IRVING, Texas - The city of Irving may take enforcement action against apartment owners who don't provide temporary housing for their residents.
Some complexes shut off water entirely, leaving people without it for more than a week.
Shalonda Reaves is at her breaking point of living without running water.
"I can’t have a hot shower. Sure, I could boil water we purchased to take a bath that way," she said. "But we can’t run the dishwasher or wash our clothes."
Being the mother of an 11-month-old provides another challenge. Reaves can’t defrost her frozen breast milk. The money she's spent buying water is adding up.
"Over $100. If we see someone who needs it, I still help them," she said. "The office gave us 2 bottles of water."
Reaves is especially frustrated at the lack of communication from Bridgeport Apartments.
"I can be very understanding, but you have to talk to me."
In a statement to FOX 4, apartment management staff said: "We have been working around the clock to support our residents, providing water and meals, and securing equipment, parts and plumbing crews from as far away as Tennessee… We’ve extracted water and dried the units that flooded… Our goal is to have the water back up and flowing to the entire property as soon as possible."
The only water around the apartments is in the swimming pool. The complex has told residents they can use that water to flush toilets.
Teresa Adrian, the city of Irving's director of code enforcement, is not impressed with that option.
"When someone is told get a bucket and dip it in the water so you can flush your toilet, that is not the answer," she said.
Adrian said on Monday there were 46 apartment complexes without water. That number is down to 18.
"We still have communities without water for 10 days plus," she said. "We’re very concerned about that."
Adrian says the city has an ordinance that requires apartment owners to relocate residents to temporary housing if they cannot provide essential utilities for 24 hours. One complex has already done that.
Complexes that don't comply could face a fine of $500 to $2,000 a day per unit without water.
"If we have a company not doing anything and not working on repairs or relocation of residents, we will ramp up enforcement," Adrian said.
If you have a water or repair issue, the best thing to do is call your city's code enforcement department. They will then put pressure on your apartment complex or landlord to solve the issue.