Broward County

Sewer Backup Forces Partial Evacuation of Hollywood Beach Condo Building

15 units deemed unsafe because of sewage, wastewater backing up into ground floor homes

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Some residents of a Hollywood Beach condominium had to evacuate after a sewer line backed up into several ground floor units last week, creating an uninhabitable mess.

Mary Ann Tobias and her husband packed what they needed most from their Waterway Hollywood Beach Condo Monday and left home. Theirs is one of the 15 units that had to be evacuated after the sewer line backed up on Thursday.

“They said it was dangerous and there was raw sewage causing a sink hole in 113. We had to be out by 9 a.m. today," Tobias said Monday. "Here we are with our cat and belongings and here we go."

This isn’t the first time homeowners at The Waterway Building have dealt with sewer problems. One owner sent photos from a backup in her unit in September 2020. That’s when feces and filth covered the floor and the kitchen sink, got into every room in the unit, and had to be professionally cleaned.

The city issued a notice of violation in November of that year. When repairs weren’t made, the city put a lien on the property, fining The Waterway HOA $150 per day, every day until the sewer problem is properly fixed.

Some residents are frustrated because they say they don’t know what’s going on.

“The building isn’t safe, we don’t know anything what is really happening now,” said one woman who had to be evacuated.

The initial estimate for the repairs to be completed is three to four weeks. But the city says the plumber alerted them Monday that the water table is higher than anticipated and that may further delay his work.

Residents are hoping for the best.

“We’re going to a friends house right now and we will have to figure it out from there,” said Tobias.

On Monday, a city spokesperson said the building HOA owes $34,000 in fines. Once everything is fixed and the property is back in compliance, that amount can be negotiated.

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