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Resident seeing results after apartment was flooded with sewage

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 07:07:51-05

PHOENIX — A Phoenix resident living with sewage water leaking under her floor now has a new place to live.

Apryl Gastelum lives at Highland Park Apartments near 27th and Glendale avenues. She said sewage water leaked from her bathroom and into her bedroom, destroying personal items and leaving a horrible smell.

Gastelum said a leak on Christmas Eve was so bad that her two children had to leave and stay with an older sibling.

On Monday, ABC15 helped Gastelum file a complaint with the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services. Tuesday morning, the Department sent an Environmental Enforcement Specialist to her apartment, according to Gastelum.

"Nothing was done the way it should have been done," said Gastelum.

In that time, managers at Highland Park fixed a crack and root damage to plumbing near Gastelum's apartment. A spokesperson with Trans Pacific Asset Management said the issue with Gastelum's plumbing has been resolved, and they are dedicated to providing a clean and safe living environment.

"The toilet was currently flushing so they didn’t have somebody out to fix that so they at least cleared the line," said Ryan Gentry, Environmental Enforcement Specialist with Maricopa County. Gentry said that because the toilet flushed and there is no immediate issue, he did not issue a violation to the apartment complex.

Thursday, Highland Park Management apologized to Gastelum for the issue, refunded her December rent, and is moving her to a different apartment within the complex.

"I'm so happy to leave 2019 behind, that's all I know. I'm so excited I screamed when I got off the phone I was like 'Yes. this is over,'" said Gastelum.

Gastelum's 13-year-old son has also moved back into the apartment.

If you are a tenant that needs county assistance, call the Maricopa County Department of Health Services at 602-506-6616.