DeKalb County homeowners battle backyard bayou - CBS46 News

DeKalb County homeowners battle backyard bayou

Posted: Updated:

For the last 18 months, Jay Brown and Shannon Golden have been looking for an answer, and felt like they were stuck in the mud - the mud pit their backyards have become.

It started with a relatively small trickle of water running across the middle of his yard, according to Brown. He said it appeared shortly after DeKalb County finished working on water lines under the streets near his home.

Since then, the 6-inch-wide trickle has become a 15-foot-wide swamp stretching from one edge of his property to the creek on the other side of his neighbor Shannon Golden's lot.

The bog ranges in depth from a few to several inches deep, the muck greedily sucking whatever boot you're wearing down several more inches.

For the Goldens and the Browns, this is a nightmare. They have been trying to get answers for months and have had no luck.

Brown just recently accepted a new job in New York, but is stuck with his house. He has had it on the market and had two offers placed with the stipulation the mess in the backyard be sorted out before the buyers sign on the dotted line. Brown is frustrated.

Next-door neighbors, the Goldens, moved into their home two years ago. After six months of bliss in what was supposed to be their dream home, their yard went from awesome to awful. They have stopped allowing their children and dogs to play in the backyard because of the mess.

Brown and Golden have tried getting answers from DeKalb County and felt they were getting the run around.

Brown had the water running through his yard tested when it first showed up. He says the technician showed him the results of the test indicated a high level of chlorine. This led him to believe that the water was coming from a leaking or broken pipe.

Since then, it has been a battle for Brown to get anyone to do anything about the water fouling up his property.

When we called DeKalb County, an inspector was out within hours. This time he brought GIS maps showing both Browns and Goldens properties were almost entirely in the flood plain.

Goldens property, which is closer to a creek, has two levels of restrictions based on being in the flood plain, according to DeKalb County. Golden said, when they were getting insurance on their home two years ago they were told that only a portion of the lot was in the flood plain. It was the portion shown as having higher restrictions.

The remainder of their lot and all of Brown's lot sit in the lower restriction flood plain. Brown said he was never told he was in a flood plain and has lived in the home for 13 years.

While the revelation of the flood plain location was new to the home owners, they still have questions like where is the water coming from and who's responsible for it?

Brown and Golden plan to have the water tested again, this time from an independent source, to determine if it is coming from a broken pipe or if it just a natural spring.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.