Smelly problem in southeast Houston

May 4, 2009 3:22:13 PM PDT
Work crews are on the scene of a pipe break that caused a big sewage line backup at a southeast Houston apartment complex. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The managers at the Bellestone Villa Apartments on Stone and Wynbrook say they have been dealing with the mess for nearly a week.

"She just slipped and fell in the sewage water back there," said Anntryce Savage of her young toddler daughter. "Her whole dress is wet and she has dirt all over her and scars and stuff from falling over it."

Residents at the apartment complex have spent most of the past week trying to avoid contact with raw sewage. Looking at it is bad enough, but neighbors say it's the smell that's unbearable.

"The smell isn't pleasant," said resident Derrick Jones. "You walk out on the porch and we smell it. And it's not pleasant. You don't want to smell something like that when you walk outside for fresh air. It's not fresh."

The leak was first reported to the city by the apartment manager last Thursday. That day, the city came out and pumped the standing sewage out, returning Monday afternoon with repair crews. The Houston Public Works department says repair calls are prioritized and Monday was the scheduled repair day.

But for neighbors, waiting five days or five minutes, surrounded by raw sewage, is too long. Carla Savage doesn't like leaving her second story balcony.

"We have all this sewage water," she told us from her balcony. "When we park our car, we can't park in our spot because it's surrounded by sewage water. It's nasty. You don't want to get in that stuff and possibly get sick from it."

The repair work is continuing.

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