Lake Country mobile home park has been without water for a week

No water through heat wave

Dozens of residents of a Lake Country mobile home park have been without water for more than a week, as temperatures continue to hit the high 30s. And at this point, there's no solution in sight.

Earlier last week, residents began noticing inconsistent water pressure at the Creek Run mobile home park off Highway 97, north of Commonwealth Road on Okanagan Indian Band land. By Thursday night, the water, which is supplied by a well, was off completely.

“It's horrible,” said Karen Bourelle, who's lived at the park for four years. She lives in one of the 83 units on the property, and pays a monthly pad fee of $425.

She's one of several residents of the park who've reached out to Castanet, at their wits' end.  

Bourelle's not only frustrated with the lack of water, but also with what she calls a lack of transparency from ownership.

“We didn't get any communication from the owners until Sunday,” she said. “Be upfront and honest with us, because come on, it's 40 degree weather and we've got no water.”

Maureen Ziprick, one of the owners of the property, says they're doing their best, but they've been encountering problem after problem.

“We don't know what's wrong with the well. We put a new electrical panel in there, we went down and put a new pump and everything in there,” Ziprick said. “They have to wait for a camera to go see what's wrong down there, that's what we're waiting for.”

While Bourelle says she's heard a rumour that the well has collapsed entirely, Ziprick says they just don't know at this time.

Ziprick lives on the property herself, but her home has a separate well. She says she's been offering water from her home to others in the park, and they've also purchased jugs of water for residents.

Ziprick and her family only took ownership of the property this month, after a long, drawn-out court battle that Ziprick calls "a gong show."

In his decision, Justice Gary Weatherill said the man who previously ran the park, Gordon DeFehr, “ran the operation into the ground and siphoned off as much money as they could.” Weatherill ruled that DeFehr owes Ziprick and her family $250,000, but Ziprick says she doesn't expect to ever see that money.

“We're stuck with a big mess,” Maureen said. “We're trying our best, and we're working overtime and I know this hurts. We're doing our best on this end, we just wish we had a magic wand but we don't ... We're not just sitting on our asses here, we're not."

On top of the water issue, Bourelle says she's one of the many residents in the park who've been forced to share electricity with another unit for years, despite being told in the past the power issues in the park would be rectified.

“I've been here for four years and I can't even run my air conditioner,” Bourelle said. “It's 31 C in here at 11 at night and I'm supposed to sleep and work the next day.”

And with temperatures forecast in the 30s for the foreseeable future, Ziprick says she doesn't know when the taps will be flowing again.

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