Mobile home park residents near Elk Grove remain without clean water
At least seven residents in a mobile home park in unincorporated Elk Grove Township are without clean water after pipes froze and burst during last week's polar vortex.
While plumbers have been making repairs at Blackhawk Estates on Touhy Avenue since Monday, some residents say they have been without water for a week and a half. Others who do have water say it's discolored and coming in at low pressure.
"It's terrible trying to do dishes and everything," resident Jan Pragacz said.
Officials from Zeman Homes, which manages the park of some 500 homes, said as of Wednesday night, seven residences still do not have water while repairs are made to leaking pipes under their homes, and six homes are experiencing low water pressure. A boil order is in effect for the entire mobile home park until water samples are tested and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency gives its approval.
The problems began during subzero temperatures last week when a control panel on one of the park's two wells failed, according to Zeman Homes CEO Jeff Fannon. That affected water service for the entire complex, he said.
Last weekend, one of the park's two holding tanks froze. At least 60 residences reported having low or no water, while at least a dozen others experienced leaks under homes, Fannon said.
The low pressure could lead to some sediment coming through the pipes, he said.
The company is paying for repairs to pipes under homes, though Fannon said those pipes are residents' responsibility to maintain with insulation and heat tape.
Meanwhile, administrators from Elk Grove High School -- where about 125 students from the mobile home park attend classes -- spent Wednesday afternoon delivering cases of water to 44 homes reported to be without clean or flowing water at the time.
Those water bottles -- some 240 cases -- were donated and delivered to the mobile home park Tuesday night by the Illinois Beverage Association and Great Lakes Coca-Cola. That came after local elected representatives, including Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison and State Rep. Marty Moylan, visited the site Monday to call attention to the water crisis.
Zeman also purchased water for residents to pick up in the on-site management office, and worked with government officials to coordinate the water deliveries to affected homes Wednesday, said Marty McAlpin, district director for state Sen. Laura Murphy.
Pragacz, one of the residents who received a 24-pack of water bottles, said she now has some running water but the pressure remains low and it tastes terrible.
Another resident, Viviana Casique, said her water service was somewhat back in working order Monday, but it must run a long time to eliminate any dirtiness. She continues to exercise caution on behalf of her three young children and welcomed the donation of water.
"We let it run for a couple hours before we let them shower," said Casique, who bought a new trailer in Blackhawk Estates in October. "We're pretty shocked because it's our brand new home."
Some affected residents had reported taking showers and receiving drinking water from the Des Plaines Mobile Home Park just to the west on Touhy Avenue.