Mobile home park residents dealing with a months-long E.coli con - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mobile home park residents dealing with a months-long E.coli contamination

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MILTON FREEWATER, OR - People living in a mobile home park outside of Milton Freewater have been without clean drinking water for the past five months due to an E.coli contamination.

One of the people living in the Locust Mobile Village told us that he's in the process of moving out right now, but for others who can't afford to move, they're buying gallons of water at a time not knowing the next time they'll have clean drinking water.

One of the residents I spoke with also told us he keeps getting notices that the water is safe, and then a few weeks later he gets another notice issuing a boil-water alert.

"They come by and say we have to boil the water," said Doug Powell, Locust Mobile Home resident. "They tell you at one point that it's safe to drink and then later on the say its not safe again. I wish they would make up their mind. We had to buy a bunch of gallons at the store."

Powell has no idea why the water has been contaminated for months at a time or what the owner is doing to fix the problem.

Nancy Shaw, owner of Locust Mobile Village near Milton Freewater says E. coli has been a problem in the park's well for years and she is doing all she can to combat it.
Shaw says she has been treating the water with lots of chlorine, but the chemical is beginning to erode the water storage tanks.
In the meantime, the park's 40 residents must buy drinking water by the gallon. They say the chlorine-treated water is harsh on their skin.
Shaw says she is accumulating state fines but that testing and monitoring the water is expensive. She says raising rent to pay for it would drive out the tenants.

While some people are able to move, others say they can't afford it, so they're doing what they can do get by.