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ONLY ON 3: Bacteria in well drive former tenant to court

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CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) -- Samples from the North Carolina Health Department show a certain type of bacteria is living in a Castle Hayne well. Former tenant Tracy Clark says not even her dog would drink the water at 5701 Orange Street in Castle Hayne.

"There was lots of sediment in it," said Clark. "It was not clear. It was dirty."

The well there supplies water for a few homes, but water samples tested by the New Hanover County Health Department confirmed the presence of total coliform bacteria in the water supply.

"That is not fecal coliform," said landlord Alex Hall. "It is just coliform that is found in everything, but we took immediate steps to cure it."

A letter from the health department says the bacteria could be hazardous to the health of occupants and should be corrected immediately. Workers treated the water several times, but a sample taken again in August still tested positive for coliform bacteria.

Current resident Kristin Petersen says she already planned on buying her drinking water before moving in.

"I had spoken with the neighbors and they said they had sand in their water," said Petersen. "From my understanding, it is pretty common for well water."

Buying water is an expense Clark says she did not expect.

"You would assume that you are going to get clean water when you live in America," said Clark.

Clark lost both cases against Hall. The law does not require owners to check well water or offer clean well water to private residents.

Hall could not provide any more recent samples from the well, but Petersen says workers have been in and out of the well since she moved in, in November.

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