Mesa families fed up after sewage backups

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Some residents at a Mesa apartment complex say plumbing problems are creating a nasty situation. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Some residents at a Mesa apartment complex say plumbing problems are creating a nasty situation. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Meghan Gray said raw sewage was everywhere due to the backed up pipes. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Meghan Gray said raw sewage was everywhere due to the backed up pipes. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Gray said the sewage situation had been going since Christmas time. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Gray said the sewage situation had been going since Christmas time. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The City of Mesa sent a crew out to clean out the pipes. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The City of Mesa sent a crew out to clean out the pipes. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The City of Mesa wants to remind people there is help available for these situations. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The City of Mesa wants to remind people there is help available for these situations. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Residents at a Mesa area apartment complex are fed up after dealing with multiple sewage backups into their apartments and not being able to use their water as a result.

"I walked in. All I could smell was this deathly odor and I was like, 'Oh my god!' So we went into the bathroom and it was everywhere, all through my toilet, all through my kids' clothes," Meghan Gray said.

What she found was raw sewage. 

Gray says that disgusting discovery was on Christmas night.

The property managers of the four-plex near University and Gilbert have sent out a few different plumbers but the backups continued and it's not just affecting Gray's unit.

"When the plumbing backs up, it floods the downstairs unit so the upstairs units and two units next to us can't use any water at all because it floods them out worse," said Valerie Crouch, who lives upstairs.

Both women say the various plumbers who have come out told them tree roots from an old stump in the yard could be causing the backups and that the stump needed to be removed.

Meanwhile, the backups continued.

"I'm stuck living in it. I can't afford to pay for a hotel so we're just stuck without water. My kids are going without," said Crouch.

"I have two kids so we'd have to wake up early and go to Circle K, all four of us, to use the bathroom," Gray said.

With frustration mounting and sewage still periodically flowing, they reached out to us.

A woman with the property management company confirmed there have been some plumbing problems but assured us they were being taken care of and that the water was safe to use. She also said everything should be resolved on Saturday with the removal of the tree stump. That was on Friday.

With issues still persisting on Monday, we called again and she hung up on us.

That's when we contacted the City of Mesa to see if there was anything they could do.

They sent a crew to assess the situation.

"Because this is somewhat of an emergency situation, we're just going to go ahead and clean out the line for the residents," said Kathy Macdonald, who is the public information officer for the Water Resources Department.

The City says it looks like a grease clog might be the culprit and they will follow up with the property owner to talk next steps.

Gray and Crouch are hopeful this will be the final fix. 

Meanwhile, the City of Mesa wants to remind people there is help available for these situations.

"We certainly don't want people living with sewage backing up into their homes. Obviously,  it's a public health issue. They should call our emergency number. It's available 24/7," said Macdonald.

That number is (480) 644-HELP or (480) 644-4357.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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