City-Parish pays a visit to Baton Rouge apartment complex after WBRZ report
BATON ROUGE - One day after WBRZ spoke with residents at Serenity Residences complaining of raw sewage on sidewalks and in parking lots, the city-parish sent an inspector to the complex Tuesday for the second time in several months.
"The mayor sent us additional information from your report from yesterday and asked us to investigate and see what we can do to get things fixed," Environmental Services Director Richard Speer said.
Wednesday afternoon, a local plumber could be seen at the complex. Apartment management says it appears the backed-up sewage can be blamed on a slew of items not intended to be flushed down the toilet.
"What they're finding is feminine products, condoms, tampons, as far as they've found full carrots," manager, Sammy Soro said. "They've found wigs stuffed down there, baby diapers."
Soro says he doesn't want to blame residents but says this problem appears to trace back to some living at the complex.
"It seems like there are tenants or even it could be just one tenant that is literally just putting down stuff that is ruining the quality for other tenants," Soro said.
When asked about why the sewage hadn't been cleaned up as of Wednesday afternoon, Soro said Tuesday's rain prevented crews from working on it and promised it would be taken care of immediately.
"I'll do it if I have to," Soro said. "That will guarantee to be done today."
Wednesday night, it appeared crews were working on cleaning up the sewage near the entrance of the complex.
After numerous residents told WBRZ it was nearly impossible to get in touch with maintenance crews, Soro was adamant the staff stays on top of any requests and reminded residents of the process to report an issue.
"We're almost [in] 2020 so we're very up to date," Soro said. "You have to put it in. It goes through the system and it gets to the maintenance worker."
Residents and staff at Serenity appear to be at odds over issues at the complex, but when pressed on if tenants are owed better, Soro says yes.
"Residents deserve to have a clean environment and a clean property, which we work on providing," Soro said. "Unfortunately like I said, things do happen."