Apartment residents left without water

Water faucet

June 16, 2010 9:00:15 PM PDT
Residents at a Roxboro apartment complex are without water, after the city shut it off.One of the incentives to living at Heritage Circle Apartments is that water is included with the rent. But with that comes hazards, like if the landlord doesn't pay the water bill, you won't have any water.

Residents of the 50-unit apartments say they knew it was coming since the City of Roxboro put up flyers on a few doors saying the water would be cut off Wednesday until the complex management "resolves their problem."

"We can't take a bath to go to work," apartment resident Trina Torain said. "We have babies here that have to have water for their bottles."

Torain says residents can't cook or do laundry, but worst of all is that they cannot use their toilets.

"It's just hideous for you not to be able to flush your toilet," Torain said.

And in the current heat wave there are also health concerns.

"You'll be dehydrated," resident Dorothy Allen said. "We need water."

Allen says she now realizes most of us take water for granted.

"You really don't know how much you need it until you don't have any and it's gone," Allen said.

Management at Heritage Circle tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that they've had a month long dispute with the City of Roxboro over water bills that have double and then tripled. They say last month's bill was over $4,000.

Apparently part of the problem is leaky pipes. The property manager says he dug one up himself, but says the City refuses to work with management of the apartments to try to keep the water on.

Residents say that's not their problem.

"If you're ten days late on your rent, you go to court," Torain said. "So what is there for us to do if he's late on the water bill?"

The Roxboro City Manager says water bills are not public record, so he can't talk about the history of payment. But he says the City has done all it can -- all it would do for anyone else -- to try to mitigate the problem and try to prevent the water from being turned off. He also says Tuesday when they put out flyers for residents they were kicked off the property.

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