Lubbock woman finds hole full of sewage-smelling water in her kitchen, months later it still isn’t fixed

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — When Arlene Olson moved to Lubbock from Washington State back in May, she and her two kids were looking for a new start and a new place to call home.

However, just a few months after moving in, that all changed.

“Its just been a nightmare,” said Olson.

Olson said she came home one day in August and noticed water in her garage. She said she notified her Landlord but a few days later when workers came to work on the unit next door she asked them to take a look.

“They jackhammered up the floor in the closet in the garage to the pipes and they saw it wasn’t coming from the pipes but that it was coming from the ground,” said Olson.

They then decided to look under the floor on the other side of the wall, underneath her laundry machine.

“They jackhammered up the floor and saw the liquid and said it was too big of a fix and they needed to stop,” said Olson.

But since then, Olson said she’s been left with a standing puddle of sewage-smelling water, about 15 inches deep, in her kitchen.

“Its just gradually gotten worse,” Olson said.

Olson said she then had the city code administration come to her home and look into the situation. Since August she said the code administration has been to the residence three times and has cited the residence with two code violations: general plumbing system issue and plumbing system hazard. But the Code Administration has yet to condemn the residence.

On top of this she said for months her two kids, one who is special needs, have been in and out of the hospital all with respiratory issues.

After her daughter stayed in the hospital for a week, doctors sent a note home saying they felt certain the contents of the puddle were causing their illnesses.

But Olson said she doesn’t have the funds to move in to a new place.

“I have no where to go. I have nowhere in Texas to go,” said Olson.

So she’s moved much of her stuff to a storage unit and she and her family have been living in and out of the home, hotels, and their car.

“It’s not fair. It shouldn’t have ever been like this. Beside me, I don’t want another tenant to come in here and their kids get sick for months and not know where it’s coming from until — you see — its now 15 inches deep,” said Olson.

Olson said she feel helpless and is begging for help to get the situation fixed.

“If it’s not me and my kids it’s somebody else. It need to be fixed,” she said. “This is no way to do this.”

Olson’s landlord was unavailable for an on-camera interview but said he believes the issue is caused by a leaking pipe to the washing machine and not sewage.

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