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2 days after evacuation, Maryville apartment residents can return home

2:49 PM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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Dozens of Maryville residents are now able to return home after city leaders evacuated their apartment complex earlier this week.

The city evacuated Foothills Crossing Apartments on Wednesday after codes inspectors found cross contamination threats to the water supply.

Contractors spent two days working to clear and repair the sewer lines.

Friday, city leaders got the results from tests that showed the water is safe, and residents are allowed to return.

Sewer service to one of the buildings is not yet fully restored, but the apartment owners arranged for a portable toilet to be brought in until that connection is made.

Previous story (March 3, 2013)

People living at Foothills Crossing Apartments in Maryville are sleeping in a Red Cross Shelter or in hotels Wednesday night.

"I'm wondering if there's sewage coming up in my water," said Barbara Augsbury, a Foothills Crossing resident.

The threat of contaminated water led Maryville city officials to evacuate all 36 units in the complex Wednesday afternoon.

"Police came around and knocked on all the doors and told us we had an hour to grab our necessities and get out," said Augsbury.

She didn't take the warning lightly. In fact, she had an idea it was coming. She called the city earlier this week to ask them to investigate the apartment's sewage system.

"Since Sunday my toilet has not flushed completely. So Monday morning, I got up and I was really, really unhappy," she said.

Baron Swafford, Maryville's Public Utility Director, said the investigation revealed "a cross connection hazard which could result in contamination of both the City water system and the apartments' water service."

They turned off the water to the complex which required them to evacuate the complex.

"It was necessary to cut the water off prior to the rains forecasted Thursday. Rain would have increased the likelihood of contamination in the water system and to the water source for the apartments,"

"It's scary because I already have health issues," said Augsbury.

Augsbury says she contacted her landlord about her concerns on multiple occasions and that's why she felt the need to call codes enforcement.

When 10News reached out to apartment management to ask when and if they planned to fix the problem, they hung up on us twice.

However, a plumbing crew on the property says they are working to fix the problem. They say that requires them to use a camera to see where and if the sewer is leaking. The city estimates it will take two days to complete the project.

For now, Augsbury will rest easy knowing she and neighbors are safe.

Previous Story

A Maryville apartment complex has been evacuated over concerns about water contamination.

City codes officials evacuated Foothills Crossing Apartments on Wednesday after an inspection turned up a water and wastewater contamination threat.

The city cut off water to the complex until a backflow preventer can be installed, and the complex's private water lines can be repaired. The apartment owner has to hire a contractor to do the work.

City crews estimate the project will take about two days to finish once it's started.

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