| The Hutchinson News
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment this week rescinded a “do not drink” order on the water supply of Western Acres Mobile Home Court.
The order had been in place since February, due to the failure of the trailer park owner, Justin Whitt and Premium Management LLC, 322 N. Main, to regularly test the water supplied to occupants of the park, or to have a certified water operator oversee the water supply.
The park now has a certified operator and laboratory testing samples collected from the site indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, according to a release from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
“The owner of Western Acres hired David Vagts in mid-November,” said KDHE spokesperson Kristi Zears. “Since that time, the operator has been making improvements and water samples indicate water quality is compliant.”
The state had been battling with the owner of the trailer park at 4718 Nickerson Boulevard since 2017 over the operation of the park’s water supply system and submitting required water samples to the state for testing.
An inspection back then found several issues, including that the park was using pool chemicals to disinfect the water, rather than chemicals meeting state water treatment standards.
Before the recent test, the park’s water supply hadn’t been tested since March 2018, KDHE records indicated. Regulations require samples to be submitted to the state at least twice a month.
The “do not drink” order was put in place by the state in February, after a Reno County judge issued an order enforcing a separate June 2019 journal entry from a Shawnee County judge.
That June ruling ordered Whit to comply with a May 2018 Administrative Order from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
That order included a requirement Whitt provide bottled water to residents.
Prior to the do not drink order, the park, which has about 15 occupied trailers, had been under a boil water advisory order for more than 18 months.
The Reno County Commission declined in September to have county staff serve as the certified water operator for the park.