browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Parenting through the smell of dead sewage

Posted by on February 22, 2014

This is day 24 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 23: “Learn these 3 things free online”



The smell started Thursday

If anything has made me want to throw my hands and just give up on this 30-day blog challenge, it’s been today. Well, really it’s been the last 48 hours or so. Late Thursday evening my husband smelled something like sewer gas or a dead cat (poor dumpster kitties) coming from the sinks or the shower line. It was hard to say exactly where it was coming from, but it was bad enough to my husband that he called the emergency maintenance line. No one came.


Friday we went about our regular day, divided between my morning out of the house and my husband’s afternoon and evening out of the house. By the time he returned home from work (and no one had come from maintenance despite repeated calls in the morning), he was livid. I had been home all afternoon and though I smelled “it” I had gotten used to it. When the foul stench slapped him in the face as he returned home, my husband acted personally offended. He called the emergency line again.


Friday night maintenance agreed our apartment stinks

Around 9 p.m. the maintenance guy came to the apartment and acknowledged the disgusting odor. Our mounting concerns about the safety of the water that we both showered in and drank (we filter the tap water through a Brita pitcher, but it’s still tap water) made us increasingly nervous. And light-headed. My stomach is turning as I write this blog.


Though he looked under the sinks and around the property where the stray cats hang out, the maintenance guy found nothing. He even admitted that he peeked into the neighbor’s cracked window to check for a dead body. The smell is that bad. His suggestion was that something must have died, but he couldn’t find it and he couldn’t get approval for a plumber to come out until Monday.


Saturday the smell surrounds

The first thing my husband did this morning (Saturday) was to stop at the rental office and insist something further be done to figure out what the smell is. We needed a plumber to be called. One of the benefits of renting a place is the assurance that when something breaks or the place is uninhabitable someone will come fix it. And we shouldn’t have to have extra money to pay for these services. Well, this incident has made me wish we could just call a plumber ourselves and pay out of pocket just to feel like we had some kind of power in a seemingly hopeless situation.


After twice walking over to the rental office after my husband stopped in at 10 a.m., nothing had been accomplished. The same maintenance man who came to the apartment last night swore he called his supervisor and was waiting on a return call with approval to call a plumber. I watched “House of Cards” while the kids napped because I felt too dizzy and sick to my stomach to do anything productive.

Once 4 p.m. rolled around and my husband returned from work, we printed a dated letter to the management company saying we wanted a plumber called immediately. I have no desire to hire a lawyer and file a suit or even try to get out of our lease early. I would love to, but I just don’t have the time and energy. I know, though, if it comes to that, we need to have written documentation.


When to call 9-1-1

So, I handed my letter signed by my husband and by me to the lady in the leasing office and I drove to the grocery store. By about 4:45 p.m. my husband called to tell me he had called 9-1-1. They were on their way to determine if our apartment was subject to harmful gases or anything that would hurt the kids. The four firefighters who came said that they thought something died somewhere in or around the apartment. No gas levels or carbon monoxide were detected.


The leasing office finally got word from the off-duty supervisor who agreed to call a plumber. That plumber should be here by 9 p.m. but as it’s currently 6:27 p.m. I just feel sick, dizzy and helpless. And I don’t feel like blogging.


One Response to Parenting through the smell of dead sewage