- Associated Press - Sunday, March 27, 2016

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Colorado regulators have ordered a mobile home park northwest of Durango to shut down a sewage lagoon that is seeping into a nearby creek.

The state health department said the contaminated lagoon is leeching iron and coliform into Lightner Creek, a slow-flowing tributary of the Animas River.

Health officials said coliform can produce strains of E. coli that cause diarrhea, nausea, fever and vomiting to people that come in contact with the water.

“They have been a longtime problem for the division,” said Mike Harris, a manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s clean water enforcement unit. “And it’s just gone on too long.”

The state health department sent a cease-and-desist order to the park’s owner, but Darlene Mann denied ever receiving notification from the state. If Mann fails to comply, the people living in the 40 mobile homes could be forced to move.

Some residents of Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park said they were unaware of the regulatory dispute, but they were not shocked by news of the shutdown order, the Durango Herald reported (https://tinyurl.com/zbwfak3).

“That doesn’t surprise me - it stinks over there all the time,” Crystal Martinez said. “The owner is never around and never listens to our complaints.”

The owner said she hired a professional agent to address the issues, but no report or official document has been submitted to the state health department.

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Information from: Durango Herald, https://www.durangoherald.com

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