After three days without running water, over a hundred residents on Sabado Tarde Road can bathe again after crews repaired a broken sewage line Wednesday afternoon.
Most of those affected by the collapsed sewage line live in the Laguna Apartments, a complex owned by KAMAP Property Management, located on the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde. The main sewage line that runs down the street collapsed Monday morning as a result of erosion and overuse, a county technician on the scene said. Because residents were unable to flush their toilets while maintenance crews were repairing the damaged line, the county temporarily provided them with four portable toilets outside the complex.
Because the Sabado Tarde line was nearing the end of its life span, the technician, who would not give his name, said county employees handed out notices to several of the apartment complexes on Sabado Tarde urging them to conserve their water until a new pipeline could be laid.
“The complex used up too much water after we handed out notices telling them to conserve it,” the technician said. “What happened was that the pressure on the pipe couldn’t withstand the pressure of the water, and so the pipe collapsed, and because of that, what should have been a three-hour job has taken over three days.”
Although tenants had no access to water during the three days, KAMAP maintenance director Dan Straub said only one of the apartments was seriously damaged.
“One of the lower apartments had sewage overflow into the hallway, bedroom, and living room,” Straub said.
Straub said he and his crew are currently installing new carpet and replacing most of the tile in the apartment, a project that will take approximately two days to complete. KAMAP Manager Michael Pinter said the damages will cost the management company over $800.
KAMAP’s Laguna Apartments were not the only building affected, however – the apartment complex across the street also experienced water problems as a result of the broken line, Pinter said.
“The main sewer line runs down Sabado Tarde, and each complex or house on the street has a line leading to the main one,” Pinter said.
Levi Felix, a junior psychology major who lives across the street from the Laguna Apartments, said his water has been turned on and off several times since Monday morning.
“Midway through my shower the water just stopped,” Felix said. “Its kind of a shitty situation, no pun intended.”
Although the county notified the tenants, Pinter said, KAMAP was never notified that the pipes were going to be removed.
“It was actually our tenants that brought to our attention that their drains were backed up and their water was turned off,” Pinter said.
Because KAMAP was forced to repair all damages as a result of the flooding, Pinter said they hope to be repaid.
“We are going to attempt to see if the county will reimburse us,” Pinter said.
The county sewage technician said other Isla Vista residents should expect similar repairs to be made to their sewage lines. He said the Santa Barbara County Department of Water and Sanitation will have to replace 63 sewage lines in the county, 12 of those in Isla Vista, but he could not say when the repairs will take place.
“I just urge all other Isla Vista residents to take the notices seriously or else another situation like this one will happen to them,” the technician said.