Sewage Backups Lead to Clash in San Jose Trailer Park

Trailer Park Owners Deny Crappy Situation

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    When sewage ran freely in the streets -- and in the bathtub, and in the shower, and on Christmas Eve last year -- it was time for residents of the 90-unit Western Trailer Park in San Jose to call the manager.

    When the manager didn't call a plumber in time to please about 40 residents tired of all the crap, they called in city and state officials, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    Government has yet to take any action, so the residents called a news conference Wednesday to air their grievances. That grates on park owner Ki Hyong Ellis, and park manager Jose Herrera, who told the newspaper that $15,000 has been spent on upkeep in recent years and all complaints are answered timely.

    Adding to the trailer-park he-said she-said, the residents turned against Herrera "two or three years ago" when he began enforcing health and safety laws, he told the newspaper. When he began issuing written citations for dirty spots or other violations, about 25 of the trailers "turned against him," the newspaper said.

    The trailer park owners admit there's a drainage problem during the rainy season. The particularly foul Christmas incident occurred last year in Eva Torres's trailer, she said.

    Sewage with "pressure" behind it came up through the shower drain and the sink, said Torres, 51, who said the sewage soaked her shoes and her clothes.

    "I had to sleep in that trailer with sewage," she told the newspaper.

    Nearly a year later, the trailer park owners say her trailer's been professionally cleaned and the floor replaced -- but not in time to stop the trailer park residents from airing their dirty laundry, so to speak, in public.