Local News

Trailer Park Well Contaminated; City Water Tapped

Posted September 18, 2007 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2007 10:16 a.m. EDT

— A well that provides water to a mobile home park south of Wake Forest is contaminated, and the problem could force the owner to close the development.

The state Division of Environmental Health has found high levels of combined radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element that is usually found near uranium deposits, nine times in the past two years in the well that serves Ponderosa Mobile Home Park.

Consuming combined radium over several years has been known to cause cancer, state regulators said.

Raleigh has granted the trailer park, located off Capital Boulevard near New Falls of Neuse Road, an emergency tap into the city system to provide water to the 75 residents.

Trailer park owner Rusty Kelly said he was aware of the contaminated well water and said he had notified tenants of the problem and encouraged them to use bottled water.

But Karen Lee said she has lived at the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park for more than five years and has never been told of the contaminated water.

"My son and I, we drink a lot of water. I can't afford to to go out and buy bottled water, so we're drinking from the tap," Lee said.

Kelly is responsible for paying for the emergency tap and also could have to add sewer service to the 41 lots in the trailer park. He said the sewer service could cost more than $1 million, which might force him to close the development.

The city has temporarily waived the issue of adding sewer service for Ponderosa Mobile Home Park.

"It's just scary to get up and think maybe you have to move or start looking for something or finding the funds to do it. That's the hard part," Lee said.