ONLY ON 3: Nursing home running without water

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Submitted: Thu, 12/08/2011 - 4:55am
Updated: Thu, 12/08/2011 - 2:14pm

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — We discovered a nursing home with no running water when a concerned family member called us and told us about problems at a facility in New Hanover County.

Christopher Rackley’s father lives at the Hermitage House in Castle Hayne. During a recent visit, Rackley and his girlfriend noticed something unusual.

“When me and her were leaving,” he said, “we seen them carrying jugs and stuff, so me and her got suspicious.”

He soon found out the nursing home did not have running water.

“My daddy said they had cereal, and that’s all they had for breakfast ’cause of the issue they’ve got going out there with no running water,” Rackley said.

Management confirms the water is turned off. In fact, it’s been off for a little more than a week. That’s because during routine tests they found bacteria in the water.

Alan Osborne with Meridian Senior Living, the management company for Hermitage House, says they immediately turned off the water and began work to get rid of the bacteria, but it’s a slow process.

“You put chemicals in the system. They have to remain in there 24 hours, then you test it, and if it tests clean after the initial test you have to wait 18 hours, and you have to run a second test,” Osborne said.

The second test still showed some bacteria, so the process had to start over again. In the meantime the Hermitage House is bringing in five gallon jugs of water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.

“We have been told it’s OK to shower, but we haven’t done that. We’ve actually taken residents to another community nearby for showers,” Osborne said.

Rackley says that’s inconvenient. Osborne agrees.

“I’m sure the residents are getting quite impatient to have running water in the rooms back, and we understand that we just want to make sure it’s safe running water,” Osborne said.

The goal is to have the water back on by the end of the week.

We contacted the New Hanover County Health Department. It has been kept up-to-date about what’s going on. In fact, it plans to visit the Hermitage House tomorrow for another update.

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4 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Nursing home running without water"

2015 years 8 months ago

Why don’t you give them a call and let them know this? They may not be aware that they have this option. (It’s news to me, too.)

2015 years 8 months ago

…if the pipes in the system are the problem, putting clean water into them wouldn’t be much help, would it?

Sounds to me like this place is doing what they can to rectify the problem. If the water has to sit in pipes for a state-specified amount of time, you can’t really speed that up, can you?

2015 years 8 months ago

What cheapskates. They can easily rent a potable water tank from 250 gallons on up,have it filled and connected to their system in less than 24 hours. There are several local companies that do this.

2015 years 8 months ago

The bacteria gets into well water not municipal water. I had this problem with a well once myself. The bacteria grows on the well casing, it is like a gel or slime. It comes from ground water getting into the well either through a open cap or a crack in the well casing. You kill it with chlorine. I rented a water tank for the two weeks it took to have my well flushed out. It cost about $350 to rent the tank and have it filled.