Life is returning to normal for Tranquille Road residents who relied on portable toilets and bottled water for eight days while their homes' sewer system was replaced.
The main emotion residents of the 18 units at 2680 Tranqulle felt Thursday morning was relief as toilets could be flushed and dishes washed.
"We've already done dishes and used the toilet," said Trish Rhode, who has lived in the complex for six years.
Rhode is confined to a wheelchair and unable to use the portable toilet landlord Jerome Lidster provided. Instead, she used her apartment's toilet like an outhouse for the duration of the ordeal.
But she appreciates that Lidster provided all of his tenants with bottles and jugs of water for cooking, cleaning and washing.
"It hasn't been easy at all. I am so worn out, but I am so relieved," said Rhode.
The complex's sewer system backed up a week and a half ago. Lidster hired Mr. Rooter to come and look into the situation. Grant Andersen, who did the backhoe work on the project, said plumbers unsuccessfully tried to clear the blockage.
"It turns out there was a huge hump in the line and everything was backed up into it," said Andersen.
Further investigation revealed all the lines into the apartments were installed backward and sewage flowed toward the homes instead of away. Andersen said a blockage in the City sewer line beneath Tranquille was also discovered.
Lidster said Andersen and Mr. Rooter did an exceptional job given that his entire sewer system needed to be replaced. All the earth in front of the residences was dug up, as well as a portion of the front drive and yard.
Rhode said there was a huge hole in the ground and no way for people to drive in or out, which was inconvenient but unavoidable.
She said the problem was apparent when she first moved in, as the parking lot was sinking then, noting a different landlord ran the place at the time.
A City crew cleared the blocked line beneath Tranquille on Wednesday night.
Manager Natalie Howard said most of the tenants weathered the ordeal well. Only toward the end did the strain of living with no water get to some.
"We're all glad it's over," she said.
Tenant Susan Swift wonders what will happen next, if residents might be offered a deal on their rent, for instance, after surviving for eight days without water.
Rhode, who lives on a fixed income, hopes her rent doesn't go up to pay for the repair bills.
Lidster told The Daily News he will do what he can to help his tenants.
"Once the smoke clears, I'll evaluate the situation and see what I can do," he said.
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