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Low flow: Billings trailer park struggling with access to water

John Machado
Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 13:04:44-05

BILLINGS - Residents living in a trailer park in southwest Billings are frustrated, after being forced to live without water pressure for the past couple weeks.

It's been a difficult few weeks for resident John Machado, as he and his family have been forced to live without water pressure in their home at Duck Creek Mobile Home Park on Kautzman Road near the intersection of Duck Creek Road. The lack of water has made it impossible for the Machados to do regular tasks such as cleaning the dishes, doing their laundry or even showering.

“When my kids want stuff at the store, I tell them no because they don’t need it," Machado said. "How can you tell your kids that they don’t need water, or they can’t have water? As a father, part of me feels like I failed."

Machado showed MTN around his home on Tuesday afternoon, and every time he attempted to turn on water, a very slow and thin stream came pouring out of the faucet. The situation became so bad that his wife and three daughters are currently living at his parents' house.

Duck Creek Water

That's been their reality since mid February, and Machado knows they aren't alone.

“Everybody in the park is being affected in some form or another," Machado said. "There’s 31 houses here. I have the worst of everything."

Marilyn Lyons-Pogue, 74, has lived in Duck Creek for 10 years. She said that the lack of water, a new development, has been a helpless feeling.

“I’m getting emotional just thinking about this," Lyons-Pogue said. "We moved out here for peace and quiet and our retirement years and it’s... it’s real upsetting."

Marilyn Lyons-Pogue

Lyons-Pogue said for her, it adds another level of stress, as she's now being forced to buy her own drinking water.

“I have such low water pressure that my RO (reverse osmosis) system won’t function, and that’s where my drinking water comes from,” Lyons-Pogue said.

And while the lack of water has been frustrating, both Lyons-Pogue and Machado said that the hardest part has been the lack of communication with the owners. Machado showed MTN multiple texts and emails sent to the owners that hadn't received a response. He also shared a letter, which was signed by a company called Urban Lifestyle 10 LLC, that the owners taped to doors in the neighborhood last week explaining the situation, and he added that he was frustrated that the letter was not followed up with in-person contact.

“When you don’t have communication, this is when you start to get frustrated," Machado said. "To actually have a family have to move out because of this? That’s where I draw the line."

MTN did get in contact with the owners, who are located in the Seattle, Washington area. They said that they are aware of the situation and that they are working diligently to solve the problem.

And Lyons-Pogue said the situation has taught her a lesson, although it's one she wished she never had.

"We take this for granted, and boy, never again will I take it for granted," Lyons-Pogue said.