OKC Renter Grapples With Sewage-Filled Basement


Saturday, December 17th 2011, 8:22 pm
By: News 9


Chris McKinnon, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Every time the Browns take a shower, flush the toilet or run the faucet, raw sewage seeps up from the basement floor. They are living in unsafe conditions, according to Cullen Brown, and it could pose a danger to their health.

"I noticed it bubbling up through the drain and that's when I knew it was something more than just a leak in the faucet," explained Brown. He lives inside the home on NW 23rd Street with his wife and daughter.

Raw sewage has leaked into the Brown family's basement for more than a week. Brown said the sewage is six inches deep in some areas and the smell is overwhelming.

"If I'm out of the house for any amount of time, as soon as I walk through the door, it just, it hits me," said Brown. "It's disgusting and it needs to be fixed.

Saturday Brown said the smell and look of the sewage is not his main concern right now. He had a health inspector come to check out the mess.

"They've told me that it is unsafe. It could potentially be a health hazard," explained Brown. "I don't even know if my wife and I should be sleeping here.

Brown's daughter has already been working on finding a place to stay with friends and family until the problem is fixed. They said since the sewage started seeping into their basement, eight plumbers have been out to assess the problem.

"They walk to the basement stairs and look down," said Brown. "They say the sewer line needs to be replaced. They give her an estimate and a couple of hours later my doorbell rings again with another plumber."

The Browns' landlord told News 9 Saturday that work will begin on Monday morning, but Brown isn't convinced it will happen.

"We did have one plumber that came out to give her an estimate tell us, ‘I was here with my equipment one morning ready to go and she called me off.'"

But Brown's landlord said she has tried to fix the problem before. She said the companies she had called are all too busy. She then gave her word that work would start on Monday to replace the pipe and clean up the mess.