After coming close to a state-ordered shut-off of the tap water in Arbor Glen Mobile Home Park in Klamath, a deal was struck Wednesday to allow the park’s owners to keep the water flowing while a permanent solution is sought.
Arbor Glen’s owner, Fred Stockett, has been under pressure from the state after he switched the park’s water source from Redwood Park Community Service District, which the park had used for decades, to an on-site well without state permits or approval.
After several tenants said they became sick and the new water source tested positive for total coliform (a bacteria indicating contamination) some tenants filed a lawsuit against Stockett in small claims court. Others have withheld their rent payments until a solution is reached.
On Aug. 6, the California Department of Public Health issued a cease and desist order to Stockett that said he must stop operating the public water system he created immediately.
The letter stated that Stockett received a permit application package July 6, but he had not submitted the necessary information except for coliform test results.
“The individual must shut down his well and treatment facilities, which made his mobile home park a public water system,” said state public health officials. “The only viable solution is to reconnect to the previous source of drinking water — the Redwood Park CSD public water system.”
Redwood Park officials have stated that they will not communicate with Stockett until he pays off $9,000 in debt he has accumulated over months of not paying the park’s water bill. Stockett has stated that he has no intentions of reconnecting to Redwood CSD.
When Stockett delivered a notice to tenants that he would be shutting off the water this week, tenants said they became concerned that they would not even be able to flush their toilets. Drinking water needs have been fulfilled recently by an on-site potable water truck provided by the Yurok Tribe.
On Wednesday, the two separate state agencies addressing the water system issues at Arbor Glen worked out a plan to keep the water flowing — if even just for sewage — until a permanent solution is found, state officials said.
The Department of Public Health will not force Arbor Glen to shut down its water system while it still has time to comply with a “final compliance order” from the Department of Housing and Community Development. That order, issued to Stockett on July 26, says the park has 35 days to provide a permanent solution for the tap water system.
If the park does not comply with the order by Sept. 1, HCD will suspend its license to operate the park and file a criminal complaint, state officials said.