Mobile Park Residents Left Thirsting for Clean Water

By Matt Porter

January 30, 2013 Updated Jan 30, 2013 at 7:33 PM EDT

Town of Conklin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Residents of Pride Manor Mobile Homes are frustrated and thirsty after five days of dirty or no water.

Park residents said a pipe leak on Saturday left them without drinkable water from their faucets.

Daniele Kraske said living without water has been tough on her and her family.

"The kids and I," Kraske said, "We haven't had a shower in days and I can't tell you how many days, and it's embarrassing to have to say that."

Kraske has been using bottled water for everything including giving her two kids sponge baths.

"I had to call my son's school and tell them, he's not being neglected," she said, "He just can't have a shower because I have no way to give him one."

On Monday, Kraske and other residents received a notice from the owner reporting an interruption in service due to a leak. And, that residents were using too much water.

The notice said nothing about the still dirty water, if clean water would be offered or when the problem would be fixed.

Ron Feringa, her neighbor and father-in-law, said it's not his first dirty water experience in the park.

"I can't even brush my teeth in the morning, the water gets stinking so bad it made me puke," Feringa said. "That's how bad the water gets in this park."

New York law considers four hours or more of interrupted water service a public health hazard.

When that happens, the Broome County Health Department asks the property owner to provide a gallon of bottled water per person per day.

Something Kraske said hasn't been delivered.

"It gets very frustrating when you talk to people in an office and they tell you somebody is out there doing something right now," she said. "And when you go out to look, there's nobody out there."

The owner Robert Kurens was on site with contractors, although he refused to talk on camera.

He confirmed he contacted the county for help on Tuesday; three days after the initial leak.

Kraske was upset at the time it's taken to get the leak fixed.

"I'd like to see him drink this water. I'd like to see him tell his kids that they have to take a bath in this water," she said, "Tell me that this water's drinkable."

Despite almost finishing her five years of payments on her mobile home, Kraske plans to find a new place to live.

As of Wednesday, the water leak was found and being repaired.

The Broome County Health Department reminds anyone to talk to their property owner first.

And if a person feels their property owner hasn't been responsive, they can then call the Health Department directly about the problem at (607) 778-2887.