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Utility fined for sewage overflow in Geist neighborhood

August 9, 2013

The state has stuck a local utility with a $5,250 fine following a sewage overflow in an upscale neighborhood on Geist Reservoir.

Hamilton-Southeastern Utilities Inc. in Fishers also agreed to set up more stringent maintenance and emergency-response policies, according to documents the Indiana Department of Environmental Management released Thursday.

The agreement, signed July 15, was in response to a sewage overflow last December in the Intracoastal at Geist subdivision. Real estate listings in the neighborhood range between $300,000 and $500,000.

Environmental inspectors and the company believe vandals might have broken a pump in a manhole. Sewage spilled out and had such a strong odor that neighbors called the gas company, thinking there was a gas leak.

It was at least the third time the manhole had overflowed since 2009. One incident pumped out 25,000 gallons of sewage.

Environmental regulators weren’t worried about the sewage entering the nearby reservoir. They took more issue with the fact that Hamilton-Southeastern did not have a 24-hour emergency hotline and that the company did not report the overflow within the mandatory two-hour window.

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