OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Record low temperatures led to bursting pipes and frequent water shut-offs, causing misery for many all over the metro area in the last several days.

It only exacerbated the already frequent water shut-offs and other plumbing problems that have persisted at one local apartment complex: Wedgewood Village Apartments, at 4101 Northwest Expressway near NW 63rd street in northwest Oklahoma City.

Brian Amon said his water slowed to a trickle on Friday and was completely off by Saturday, just before Christmas, leaving them without the ability to bathe, use their toilets or do dishes.

“We showed up to Christmas dirty and just asked to shower there. It was embarassing but our family understood,” he said.

Amon said he contacted hoping for an advocate to help his family get their water back on.

“I’ve looked around the complex and [couldn’t] see no plumber trucks or any evidence that they tried to do anything about this all weekend,” he said in an interview with KFOR Monday.

“You pay for service [in rent] that you aren’t getting [and] it gets frustrating,” he added.

The Wedgewood Village Apartments have been frequently criticized by renters, who claim water shut-off problems have been frequent within the last year, and apartment management has been slow or otherwise unwilling to respond.

“It just randomly shuts off. They don’t let you know,” continued Amon.

“They had told me that I that I should be lucky that I don’t have any slab leaks. And the little bit of water I do have, I should be very fortunate.”

During an investigation into the problem by KFOR in November, the property released a statement saying the property’s plumbing infrastructure requires water shut-off valves for the entire property to be cut off when repairs are needed.

State Representative for Oklahoma’s 93rd House District, Mickey Dollens said Oklahoma renters deserve housing that is both affordable and habitable across the state.

“That means having no mold, having no pest or rat infestations, making sure that there is hot water, that there’s heat in the wintertime, there’s air conditioning in the summertime,” he told KFOR.

“We’ve got to make sure that whenever these basic improvements, basic requests for improvements are going through that, that they’re met and that we hold these landlords accountable,” he added, while saying he is actively working to strengthen Oklahoma’s tenant protection laws in an effort to shield vulnerable Oklahomans, crafting a bill previously, that would allow tenants to be able to deduct one month’s rent off of the repairs according to the cost.

“That means having no mold, having no pest or rat infestations, making sure that there is hot water, that there’s heat in the wintertime, there’s air conditioning in the summertime,” Dollens said.

A statement addressing the latest water shut-off matter was provided late Monday by a metro public relations firm, on behalf of the Wedgewood Village Apartments:

“Below freezing temperatures have caused multiple breaks in the plumbing system at this property. We regret the inconvenience this has caused our residents, and we are working with our plumbers to repair the breaks as quickly as possible. The safety of our residents is our top priority.”

Dianne Reece 
Property Manager, Wedgewood Village

Representative Dollens said he’s pushing for anti-retaliation laws to protect renters who speak out about their living conditions; Oklahoma is currently one of six states without one.

“90% of landlords in Oklahoma are doing a good job for their tenants. It’s just these 10%, most of them from out of state, that are giving the rest of the landlords a black eye. And it’s really unfortunate,” he said.

In a message to KFOR Tuesday, Brian said water had finally returned, but with limited pressure, and with a new problem.

Whenever the upstairs toilet is flushed, it leaks through to the first floor.