The message Elk Ridge residents received from the property’s management at 9:30 a.m. Monday about their water service which has been shut off since 10 p.m. Saturday night. Courtesy screenshot
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Elk Ridge Mobile Home Park residents finally received a notice from management at 9:30 a.m. Monday concerning the fact that water to the entire property has been shut off since 10 p.m. Saturday due to a water line break.
The Los Alamos Reporter visited Elk Ridge again Monday morning and was greeted by multiple residents who expressed their anger, concern and frustration about the situation. Most have only heard by word of mouth from neighbors or on social media about what is going on. Some have been told that the parts needed to repair the broken line are unavailable until Tuesday and that the water service will not be restored until that then.
Meanwhile, individual residents have been driving around handing out gallon jugs and bottles of drinking water to their neighbors. The American Legion Post 90 at 1325 Trinity Drive is opening its doors from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the Veterans of War Post 8874 at 1783 Deacon Street is opening at 2 p.m. to provide water for anyone who wishes to fill containers. Members of the community are welcome to drop off bottles of water or empty jugs that can be filled and distributed to people in need.
Elk Ridge residents are asked to check on their neighbors and make sure they know that they can go to the two locations above to fill containers.
Los Alamos County Public Utilities spokesperson Julie Williams-Hill notified the Reporter at 12:45 p.m. that the Aquatic Center is opening from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. to allow Elk Ridge residents to shower at no charge and fill containers with water.
The water system at Elk Ridge is privately owned by Yes! Communities, which owns the mobile home park, therefore Los Alamos County officials say they are unable to address the situation. There are no shut-offs between the homes and the main lines so whenever there is an issue, water to the entire property is shut off. Residents have reported that there have been many times in the past where water was shut off for periods of time. There are reportedly multiple types of pipes on the property which complicates the repair issue.
Deputy Department of Public Utilities Manager Jack Richardson said Monday that DPU staff provided the Elk Ridge maintenance manager with parts in an attempt to help fix the break but without success. Richardson said it was his understanding that parts would be sought in Albuquerque Tuesday.
Asked about fire protection at Elk Ridge with the water shut off, Richardson said the fire hydrants on the property are privately owned and have had insufficient water pressure for years to operate. He said there are new hydrants that belong to Los Alamos National Laboratory on East Jemez Road that are within 200 feet of the property.
The Los Alamos Reporter has left messages at the local numbers and a corporate number for Yes! Communities. The on-site office is closed and residents have reported that the maintenance manager who is working on the line repair, is the only one giving them any information. Residents reported Monday morning that the phone number for the “community manager” for the property is no longer in service and that emails to her are now “undeliverable”.
Watch the Los Alamos Reporter for updates on the situation.