NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The operators of a local mobile home park are at odds with the city of Norfolk over something we all need — water.
And for nearly two weeks many residents have dealt with little or no water pressure.
Now there’s a blame game going on for what’s causing the issue. We don’t know where this story is going, but it is clear the city of Norfolk is telling the mobile home park owners and operators the next move to fix the low water pressure problem is theirs.
“That’s because it’s a vacant trailer,” says Jon Muske, who has lived at Smitty’s Mobile Home Park on Newtown Road for four years.
Anger over low water pressure appears to have led to vandalism at the park.
Muske denies any involvement in vandalism, but admits he’s livid with low water pressure. The drips are just that, drips, as they come out of his kitchen sink.
“I’m coming up trying to do my dishes. No water pressure, both (handles hot/cold) that’s as much as you have,” Muske says.
In the bathroom, “it’s nothing. You can’t brush your teeth with that,” as he looks at the trickle of water coming out of the bathroom sink.
Muske then sits on the bathtub.
“I can’t take a bath. I can’t turn my shower on. There’s not enough pressure to come through the shower head. How do I take showers? I go to peoples’ houses.”
He ends up at the toilet. “This is my toilet flush. I don’t even have enough water to fill up my toilet,” he says.
It’s not only Muske, it’s Grace Neeson, too.
“And I had less than that for a week,” Neeson says as she looks at the drips of water coming out of her kitchen faucet. Neeson’s shower is not a shower, it’s drip, drip, drip.
Muske adds, “I am extremely frustrated. I’ve had it. I called the city. I’ve called you guys, and thank you for coming out to acknowledge something is going on because I’m not getting anywhere with the office.”
So we went with Muske to Smitty’s front office and met Sarah, who is assistant to the office manager. She would not give us her last name.
We reminded Sarah there is no water pressure in Muske’s trailer.
“You are going to have to talk to the city about that,” she said.
We did call the city and spoke with Norfolk Public Utilities Spokesperson, Harry Kenyon. “There were several water main breaks. There are house line breaks within the water lines of the mobile home park, and it is their responsibility to maintain their water lines,” Kenyon told us.
The City claims the mobile home park is required to maintain water mains to the trailers. Muske says he maintains his pipes underneath his trailer, but the water isn’t getting to him. Sarah told us, “The city came out here, and said there’s only 40 percent (pressure) for the entire Norfolk area.”
When we told Kenyon that he responded quickly.
“That is not true,” Kenyon said. “We checked the system up to the water meter, and we are providing them adequate service to their park.”
The city maintains Smitty’s has to repair pipes on its property to get pressurized water to the mobile homes.
As for Muske, he has held back most of his lot rent for January until Smitty’s fixes what the city says Smitty’s should.
“I’ve got kids out here,” Muske said. “My family is here. How am I suppose to wash my dishes? I can’t afford to go out and eat every night. I can’t afford to order pizzas. It’s hard enough as it is.”
We don’t know where this story goes next.
The residents we spoke to hope it opens a dialogue among residents and the mobile home park operator about improving pipes for the delivery of water to mobile homes, which in turn increases water pressure.