ShareThis Page
Residents of Vandergrift high-rise report ‘sewage-cicles,’ other plumbing problems | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Residents of Vandergrift high-rise report ‘sewage-cicles,’ other plumbing problems

Mary Ann Thomas
899367_web1_vnd-mcmurtryTow-301919
Courtesy of Westmoreland County Housing Authority
McMurtry Towers in Vandergrift.

Residents of McMurtry Towers in Vandergrift sent a petition to the Westmoreland County Housing Authority demanding that it do a better job of cleaning up a sewage-line break last month that reportedly formed “sewage-cicles” on the building’s front porch.

The sewage break in a second-floor apartment Feb. 8 caused raw sewage to go to other areas of the building, including the community room and front porch.

The Westmoreland County Housing Authority hired a plumber and restoration company to take care of the problem and found a new unit for the resident of the apartment where the break happened, according to Mike Washowich, the authority’s executive director.

The petition, signed by about 40 percent of the senior high-rise’s 100 residents, said the front porch area still has not been cleaned and disinfected.

Washowich disputed that claim, saying the restoration company had disinfected the impacted areas.

Resident Carole Trentin, 64, said, “It’s a slow process, and we’re still working to resolve everything.”

Trentin is one of several residents behind the petition drive. The sewage break happened in her daughter, Tammy Trentin’s, apartment.

Washowich said he is sympathetic to residents’ complaints noted in the petition about continuing plumbing and water-line issues.

‘We have the residents’ best interests in mind and are doing everything we can to fix the issues,” Washowich said. “However, fixing issues that are the result of an issue in a building more than 50 years old sometimes presents a serious challenge.”

The authority plans to repair and replace some plumbing lines in 2020. “In the meantime, we continue to address the issues to the best of our abilities. We ask residents to be patient and understand that issues happen in a building that is over 50 years old,” Washowich said.

Tammy Trentin is still living with her mother because her new apartment in the building has a foul odor caused by what she believes is a sewage or water issue.

“We are not bringing her furniture up there yet,” Carole Trentin said. “We’re going to wait until that smell is out of her apartment.”

Trentin said she hopes the authority resolves the problem soon because McMurtry Towers has otherwise been a great place to live.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.