Residents of a Nampa trailer home park will receive written notice Thursday of the need to vacate their houses within seven days, city officials said Wednesday.
Septic system issues are causing the closure of the Rushmore Mobile Home Park at 39th and Garrity streets in Nampa. There are 17 mobile homes affected; the number of people impacted was unknown.
“It’s private septic system for a trailer park. Unfortunately, it has reached the end of its serviceable life,” said Patrick Sullivan, building official and director of building safety for the Nampa.
On Wednesday, the city delivered information to park residents who need help in finding housing quickly, social services and legal assistance, Sullivan said.
City officials became aware of problems at the park on March 4, when a resident complained that water was only available one hour a day at his house. Water usage was limited in an effort to reduce pressure on septic tanks and outflow to the drainage field.
Southwest District Health and Nampa officials said the root of the problem is that the drain field for the septic system at the park is no longer effectively absorbing the sewage. Health officials began talking to the park owner about solutions after they investigated a report of raw sewage on the surface of the grounds in the park in February.
Sullivan said the park owner has indicated he cannot afford the cost of hooking into the city sewer system, so the only alternative is shutting it down. There isn’t space at the site to build a new drain field.
“He’s pretty much at his wit’s end. He’s trying to do the right thing but he can’t afford to throw enough money to keep the park going,” Sullivan said.
Most of the houses at the park are owner occupied. Those built before 1976 won’t meet modern code requirements at most locations, so moving them probably isn’t an option.
Septic system issues at the mobile home park date back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to Brian Crawford, director of environmental health for Southwest District Health Department. The health district began doing annual visits to the mobile home park after sewage was found on the grounds in 2005.
The health department hadn’t heard any complaints since then — until Feb. 17, when a resident reported sewage on the ground. Crawford said the park owner pumped the septic tanks to buy some time to sort out whether there was any affordable longterm solution.
As part of the closing of the park, the two septic tanks on the property will have to be removed, collapsed in place or filled with rocks, Crawford said.