Health department deems woman's burst septic tank ‘safety hazard' as renter waits on fix

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A renter in Lake County said her septic tank burst, leaving raw sewage all over her yard, but her landlord won't fix the problem.

Neaily Fowler said she spoke with Lake County Health Department officials who said they have opened an investigation and the spill is considered a safety violation.

Fowler said she found out about the hole after her grandson fell into it last week and hurt himself.

She said she realized the hole came from her septic tank, which she said burst and sent raw sewage leaking into her yard.

“It’s not healthy. It can’t be healthy,” she said.

Fowler said her landlord sent someone to put a piece of plywood over the hole and placed chopped tree branches on the top to keep the board in place, but hasn’t fully fixed the problem.

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Her fear is it’ll stay that way.

“They temporary fixes stay temporary forever,” she said.

The landlord said she has no resources to fix the problem.

“I just don’t have the money to do it right now and she knows that,” said Mary Harrelson.

“Do you think that it should be her problem as a renter that you don’t have the cash to fix the problem?” asked Channel 9’s Mike Manzoni.

“No,” said Harrelson.

Fowler said she hopes when the health department steps in, she’ll get a resolution.

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“They said that they would be out tomorrow to start the investigation,” Fowler said.

The health department said it gives landlords three weeks to fix a problem before it starts issuing fines.