look into this problem.

Jepp Pierce, superintendent with the city’s Water Services Department says the sewer lines look good, and says this problem may be in the lines running to the homes off of the main line, in which case it is the homeowner's responsibility to fix.

“I am saying I am not going to play that game with you, we need relief. We need you to come and get this corrected,” said Murphy.

Superintendent Pierce says if it is a problem that is the city`s fault, they will do everything they can to fix it. But folks in the neighborhood say they don’t know if they believe that because they have heard that before.