BILLINGS — For months, MTN News has reported on the ongoing water problems at Meadowlark Mobile Home Park. Residents say their drinking water is brown and has damaged their appliances. The story is now getting national attention, and many are hopeful this attention will bring further improvements.
“It’s pretty miserable not being able to shower or wash clothes or anything like that. My kids have had to go a couple days without showering,” said Meadowlark resident Josh Francom.
Their water has been deemed drinkable by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and the owner of the trailer park has said it's working to solve the problems, which have continued since last November.
“It seems to be clearing up a little, but only after pressure from posts online and stuff about it,” Francom said.
A TikTok video from Meadowlark resident, Cody Kinn, went viral this week, generating some national media attention.
Several residents have said they are also pursuing legal action against the company that owns Meadowlark, Utah-based HavenPark communities.
“Me, myself I haven’t, but I’m willing to join if people are going that way,” Francom said.
Residents say the water isn’t just gross, it’s calcifying appliances, damaging them in the process.
“My mom actually owns five trailers out here, and we’ve had to replace all the water heaters in all of them,” said Francom.
Some are reluctant to show their faces, fearing retaliation from HavenPark.
“I have eczema, so when I take a shower it’s like four or five hours of itching after I take a shower because of the water,” said one resident, who asked not to use his name.
If you’re wondering why they don’t just move, residents say it’s not that simple.
They say no one wants to buy their homes and they can’t afford to move.
“It’s not that we want to live out there. We have no choice,” said another resident.
So residents say they’re stuck with dirty water and trapped in a community they don’t want to be in.
“I don’t think they’re doing everything they can,” said Francom.
HavenPark officials sent a letter to residents this week stating that they are continuing to work with a third-party contractor to improve the quality of the water. Until the water quality is acceptable, Meadowlark residents will not be required to pay their water bills.