Plumbing repairs underway, residents may be able to stay in Southernaire apartments


The tenants thought they should move out in 30 days due to a sewer leak, but repairs are continuing.

A City of Knoxville official said Friday there was a working temporary sewer line at the Southernaire Apartments.

He said the water is back on, but the homeowner will need to replace the sewer line to have the doomed building panel removed.

The city has said so far the building is habitable.

A property manager at Southernaire Apartments in South Knoxville said Thursday he had cleaned up sewage at the center of the property’s problems.

WVLT News Ashley Bohle observed lime being spread on the property to help clean up the mess of human waste leaks.

The property manager said the building’s water was cut Thursday for plumbing repairs.

WVLT News teams observed that porta-pots were present outside the apartments on Wednesday afternoon.

The City of Knoxville on Tuesday issued a notice stating that housing at Southernaire Apartments is “prohibited and illegal” earlier this week.

The owner said he was not aware of the sewage problem until he got a call on Monday. He said he changed his vacation to fix the problem.

City officials say residents won’t have to relocate if plumbing repairs are completed and lime is used to help clean up the leak.

A notice has been sent to residents saying they must vacate the property within 30 days, but the owner is advising residents to stay on site.

The owner said he is convinced that the tenants will not have to leave the premises.

City Stormwater Engineers said each tenant was fined because of the issue, but the landlord said he was given a single $ 250 fine for which he would be responsible.

This is a developing story.

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