When Midtown Manor resident Carol Ashcroft learned she didn't have running water Friday, she was mad: She'd just paid her water and sewer bill, along with the rent.
Ashcroft called maintenance for her trailer park. She learned the entire trailer court was without water.
Ashcroft said she received no warning.
It turns out Ashcroft, and other residents at Midtown Manor and Key Estates, didn't do anything wrong.
The property manager, however, had -- and Friday was hardly the first time, Norwalk Finance Director Diane Eschen said.
Norwalk has one meter by Midtown Manor and one by Key Estates and city officials bill management.
More than once, including Friday, the complex's management, I&R Properties, has been late with the water bill. So even though residents paid their bills based on readings from individual meters, their water was shut off Friday. That lasted at least an hour Friday before management paid its bill, Eschen said.
"They've been late in the past," Eschen added.
When asked about the extent of the problem, she said "I would say frequently would probably would be accurate terminology."
Eschen said city officials have spoken to I&R Properties management. Their response is usually that they'll take care of the bill, she added.
But that didn't happen in time Friday, so Midtown Manor resident Teresa Mohr couldn't flush her toilet.
Mohr called the Reflector Friday afternoon about the problem.
"I'm telling you I'm just shaking, because it's disgusting," she said. "We're in a mess. This is awful."
Mohr said she called city hall and was told the entire mobile home parks of Key Estates and Midtown Manor had no water "because the owners had not paid their water bill."
Eschen said the city doesn't send out a separate shut-off warning. On the back of each water bill, there is language informing customers that if they have a previous balance, they're considered delinquent and subject to shut off. The notice further informs them they must pay their balance immediately to avoid service disconnection. Furthermore, they'll be charged a $50 turn-on fee. Eschen said the city normally shuts off service toward the end of the month or the first part of the next month. Service is usually restored within the same day of payment.
As for I&R Properties, "they get the bills every month," Eschen said.
I&R representatives couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector photographer Jeff Van Natta contributed to this story