In a pristine neighborhood with well-groomed grass there's a smelly problem towering over backyards: A landfill.
Homeowners in Ayersworth Glen say they signed a paper acknowledging they knew about the landfill in the neighborhood before moving in, but say it's causing more problems than expected.
“You can’t come out here and just walk because your feet will be all muddy and it's just a mess,” Caroline Walter said.
When it rains, neighbors say, wastewater from the landfill floods everyone’s yard.
“During closing I kept saying, 'Gosh there’s just so much water out back.' I was assured, 'Oh we’re going to level it out. It's going to be all great,'” Mark Gunter said.
Since his August move into the Wimauma neighborhood he said he and others have sent countless complaints to developers about the landfill.
They’ve also been in contact with the community development district that homeowners pay nearly $1,500 a year to maintain the property.
“We can’t mow part of our yard because this is literally a swamp,” Gunter said.
Gunter said he and others have complained to the county where he says he was told their yards weren’t graded properly.
The landfill itself is an industrial landfill managed by Progressive Waste Solutions.
To fix the problem the builder put up an easement, a pump and a drain with hopes to keep the water out, but neighbors say it hasn't worked.
“It did absolutely no good at all. It still floods when it rains. We’ve lived here since October and we don’t use our sprinkler system,” Walter said.
In addition to the smell, there’s concern the water is toxic. Neighbors don’t want their children or pets playing out back, and the trees are dead. Despite all this, land is being cleared nearby for more homes.
“It's my very first home, and they’ve completely ruined it for me. I love my house, but I don’t like what I’ve gone through,” Gunter said.
Residents are now considering filing a lawsuit against both of the builders, LGI and Ryan Homes.
The county says it wants to learn more about this problem.
We reached out to the builders and the managers of the landfill, but they didn't immediately respond.