Richmond family’s apartment flooded with sewage, says complex could have prevented mess

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A family in Richmond is struggling to recover after a wastewater flood inside their apartment caused them to have to throw away bags full of their belongings.

The family said management at the Residences at Brookside off of Hull Street Road should have stepped in before the plumbing situation escalated.

A thick layer of wastewater coated Georgette Dubon’s parents’ apartment in South Richmond earlier this week.

Feces was scattered around the space where they live.

“We shouldn’t have to deal with this at all. Nobody should have to deal with this,” Dubon said.

She said the problem began early Monday morning around 9 a.m. The toilet and bathtub both suddenly began filling and overflowing after a suspected sewage backup in the building’s pipes.

“It smelled like poop. That’s what it was. Poop everywhere. It was everywhere,” Dubon said.

The family had to grab a mop and a bucket to take the water outside, repeating the process for hours, because of the amount of backup that continued to come through the pipes.

Dubon said she called maintenance multiple times but couldn’t get help until hours later.

“We told him [the maintenance worker] what was happening, he was like ‘ok we’ll send a guy over’,” Dubon said. “But the guy didn’t come all day until three in the afternoon.”

Meanwhile, their belongings were getting saturated in wastewater.

“All of their [my parents] clothes, their beds, everything got wet,” she said. “This year alone it has happened three times”

But out of those three times, Monday’s incident was the most damaging.

Now, the water is under control. But their home is left a “smelly mess.”

“She’s [my mother] not one to complain but at this point this is her breaking point. She needs help.”

A spokesperson for the management company, Gates Hudson, released a statement Monday.

“We are certainly sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident with a sewage back up,” Stephen Gilbert said. 

He blamed the issue on a third party plumber hired to fix the problem and said the resident in the above unit used their water after being told not to.

“Our team called the plumber back out and had the residents floors cleaned last night.  We will work with the resident to rectify to the financial issues caused as a result of a third party plumber and resident above not following instructions provided,” the statement read.

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