Stinky situation: entire Tieton neighborhood says septic tanks are failing

Stinky situation: entire Tieton neighborhood says septic tanks are failing
TIETON, Wash. -- In a small, quiet neighborhood in Tieton, a group of neighbors hold a meeting...on the street.

Discussing plans and writing checks totaling thousands of dollars. Figuring out how they'll collectively pay for the next round of inspections of their septic tanks.

The neighbors say their sewers were improperly constructed years ago. They found out when one backed up not too long ago. The neighbors say inspectors tell them the septic tanks have many problems, such as faulty pipes and foundations.

"I've lost a lot of sleep not knowing how much it's still going to cost,” Becky Craig said.

Becky said the problem depleted most of her savings. It happened after husband became ill and they were faced with medical bills.

"It's an unforeseeable thing and none of us are rich,” Becky said.

The neighbors already spent thousands of dollars to have the problem assessed. Now, they've turned the city for answers.

City officials tell KIMA there is a problem with the septic tanks on Orchard Lane, but they just don't know who is responsible. Right now they're working to find out who will ultimately have to pay for it.

The neighbors and city officials say they want to resolve the problem. But, re-installing eight septic tanks can potentially costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For now, both sides are hoping it doesn't get to that point.
"I'm generally and optimist by nature but we're losing sleep,” Becky said. “Not knowing is the biggest thing."

City officials tell KIMA they’re waiting on the neighbors to produce necessary paperwork to continue working on the problem. Neighbors say the builder is also involved.