PLEASANTON -- Springhouse apartment residents have been without any running water after a main pipe broke Friday night. That means they have gone without showers, flushing toilets or brushing teeth for five days now.

Getting ready in the morning is a hassle.

Kent Nguyen, 21, usually bikes a few minutes to his office at Veeva Systems. The 354-unit complex is near BART and other corporate campuses. No water service has forced Nguyen to commute from a motel in Livermore, adding on a 30-minute drive and costing him $70 a night.

The Motel 6 in Pleasanton filled up quickly. Others too are being pushed to look farther away from home and work.

A woman uses a portable wash station next to a portable toilet at the Springhouse Apartments in Pleasanton on July 22, 2014. A watermain broke several days
A woman uses a portable wash station next to a portable toilet at the Springhouse Apartments in Pleasanton on July 22, 2014. A watermain broke several days ago, and residents have been without runninig water since. (Jim Stevens/Bay Area News Group)

"I waited to see how long I could go without water," said Nguyen, 21. "Turns out it's just a day. I just want the freedom to shower."

Residents are getting creative to cope. Some shower at gyms or work.

Jose Perez, 27, has 15 family members living in three units at Springhouse apartments. His Livermore home has become a revolving door for them to shower or spend the night.

To flush their toilets, tenants haul buckets of water from the swimming pool.

Olivia Forte, 39, has two young children, so using the portable toilets installed just Monday is not an option.

"We do two flushes a day, she said.

Forte said that the initial response was inadequate but management has become more forthcoming with information.


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"I would be more upset if this happens again later on and the same response was followed," she said. "I want them to learn from this and get a better response plan."

Water was scheduled to be up and running by 5 p.m. Tuesday, said manager Phillip Maes.

Residents still have raised eye brows.

Forte said that if management says she will have water in one day, she will plan for two.

Residents learned of the broken pipe after managers posted fliers on doors Friday. Frustration continued to build as residents said they felt like they were left in the dark.

The second flyer came Sunday, and the third flyer on Monday stated that there was no estimated time for competition.

"We had plumbers here on the weekends, but we had to have a specialist come out yesterday and today," Maes said Tuesday. "It was much beyond the scope of a regular plumber."

To ease tenants' comforts, management is providing drinking water and portable toilets and wash basins are stationed throughout the parking lots. Residents will not have to pay rent for the dry period.