BILLINGS - Residents at a Billings mobile home park are raising concerns over their drinking water.
People living in the Meadowlark community say they're concerned that water coming out of the faucet can be black or brown with sediment in it. The water is supplied privately using pumps to residents of the park, not through the city.
It clears up a little bit throughout the day but still, they say they're afraid to use it for anything, including drinking, cooking or showering. And they say it's bad for their health.
The water coming out of Mike Padilla's tap looks better than it has, but he says it's still unhealthy.
"Our water has been coming out brown for the last not weeks, months," Padilla said this week. "And I believe why the water's running so clean now is because all last weekend, big water trucks have been coming in and out of here and dumping water in them big tanks down there."
The water has stained toilets in Padilla's home.
"I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed," Padilla said. "Can't get that out. You can... see it in the tank."
The clearing is not great, but it's actually been much worse.
"That particular sample was as dark as my Diet Coke," said Bob Hanson, Meadowlark resident. "And now that was the extreme."
"And I do believe it was confirmed yesterday at the doctor's office, he told me do not absolutely do not bathe in that water," said Christine Blaylock, a Meadowlark resident. "Do not bathe in it. Do not use it."
Residents tell MTN that 380 homes have had issues with their water. and many say it's been a problem for months dating all the way back to October.
"Come on. I don't think anybody in their right mind is going to look at that brown city water and save it that's okay to make tea with," said Chaim, a Meadowlark resident.
Many have complained to management, a Utah-based company called Haven Park communities, but they say the problem persists.
MTN also reached out to the company multiple times Thursday but emails and phone calls were not returned. And the office at Meadowlark has not been staffed the past two days, despite posted hours.
"We're in the dark on everything, the water and everything out here," said Rodney, a Meadowlark resident.
Haven Park tested the water in December for e-coli and coliform and the water was deemed safe despite the dark color.
But these residents say they're not about to drink it, and they're unconvinced what's coming out of their taps is actually safe.
"We would just like some answers," Blaylock said. "We want full disclosure of what is going on with our water system."
(Editor's note Jan. 21): This story was updated to clarify that the water is supplied privately to the mobile home park, not through the city of Billings.