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E. coli hits Spokane Valley mobile home park's water well

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - E. coli has hit the Pinecroft Mobile Home Park's water well, leaving dozens of families without clean water for the foreseeable future as property managers work to figure out what caused the contamination.

It's been five days since the E. coli warnings were posted on units and the residents affected say they still aren't getting the answers they need. While property managers tell 4 News Now they're doing everything in their power to fix it, the men and women at Pinecroft feel like there's no end in sight.

"Here it is: you've got 130-something homes using that water," said Navy veteran Mick Janssen, who's called Pinecroft home for the last two years. "We were to go ahead and bathe, but we weren't supposed to wash dishes or cook with it, supposed to boil the water in order to drink it. And it's just been an ongoing thing over the holiday."

Mick is one of many who's been left to pick up the slack. He's been buying cases of bottled water so he can take down his medication -- and while it's a cost that may seem small to some, it can add up fast.

"I'm 70 years old, so you know, my income doesn't go up because of the fact that we've gotta buy bottles of water," Mick said.

Property managers, who declined a request for an on-camera interview with 4 News Now, say they're not sure what's to blame -- either a contamination at neighboring properties or electrical problems in the pump house. They told 4 News Now over the phone Monday it could be up to two months before the park's water is safe to drink. In the meantime, they're asking residents like Mick to boil their water -- or just avoid using it altogether.

"I'm very shocked that it's taking so long," said Mick's son Terry, who lives in Post Falls. "It's extremely frustrating. Me, myself, if I lived here, I probably would've already moved. That's how frustrating it is."

Coincidentally, Mick will get that chance soon. He's set to sell his unit, ready to leave Pinecroft and its water behind.

"You know, they're getting out while the mess is still here and they're some of the lucky few that can do that," Terry said. "While others, you know, they're not gonna be able to get out."


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