An attorney for the town of Brunswick sent a letter Wednesday to the owners of a large mobile home park demanding that they address ongoing water supply issues that have become a public health concern.

Stephen Langsdorf, representing the town, sent a letter to BBE, LLC and Liberty Management Group, the owners of Bay Bridge Estates, advising that “failure to provide adequate water to tenants is both a breach of the covenant of habitability under Maine law and is a public health issue.”

“It is your responsibility to immediately rectify the problems which have been causing the shortage of water so that full and adequate water supply can be provided to the tenants,” Langsdorf wrote. “In that regard, please respond to me no later than 12 p.m. on January 4, 2018 with both a short-term and longer term plan as to how adequate water will be supplied to the tenants.”

In an interview about an hour after the letter was sent to the media, Kevin McCarthy of Liberty Management said he has spoken with the town’s attorney and public health officer.

“Obviously, we’re doing what we can to address the situation to minimize any additional inconvenience,” he said. “We don’t want to deal with this situation any more than the tenants do.”

Residents of Bay Bridge Estates, located on Old Bath Road in east Brunswick, have been frustrated with the water supply issues for several days. Many have been unable to shower or do laundry or wash dishes. Compounding the problem has been a lack of response or explanation from the park’s managers.

Although the park is privately owned and not served by town water, municipal officials say the situation has become a public health issue. Many elderly people live in Bay Bridge Estates.

“This is an extremely serious situation that the Town refuses to take lightly. It is critically important that swift and aggressive action is taken to remedy the situation,” Langsdorf said in a statement. “We would prefer to work collaboratively with the Bay Bridge Estates but the Town is also willing to take action afforded to it under the law to ensure that this need – one of the most basic human necessities – is met. And with the weather forecast bearing down on us, there is little time to spare.”

Langsdorf’s letter said the town would step in and provide water if the park owners failed to do so, and would take legal action to recover the town’s costs.

McCarthy said the company has tried to communicate with tenants, but “obviously, we need to do a better job.”

He said the park’s owners are moving forward with plans to drill a third well that could serve the park. That had already been planned for spring but the project has now been expedited, likely as soon as next week, he said.

A water systems contractor who was inspecting homes on Tuesday said that the water supply issue was caused by high usage, possibly related to the spate of cold weather and people leaving faucets running.

McCarthy concurred that water usage began to spike late last week as the frigid temperatures settled in.

“The cold weather has really exacerbated this situation,” he said.

Others, though, said the two wells that supply water to the roughly 400 homes in the park, have never been adequate and said water problems have been ongoing.

One of the biggest points of frustration for park tenants was seeing their water pressure choked off. McCarthy explained that it was necessary to protect the supply underground.

“As painful as all of this publicity has been, it has been helpful too because the park collectively used a lot less water (Wednesday),” he said.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PPHEricRussell

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