NEWS

Mobile home park frustrated over failing septic tanks

07/12/2015 10:42 EDT | Updated 07/12/2016 05:59 EDT
Musician Scott Arena bought his mobile home in the country near Kemptville, Ont. about 60 kilometres from downtown Ottawa five years ago to enjoy the fresh air — however the smell coming from his backyard is anything but, due to a failing septic tank that was ordered fixed two years ago.

"I'm living in a state of raw crap," he said.

In the summer of 2013 the provincial Ministry of the Environment gave Fetherston Mobile Home Park 90 days to fix the critically damaged septic system — or residents would be forced out of the unsafe living conditions.

But the park went bankrupt, became a not-for-profit, and turned to a private company to find financing for the $1-million cost of replacing the five leaky septic tanks.

Clearford Water Systems told CBC News it has not been able to replace the tanks because investors dropped out of the project, but the company has been maintaining the failing tanks as it works on a new financing plan.

Meanwhile, residents have already paid the company $140,000 in monthly installments to cover the cost of the project.

Kevin Loiselle, who works for Clearford Water Systems, met with residents on Saturday to explain that construction could begin as early as September.

"We're just about at the end of the road," Loiselle said told CBC News. "It's been difficult for everyone to navigate through what has been a very difficult issue."

'Not a way to live'

The sewage system, once hidden underground, had to be dug up as part of a short-term fix as the company sought out funding for the replacement project.  

Maurice Dumoulin, president of the Fetherston Mobile Home Association, said he is concerned about the health of residents as the sewage problem persists.

"It's not a way to live," Dumoulin said. "It's got to be done. Something has to be done fast. We're getting scared."

Resident Bill English said sewage has overflowed into his yard and rotted out his shed.

"Raw sewage, toilet paper, you name it, sitting right there," English said. "It's sickening. There have been days when it turns your stomach."

English said he has "nowhere to go" if the problem persists.

"Total fear. Just scared senseless." he said. "What am I going to do? Live like a troll under the bridge in town?"

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