'I have to use a bucket': Spring Branch family's plumbing problems remain unresolved

ByShelley Childers KTRK logo
Friday, February 23, 2018
Sewage issues forcing Spring Branch family to using toilet
EMBED <>More Videos

Sewage issues forcing Spring Branch family to using toilet

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Schuhmann family in Spring Branch tells us their city plumbing is so bad, they haven't thrown toilet paper down the toilet in two years. Instead, they throw it away in garbage.

But over the past two weeks, they say it's gotten much worse.

"It's really hard when you can't shower, wash clothes or do dishes, or just have a normal family life," said Judy Schuhmann as she wiped away tears.

She says she is frustrated and angry with the city of Houston.

"I've been calling the city since February 10th and I can't seem to get anything done," she said.

According to Schuhmann, a sewer main in her neighborhood is backed up. Eyewitness News took a look at the plumbing access in her backyard, where standing water fills the line.

Too afraid of sewage backup in their house, she and her husband stopped putting anything down the drain.

"If I have to go to the bathroom, I have to use a bucket," said Schuchmann. "And if I have to do a number two, I have to go to Costco or Lowe's or HEB or a relative's house."

She's called the city's 311 hotline five times in nearly two weeks. The status of each case reads "closed."

Eyewitness News pressed for answers. The city sent this statement saying, in part, "The 'closed' note in 311 refers to the group that performed the task (i.e. inspection, cleaning, bypass), not the overall work order or project."

The city admits there is still work to be done at the neighborhood off Blalock and I-10. The city had a crew out Thursday, inspecting the line, and tell us they found two breaks in the sewer main.

The spokesperson for Houston Public Works, Alanna Reed, assured Eyewitness News that Ms. Schuhmann's sewer line issues will be resolved.

We're told it will take several days to fix the two breaks the found in the main.