Water problems worsen in Copeland

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Homeowners in Copeland are saying their water has always been bad, but now it’s even worse. It has gotten so bad that some people say it has caused rashes on their skin.

The Florida Department of Health confirmed E. Coli is present in one woman’s home, but they couldn’t say if it was widespread.

A boil water notice was issued in Copeland in March, and that’s when neighbors started noticing the water turning yellow.

Lisa Walker is a military veteran and has lived in Copeland for 11 years.

She also said in the spring, her water tested positive for led and copper from an at-home test.

“I started having issues where I had to end up in the emergency room. Doctor visit after doctor visits, couldn’t find out what’s wrong with me. I changed my diet. I changed everything I drank. Laundry, soap, bathing materials, everything like that, and still couldn’t figure out what’s wrong with me,” Walker said.

That’s when she took a water sample down to the Florida Department of Health in Collier County,
which confirmed that E. Coli was found in her drinking water.

“I just want clean water, so I can feel safe about my kid bathing in this water,” Walker said.

Mackynzie Redmond lives nearby and has a 1-year-old son.

“He has had skin issues since he was about 6 months old, which is about the time that they took over the water. He had such a bad infection that he was raw under his neck, his armpits,” Redmond said. “Every little crevice of his body was raw, and he had a bacterial infection. Didn’t know that it could possibly be the water, never really thought about it.”

People living in the small town of Copeland blame a boil water notice put into place in March by the U.S. Water Service Corporation.

They said that since then, the water has been yellow and smells like rotten eggs.

“As soon as your tub starts to fill up, you can see that it’s not clear, that it’s got a yellow hue to it, and it just sometimes, it’ll even have a smell. It’ll have a little bit of an odor to it,” Redmond said.

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