South Dallas tenants fear health hazard from sewage backup


DALLAS — Residents of a South Dallas apartment complex called News 8 after management allegedly failed to address gallons of smelly, dark water backing up on the property.

The city had already inspected 29 complaints regarding the Asante apartments this year.

“It smells like sewage,” said Keith Hamlet. “This is messing up my apartment.”

Every day for more than a month, Hamlet said he has had to remove the pipe underneath his sink to fill trash cans with black, sludgy liquid.

“Look at the water now; it looks like it’s molded,” he said. “I don’t know what’s coming up out of here.”

Hamlet claims the sludge seeps up from the ground and floods his apartment. “If you come when it really hits, you would say, ‘Oh my!'”

Blankets and trash cans barely contain it the unwanted ooze. “It’s slopping, slopping wet — about this much water on the floor,” Hamlet said.

Neighbors upstairs say it’s a health hazard. “The water’s dirty, rusty,” said Janice Thompson. “Go try drinking some; it’s awful, got a taste to it. I don’t know what kind of taste it is.”

Apparently no one knows the source of the problem, including Asante apartments management. Jenean Hardman claims they pointed fingers at the city.

“Finally, when she did come over here, all she could say was, ‘Uh-oh… where do you think its coming from?’ What do you mean, ‘where’s it coming from?’ That’s your job!”

But when News 8 approached apartment manager Monica Hernandez to discuss the problem, she seemed surprised. “I haven’t had any phone calls of anybody complaining about any overflows,” she said.

News 8 contacted the city’s wastewater management department, and they immediately sent crews to investigate the property. They discovered the city’s main sewer line was running okay, which means the Asante complex is responsible for the murky water problem.

That means tenants are stuck until someone fixes it.

Jenean Hardman is fed up. “We’re looking for somewhere else go,” she said.

Code inspectors also uncovered substandard leaking ceilings and air conditioning problems at the complex. tenants should call 311 to report any other problems not resolved by management.


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