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Water main break leads to contamination concerns at retirement community

Each of the homes in the community received a notice telling them that due to potential bacterial contamination in the water, residents should boil water before drinking it or using it.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 6:26 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A water main break has caused concerns of contamination for residents at the Falcon Wood Village retirement community in Eugene since Wednesday, according to management. 

A private water main break in the community's clubhouse resulted in the water being shut down at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

There are more than 180 manufactured homes in the community.

Management said after the repairs were completed, each of the homes in the community received a notice telling them that due to potential bacterial contamination in the water, residents should boil water before drinking it or using it.  

The notice also said that it may take until next Thursday to know if the water is safe to drink or use without boiling it.

"The water situation is bad," said longtime resident Loleta Drake. "Having to boil the water is a pain."

Some residents feel that the water main break was the result of poor maintenance, despite rising rents over the past several years.

"There's been all kinds of problems. The sewage will back up into people's toilets. We've been told how to use the toilets. Then there's the issue of the roads. People trip and fall over that," said resident and senior citizens activist James Houston. 

The park is owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties, a company that lost a record $111 million lawsuit in 2014 to its residents in San Jose for failure to maintain facilities. Falcon Wood Village itself has been the subject of an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice since 2018 over allegedly cheating residents out of thousands of dollars.

Equity Lifestyle Properties told KEZI 9 News they are awaiting water tests in order to lift the notice to boil water. Bottled water is also available for residents in the main office.

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