Plumbing repairs in progress, residents may be able to stay at Southernaire Apartments

Southernaire Apartments were condemned due to "serious plumbing issues" /...
Southernaire Apartments were condemned due to "serious plumbing issues" / Source: (WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 4:50 PM EST
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Renters thought they would have to move out in 30 days because of a sewage leak, but repairs are continuing.

A Knoxville city official said on Friday there's a working, temporary sewer line at Southernaire Apartments.

He said the water is back on, but the owner will have to replace the sewer line in order for the condemned building sign to be removed.

The city said for now, the building is livable.

A property manager at Southernaire Apartments in South Knoxville said Thursday he cleaned up the sewage at the center of the property's problems.

WVLT News Ashley Bohle observed as lime was being spread on the property in order to help clean up the mess of leaking human waste.

The property manager said water to the building was shut off on Thursday for plumbing repairs.

WVLT News crews observed that porta-potties were present outside the apartments on Wednesday afternoon.

The City of Knoxville posted a notice on Tuesday saying habitation of Southernaire Apartments is "prohibited and unlawful" earlier this week.

The property owner said he did not know about the sewage problem until he got a call on Monday. He said he altered his vacation to take care of the issue.

City officials say the residents will not have to move if the plumbing repairs are completed and lime is used to help clean up the leak.

A notice was sent to residents saying they must vacate the property within 30 days, but the owner is advising residents to stay put.

The property owner said he is confident the tenants won't have to vacate the premises.

City Stormwater Engineers said each tenant received a fine because of the issue, but the property owner said he received a single $250 fine which he will be responsible for.

This is a developing story.

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