MOBILE HOME RESIDENTS SWELTER FOR 2 DAYS WITHOUT WATER.
LANCASTER - With temperatures approaching 90 degrees Monday, residents of Golden Sands Trailer Park for the second day dipped water out of the park's swimming pool to flush their toilets and fill their swamp coolers.
The Lancaster park, which has many elderly residents, has been without water since Saturday night after its well pump failed, park residents said.
``There's a lot of elderly people who can't climb on their roof and put water in the swamp cooler. You can't bathe and can't do anything here. It gets hot here in these mobile homes,'' resident Donna Young said. ``We need water to drink. We need water to flush the toilet and to bathe. That's not even talking about cooking, and washing dishes and clothes.''
Los Angeles County health officials were called out to investigate lack of water at the park, in the 2000 block of East Avenue I, but said mobile home parks are under state jurisdiction. A state Department of Health Services spokeswoman said she had no information on the situation.
An official at the firm that manages the park said that water service would be restored by day's end Monday.
Repairs could not be made sooner because the businesses that stock the well pump were closed over the weekend, said George Kahabka, the park property manager.
``The pump in the well went out. It's being replaced,'' Kahabka said Monday. ``We have bought drinking water for everyone.''
To get water for a bath Monday morning, Young said she took three trips to the pool, each time filling up two five-gallon buckets, and heated the pool water in a pot before emptying it into her bathtub.
For drinking water, Young said a park manager went to the 99 Cents Only store, bought bottled water and gave out two gallons each to residents. Young said she got two gallons Sunday and another two gallons Monday.
Eighty-three-year-old Mabella Fischer said her neighbors have been bringing her water, and even filling her toilet tank for her.
``I'm very crippled up and old,'' Fischer said. ``My neighbors have all been beautiful to me.''
Eighty-six-year-old Freddie Steese said he is too old to climb onto his roof to pour water into the swamp cooler, which usually is fed by a pipe. Without water to cool off the incoming air, the device blows air the same temperature as outside.
``I had to go to the doctor's office this morning without a bath,'' Steese said. ``I smelled like a goat.''
Residents said the water fails every year or two, and they blame the park management for not maintaining the system better.
Kahabka disputed that figure, saying water last went out in 1999, and another time eight years before.
``It's been twice in the last 10 years,'' Kahabka said.
Young realized the water was going out Saturday night when she turned on a faucet.
``I could see the water pressure was down. I called up my Dad (who also lives in Golden Sands) and said, fill up the bathtub. The water's going out,'' Young said.
(color) Resident Donna Young takes a look at the Golden Sands Mobile Home Park's old pump and rusty water pipes.
John McCoy/Staff Photographer