MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – Residents at Pineview Estates are frustrated after living almost two weeks without safe drinking water. The Ohio EPA is supplying residents with bottled water. And now both–residents and the EPA–want the owner to be held responsible.
Residents we spoke with say the water has been on and off throughout the day. It’s been a common issue for the last year and half. Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler says they’re now working to track down the owner to ultimately hold him responsible.
“We have been frustrated by the owner of Pineview Estates for many many months,” Butler said. “We’ve had to take enforcement against that operator from the attorney general’s office.”
According to documents, the owner Tim Dearwester has failed to make the necessary repairs to keep drinking water safe. Thursday, crews restarted the water system which officials say resulted in high levels of chlorine entering the pipes. As a result the EPA says residents should flush their lines before using the water.
For resident Michael Spoonmore, finding and using fresh water has become a daily issue.
“Our son’s in a diaper we have to change him,” Spoonmore said. “We have to give him baths and it takes more than just 4 gallons of water per person just doesn’t do it. We have to boil the water to take baths.”
We’ve made attempts to contact Dearwester about the problem, but haven’t been able to get in touch with him. In the meantime, Butler says they’re taking any means necessary to get the problem fixed.
“We’ve had to go so far as to meet with a judge ask for a restraining order and to seek an injunction against the owner including asking for him to serve jail time,” Butler said.
And getting time behind bars isn’t the only thing Spoonmore wants to see happen.
“I’d like to see the residents get reimbursed for this,” Spoonmore said. “I think we should all get together put our money in escrow and when the water’s fixed he can have his money.”
The EPA has brought in a contractor to assess the water system. Officials say that contractor will be back Friday to finish evaluating the system and then begin repairs.