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Published March 01, 2010, 09:05 PM

Trailer Court Owner Charged For Not Replacing Failed Sewer

Authorities say the owner of a Pennington County trailer park failed to replace a failing septic system in one of the lots.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

Authorities say the owner of a Pennington County trailer park failed to replace a failing septic system in one of the lots. 68-Year old Jack Davidson is charged with violation of Pennington County sewage and waste water treatment ordinance. Davidson faces up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor.

People living in the trailer home say their water problems have been going on for years. Tanya Nelson lives in a trailer home at the Basswood Trailer Court near Thief River Falls. She says she's frustrated and angry that the septic problems have gone on so long at her home. She says her landlord, Jack Davidson, was aware of the problem but didn't fix it.

Tanya Nelson: "They came out and inspected it and said it was a failing septic system. It needed to be replaced. He has known it had needed to be replaced since 2008."

According to the criminal complaint, the county Soil and Water Conservation District went to the property and found sewage seeping and pooling in the back yard. They sent Davidson five letters addressing the concerns. Nelson says she won't allow her kids to play back there, and that the water has caused damage to the inside of the house as well.

Tanya Nelson: "Our toilet was backing up. Nothing would drain. It was all in the yard, so we finally did call sewer and water."

Nelson says the sewage that was pumped was dumped in the river close behind the trailer homes.

Tanya Nelson: "I mean, you can't tell me it's legal to dump sewage, raw sewage, into a river."

Nelson and some of her neighbors say they have gone to Davidson repeatedly with their concerns, but nothing was done. They say not only have sewers failed, but the water they do have is not something they want to drink.

Jeremy Johnson/Neighbor: "If you were to put it in a glass it's really yellowish and it smells, smells like rotten eggs, actually."

Tanya Nelson: "It passes. That's all. It passes. It's clean enough."

The Pennington County attorney did not have any comment. WDAZ was not able to reach landlord Jack Davidson for a comment.

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