Dirty pool causes big stink in Kingwood

May 8, 2009 7:44:44 AM PDT
The talk on one Kingwood street isn't the latest gossip. It's not who's moving in. It's what's causing a stink, literally. It's one resident's swimming pool, which is creating the buzz and it's bringing a lot of mosquitoes, too. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Norma Marlowe would like to spend more time in her colorful backyard in the Woodland Hills subdivision. Instead, her chairs are up.

"You can't enjoy yourself," she said.

A cup of coffee doesn't go well, she says, with what's breeding next door.

"They bug me. They bother me. They bite me on my face," she said.

Marlowe says her neighbor's pool has looked like this for years, black with algae and full of tadpoles...and who knows what else. Neighbors are fed up.

"The infestation of mosquitoes," said neighbor Denise Jennischi.

"Do you think it's a health hazard?" we asked.

"Oh yes."

The Houston Health Department agrees.

"The pool is a just a health hazard to the neighborhood. Also it's a mosquito breeding ground," said Porfirio Villareal with the Houston Health Department. "Any child could go up there and accidentally fall and we would never find him or her."

An investigator filed four citations Wednesday, punishable by up to $2,000 fines each to homeowner Nona Arthur. On Thursday, after we made some calls, the county's mosquito control and HPD's neighborhood protection stopped by. And we made our second attempt to try to talk to her.

"This has gone on long enough," said Marlowe.

Marlowe says she's tried everything. She hopes the attention and citations will finally work.

"How much does a little chlorine tablet cost?" she asked. "I will buy the thing for her."

All she wants is to enjoy her backyard.

Arthur has 30 days now to fix the problem or fill in that pool. She also has to face a judge on June 15 to answer to the citations.

The city of Houston has five investigators dedicated full time to pool maintenance to cover the thousands of pools in the city. They have been investigating this particular pool, but since we started asking questions, more agencies got involved.

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