Roommates without water pointing fingers at trailer park owner

KENOSHA (WITI) -- Two Kenosha women say their pipes have been frozen, and they've been without water for nearly a month. They're blaming their landlord -- who also happens to be an alderman who sits on the Water Commission. He says he's not responsible, but says he's tried to help.

Inside an already cramped mobile home in Kenosha, roomated Jackie McDremid and Robin Bell have even less space with jugs of water everywhere.

The jugs of water are necessary -- because they have no water in their home. Their pipes froze following a brutal stretch of January cold.

"It's been hell living like this," McDremid said.

Over a month later, buckets are used to wash dishes, cook and even bathe.

The woman are pointing their fingers at the trailer park's owner.

Alpine Village owner John Ruffolo knows a thing or two about water issues. He's an alderman in Kenosha's 4th District, and sits on the Public Works and Storm Water Utility Committees. He's also on the city's Water Commission.

"We're not responsible for it," Ruffolo told FOX6 News on the phone.

Ruffolo says he doesn't own the trailer, just the land. Like any homeowner, he says pipes leading into the trailer are the owner's responsibility.

"Every homeowner should be responsible, and have the sewer maintained," Ruffolo said.

Ruffolo says there have been pipe insulation problems, and the owners turned off their water -- causing the pipes to freeze.

"We had been running water the entire time, and the pipes froze -- while we were running water," Bell said.

McDermid and Bell say that's not true -- and the problem is from Ruffolo's pipes, not theirs.

They say like their plumbing, they're being left out in the cold when it comes to getting help.

They are praying for warmer days ahead.

"That's all I can do. I just have to keep asking people for help," McDermid said.

Alderman Ruffolo says he's tried to help the women all winter, by helping them get a grant for a new water heater and insulation for pipes.

The two sides disagree on whose pipes are frozen.

Both sides say the problem could be fixed with temperatures above freezing.