Lubbock family displaced after raw sewage comes out of shower, toilet, sink


LUBBOCK, Texas — Raw sewage was leaking from faucets in an East Lubbock residence displaced a family earlier this week. One neighbor said Friday that he did not have any problems with his plumbing, but another said her water has smelled like feces for months.

Derrick Raybon, a senior pastor at Christ the King Church, said his family is facing financial hardship after having to pay for expenses related to this “devastating” situation.

“My wife is on maternity leave. We just had a newborn last week. It really is devastating because we [don’t] have a way to clean our children. The bathroom is inaccessible,” Raybon said.

He said that at first, the landlord blamed his family for the sewage leaking, which is why he had to pay out-of-pocket. However, his landlord has since had a change of heart.

The landlord contacted Raybon Friday, advising him to keep receipts because “this is a city issue. An issue with a major pipeline,” he said the landlord told him.

Thinking this might be a major pipeline issue, Raybon wondered if his neighbors are experiencing this problem too.

The neighbor a few houses down has not had any problems, but the woman who lives behind Raybon has.

“The past four to five months, when you turn my water on, it stinks. So, me and my kids don’t drink it. We just bathe in it,” Cora Phillips, a neighbor of the family said. “It smells like poop.”

Phillips owns her home, unlike Raybon who rents. About a year and a half ago, she replaced the plumbing system in her backyard. She first noticed the stench after a waterline in her area burst February during the winter freeze.

“I think they should check the water lines, and that’s something that I always thought that should happen because of the smell of the water,” Phillips said.

A plumbing company will perform a scope of the problem at Raybon’s residence Monday, but city officials have yet to schedule an inspection.

Raybon’s landlord agreed to pay for an extended stay hotel while they work on the problem, which Raybon said is a breath of relief.

Lowery Plumbing told KLBK News that if you are experiencing any problems like Raybon’s, do not use your water. It is recommended that you call a plumber or the city for help.

Raybon’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of being displaced and the out-of-pocket expenses they have paid for the incident, which Lowery Plumbing said can cost upwards of thousands of dollars to repair and sanitize.

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