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$1,000 a day fine imposed for mobile home park with toxic tap water

Title: $1,000 a day fine imposed for mobile home park with toxic tap water
Date: Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Publisher: KESQ Channel 3 (CA)
Author: Nathan Baca
Main source:

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Residents of an Indio mobile home park continue to live with toxic tap water.

Starting Tuesday, Riverside County is fining La Quinta Ridge Mobile Park owners a $1,000 a day for health violations.

The water coming out of these taps is toxic. Perchlorates, often found in rocket fuel, was found by county health officials coming from wells behind the complex.

Residents now pick up their daily ration of bottled water supplied by park management.

Resident Dutch Haling said, "It's frustrating when you find yourself having to drive down to the clubhouse several times a week to get water for basic needs. When you turn your faucet on, you think, well, I can't drink it, I'll have to get the bottle out."

"Years ago, this well back there, surrounded by all the horses and all the animals, has always been a problem because of where it is," adds resident Patrick Custer.

Even county officials are having a difficult time tracking down the owner.

The law firm representing management is high profile attorney Norton S. Karno.

His past includes being the main attorney for the Church of Scientology and having hundreds of real estate investments around the country.

Karno is on vacation and was unavailable for response.

Denys Arcuri with County Supervisor Roy Wilson's office said, "It's certainly frustrating and I can only guess why we are headed down this path. It seems to me the solution is there. It's very easy to take care of. If there's a dispute over the fees to hook up, that can be dealt with later."

Park management has the option of ditching the well and hooking up to the city of Indio's water system. It would cost around $75,000. The city even offered to let management pay it off later. There is no answer from them yet.

To view the County's citation against the mobile home park, click here.