Harris Co. sues apartment owners after residents report living with raw sewage leaks for years

Courtney Carpenter Image
Saturday, February 10, 2024
ABC13 Investigates: Harris County lawsuit reveals The Palms on Rolling Creek apartment residents lived with sewage leaks for years
A Harris County lawsuit against The Palms on Rolling Creek apartments revealed residents were living amongst E. coli-contaminated sewage for years.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine plumbing problems so severe you have to jump over raw sewage to get around your apartment complex.

That's been the years-long reality for people who live at The Palms on Rolling Creek apartments in north Harris County.

"It's very frustrating. You pay your rent every month on time and still have to deal with the clogged-up sewage lines. Sometimes the plumbing in our home don't work because the sewage is so backed up," one resident explained.

He says he has lived at the complex for about three years. He says each day he has to hop over raw sewage to take his daughter to and from school.

Residents ABC13 spoke with, who didn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation, tell us there are sewage problems all over the complex, and evidence from the county proves it.

Raw sewage covers the sidewalk outside Karen Williams' front door.

"I've been calling them, calling them, telling them come get this sewage out here. They don't send anybody. [They say they are] low on maintenance, they don't have enough people and all of that, but the bottom line is, [they] don't care about people," Williams said.

Harris County filed a lawsuit against the owners of this complex, Globix Palms Rolling, LLC.

The lawsuit states since November of 2019, Harris County Pollution Control has conducted more than thirty inspections of the complex and has handed down more than a dozen citations, only for the issues to still be happening.

In numerous inspections, the lawsuit says they found E. Coli in the active leaks and the standing sewage around the property.

Multiple attempts to reach the owners and the management of the complex went unanswered.

"Animals get treated better than they treat us here. We are humans. I need them to find Jesus and do the right thing," Williams said.

The wheels of justice can't turn fast enough for the folks dealing with this disgusting mess each day.

"You come live [here] and have to walk your kids to school and step over all this every morning. See how much you like it," one resident said.

There's some hope now this won't be their situation forever.

"It gives me some relief. To know that somebody really cares about what's going on here with us," Williams said.

ABC13 hears from a lot of renters in bad situations, so we wanted to know what it takes for the county to get involved.

In this case, county officials say they got involved because of the amount of violations and the number of people's health being impacted.

One lesson here is don't be quiet about the problems where you rent. You can report the problems to the City of Houston or Harris County through 311.

If you have a problem where you rent that you would like us to look into, fill out this form.

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