For privacy reasons, the Marshallese residents affected by these sewer issues did not wish to be on camera. However, local activist Walt Kelly says after he saw the sewage with his own eyes, he had to speak up.
“Deplorable, I would describe it as you don’t want your kid getting hit by a car; you don’t even want to think about it. What I saw last night was things you don’t want to think about,” said Founder of The People’s Pantry NWA, Walt Kelly.
Kelly said last night the situation became so bad one of the apartments had inches of water in every room.
Springdale Water Utilities estimates this was a problem at Black Oaks Apartments for at least a week before it was reported. Kelly claims no one he speaks for wanted to speak up out of fear of retaliation.
“Somebody needs to; it’s one of those situations where people without power are kept down,” said Kelly.
Executive Director at Springdale Water Utilities Heath Ward adds when he arrived at the scene he wasn’t prepared for what he was about to see.
“In my eight years, it was probably the worst-looking situation I’ve seen in terms of landowner or landlord being negligent,” said Ward.
A scene that was so bad, it required immediate attention.
“So they needed to have certain things done by 4:00 p.m. yesterday, or we would have had to shut all their water off for public health issues,” said Ward.
Ward said the apartment complex should have the bad sewer line replaced by the end of Thursday.
However, this was a situation that was so bad that Springdale Water Utilities will be routinely following up.
A statement from Trinity Multifamily, who owns the complex, said, “we have no other reported maintenance issues for this apartment. We encourage all of our residents to utilize the many options for reporting maintenance issues as soon as they are noticed and allow us the opportunity to handle the issues in order of priority.”