For those of you who live in women’s housing, have you had the experience of having a swimming pool in your basement? I’m talking a full-sized pool with every component but chlorine. Sorry, you can’t go swimming though; it’s hazardous.
Sewage backup comprised of contaminated water, dirt, mold and unspecified, repulsive substances invaded our house’s basement for the second time three weeks ago. This is a serious issue in not only my house but in girl’s housing as a whole.
Coming home that night, I was shocked to see that this dilemma had arisen once again. As I walked past the trucks parked in my driveway and stepped into my campus house, I had no idea what was going on. Then I saw the numerous vacuum tubes venturing down into the basement pumping out seven inches of unknown matter and grimy water.
Maintenance and a local sewage company asked “How long have you had a pool in your basement?” and “Didn’t you notice the smell?” It’s a shame that my roommates and I were completely oblivious to the sewage because our house usually has an unpleasant odor anyway.
Thankfully, the sewage company has a system that can detect any stagnant water in a house. Due to the “leak detection,” maintenance was alerted. After the mess was finally cleaned up, the basement was disinfected which led to a nauseating, overpowering smell of chlorine for the following week. We then had to leave all our windows open so we wouldn’t have to directly inhale the fumes.
Also, because the contaminated water was tracked throughout our house’s upstairs carpet from the workers’ shoes, a carpet cleaning company had to clean our carpet.
The problem relates back to old clay pipes in girl’s housing and tree roots breaking and clogging these pipes. Being exposed to sewage/contaminated water is detrimental to students. A long-term solution needs to be put in place. If old pipes in girl’s housing were dug out and replaced by brand new ones, this would not be an issue. This subject is crucial and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. These are unsanitary and hazardous living conditions, and if left untreated this can lead to serious health problems and diseases.
This is not only toxic but also questions St. Charles code enforcement. The code enforcement for housing and buildings in the city of St. Charles says “the interior of a structure and equipment their-in shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a sanitary condition” (http://www.stcharlescitymo.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/CommonlyQuestionedCode/tabid/280/Default.aspx).
Health hazards from sewage are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. Diseases include: Gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and the intestine), Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), jaundice (yellow coloring in skin and the eyes), respiratory disorders such as occupational asthma, Weil’s disease (an acute feverish disease manifested by gastroenteritis and jaundice), Allergic Alveolitis (inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs) and additional infections of the skin and eyes.
This doesn’t even include the airborne mold spores that are circulating through the air. So please, fix this issue before it becomes worse. I would like to give a big thanks to one particular maintenance employee named Emo. He is always more than happy to fix the many problems in our house.