JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kay Platt and family have lived in the Larsen Road community for 35 years.
"It wasn't that way to begin with," said Platt. "It has gotten worse over the years now you can't really drink the water, I don't."
Her Larsen Community is between Emerson Street, Philips Highway and Old St. Augustine Road.
"We have to buy bottled water," said Platt. "On your clothes that's where it really takes a toll, even bleach doesn't seem to do the job."
The lack of public running water is a problem throughout the community. There's city water at the park and in some homes on the main roads, but not on the side streets. Those residents have to rely on wells.
"When they brought it to my attention, holding bottles of water, I was shocked," said Councilwoman Lori Boyer.
The area is in Boyer's district and she said the wells are either contaminated from an old ash site, or the wells are sucking sand.
"I just thought it was unconscionable," she said. "It is not right that they should not have access to quality water."
Pat Bridgeman, president of the Larsen Neighborhood Association, said two churches in the community supply potable water to those who want it.
"They test the wells and the health department will say, 'you can still drink it,'" said Bridgeman. "Who wants to drink water if it doesn't look healthy?"
Bridgeman said she has been fighting for clean running water for the past 12 years. Recently there have been drainage improvements and she feels her community got left out. Now the cost for water lines and hook up is too expensive.
"These are people that have a very love income," she said. "They just don't have five, or six-thousand dollars to do that."
She said it also doesn't help that many of the properties in the affected areas are not rentals.
"When it comes to the health and welfare of our residents I think it is important that they have decent drinking water," Bridgeman said.
Bridgeman said she is looking for grants to help the residents; councilwoman Boyer said she is taking her case to the JEA, the public utility responsible for running water.
JEA spokesperson Gerri Boyce wrote in an email, "Many homeowners in our service territory are on wells and septic systems. JEA welcomes the opportunity to connect people to our system, however, in situations such as this, JEA must consider the funding for expanding the system. Typically, homeowners or developers incur the cost to bring the system to areas currently on septic systems or wells."
First Coast News