Butterfield Ranch is about 80 miles outside of San Diego. For a lot of people who live there it wasn’t easy.
“life [is] It’s tough sometimes,” said resident Tina Bossi.
Posey is confined to a wheelchair. Dealing with the physical challenges, she said, the lack of clean water is making it worse.
“It was just a nightmare,” Posey said.
San Diego County issued a boiling water order on May 20. “The water system provides water for 313 service connections that include 75 home manufacturing places, 233 recreational vehicle places, an office with shop, a clubhouse, and three swimming pools,” the county’s press release read.
Every day, Bussey—and a few hundred other people who live at Butterfield Ranch—must boil their water to kill any potentially harmful contaminants.
The owner of this property confirmed that it was caused by the presence of E. coli in the water. It is unclear how the bacteria entered the water system.
“[It’s] “It has made a huge impact on my life,” she said.
“You need water to live, so it’s critical,” said Hilary Ward, executive director of thriving Backcountry Communities. “Boiling water is one thing, but then when you live at over 100 [degrees]. How do you cool it? ”
Along with other organizations, Backcountry Communities Thriving has led water donations for the hundreds who live at Butterfield Ranch, but said it’s not enough.
“I think it’s so far out of town, it’s hard to get people to go out and work to get out here to get services,” Ward said. “It’s part of living in the county. We understand that, but I think there’s a disparity between what’s being treated in the county compared to the city.”
Matthew Philbin has owned Butterfield Ranch since 2018. He told Team 10 that multiple water samples are tested in the lab every month. He said they are working on the issues now.
“A modern system for treatment and water quality monitoring is almost designed and allowed, then it will be built right away,” Philbin said.
He said there had been “clean, reliable water service for the past 60 years with minimal problems until recently.”
According to the Safe Drinking Water Information Online – data provided by the Drinking Water Division of the State Water Board – the violations recorded at Butterfield Ranch date back to 2005. The website for this latest violation has not been updated, but of those listed, nine violations were related to coli. The EPA describes coli as “an indication of the presence of other harmful fecal bacteria.”
According to Philbin and online data, these issues were eventually fixed and compliance was reached. Philbin said most of the improvement projects have already been completed with the final component scheduled for later this month.
Until everything is fixed, it remains to arrange boiling water.
“It’s a bull,” Posey said. “Everyone here is disabled or disabled in one way or another, or elderly.”
Ward urges attention to the plight of those who live in the rural areas of our country.
“I hope that corrective actions will be implemented as quickly as possible,” Ward said. “[I hope] The water system will be repaired and this community can then count on having access to clean fresh water.”