CRAVEN COUNTY -

A Craven County homeowner faces a criminal charge for a failed septic tank that poses a risk to public health, according to the Craven County Health Department.

Deborah Guillory, of John Patt Road in the Brices Creek area, is charged with a misdemeanor sewage disposal violation.

The Guillorys have had since 2010 to fix the septic system and have not complied, according to the Health Department.  The septic system overflows, leaving exposed sewage above the ground, according to the Health Department.

Deborah's husband, David, spoke for the family.

"When it rains real hard" is when the problem occurs, Mr. Guillory said.

He said that he and his wife have been going back and forth with the Health Department for years on the location of the new tank.

His wife was charged because she technically owns the home.

"I've told the inspector over, and over, and over that we've had financial problems from the past two or three years," Guillory said.  He said those financial troubles have kept him from fixing the system.

He said that, with a recently-issued permit to install the tank where he wants to put it (the backyard), he will have the process completed within two weeks.

An employee of the Health Department said exposed sewage can pose multiple issues, including the possibility of an insect landing in it, then flying to a nearby barbecue and landing on the food.