'It's like a third world country around here': Woman describes sewage issues at SA apartment complex

Sewage contained human feces, tampons, sanitary napkins

A tenant at a Northeast Side apartment complex said she’s forced to hold her breath as she steps out of the front door. That’s because sewage is spilling into the grass and parking lot, and it’s been going on for some time.

SAN ANTONIO – A tenant at a Northeast Side apartment complex said she's forced to hold her breath as she steps out of the front door. That's because sewage is spilling into the grass and parking lot, and it's been going on for some time.

Jessica Burke lives at the Icon Apartments on Patricia Drive, she says she's complained to the management and city.

"It's like a third world country around here," Burke said as she stands in front of human feces, tampons, and sanitary napkins flushed down the toilet in her apartment building now spilling over into the parking lot.

A call to San Antonio's code compliance office revealed the city has been called about sewage spills three times in a year, with the latest occuring Saturday.

The city spokesperson said the apartment managers were given a 10-day notice to fix the problem and that an officer will check in the next couple of days. In August 2019 the city says the issues with a clogged line was cleared up and the case was closed, and in March 2018, the issues with the sewer were also fixed and the case was closed. 

The apartment manager told KSAT over the phone that they are working to fix the current problem, but the issue is caused by tenants dumping things like wipes, sanitary napkins and condoms down the toilet. Efforts to educate them on the matter have failed so far, the manager said.

In October, plumbers were called to unclog the lines six time. The units were built in 1975.

 "Spare me, spare everyone who lives in this place," Burke said. "When you are running an apartment complex you have to be on top of everything, and they are letting it go for so long."

She's also upset to see how apathetic neighbors are to the spill, some who are parking right on top of the sewage.

"They can't really event step outside their car without stepping in this stuff, I'm afraid that what we're stepping in is something," she told the KSAT crew.

While the KSAT crew spoke with her a maintenance person hosed off the feces and other matter into a nearby gutter, Burke doesn't think the real problem has been fixed yet.


About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.