HAYWARD, Calif. (KTVU) - In Hayward, a mobile home park for seniors has been left high and dry by a water main break.
Eden Gardens Estates on Winton Avenue at Hesperian Blvd lost water service Sunday morning.
"I haven't taken a freaking shower for three days," said an upset resident Linda Nardi, "and it's making me feel sick."
The complex has 134 units: manufactured homes that are privately owned, but residents pay $600- $1,000 monthly rent for their lots.
"I paid $98,000 cash for my home and now I can't take a shower?" complained Nardi, an insurance agent worried about being able to go to work. On Tuesday, park ownership had six portable toilets delivered and placed strategically throughout the property.
They also placed a gallon of bottled water on each doorstep along with a note explaining that water may not be restored until Friday.
"I've been walking over to the Sizzler," resident Ron McKay told KTVU, explaining that local restaurants have become the restrooms of choice, at least before the porta-potties became an option.
"What can you do?" said McKay, shrugging, "I've been brought up with a saying: "the more you bitch the worse it gets!"
Sunday morning, water was discovered bubbling up through the ground like a fountain.
Digging revealed the water main to the complex is cracked, with a foot-long section rotted away.
"There's no excuse, it's a cracked pipe, fix it!," shouted one man, as park management tried to mollify residents with a pizza party in the community center Tuesday evening.
Some residents suspect the repairs could be accomplished more swiftly if the owners were willing to pay more.
"They're very frustrated and I totally understand where they're coming from because I live here too," said manager Jan Sprague, who has lived in Eden Gardens for 26 years.
Sprague insists there is no way to speed the process because a gas line runs through the trench, and because plumbing equipment had to be ordered.
"The state has been out to look, the city has been out here, and we're doing everything we can to get this resolved as soon as possible," said Sprague.
But for now, the community swimming pool is the only water supply and residents are trooping to the pool, filling containers and buckets to prime their toilets for flushing.
Elderly and disabled residents who can't retrieve water, rely on others.
"My mom is on a scooter, she couldn't go get the water, no way," said Brittany Hicks, trying not to slosh water as she loaded buckets into her car's trunk.
"There's also a guy across the street from her and I'm going to get him some water too," added Hicks.
Her offer of help for residents was appreciated.
"My arms just ache from carrying water back and forth," exclaimed resident Mary Ann Fesler, "and I can't do it anymore."
Fesler's 96 year old mother WInnie has another solution.
With dirty dishes piling up, and the outage stretching on, Winnie Fesler was packing to go stay with her other daughter out of town, for the duration of the temporary drought.
"You can't even brush your teeth," said Winnie, " and it's a challenge to be without water, in this day and age, that never happens to anybody."
It had not happened at Eden Gardens until now, likely a result of aging infrastructure, built in 1969.
Wednesday, the situation will worsen because gas service will be shut-off for the day, as the damaged water line is excavated.
Management hopes repairs will be successful on Thursday and water flowing again by Friday.
But disgruntled residents believe more could be done for them- for example, guest passes to local health clubs for showering or trailers deployed during emergency evacuations, that provide mobile toilets, sinks, and showers.
"You know what I did last night?" said Nardi, her voice shaking in anger, "I had to go to Home Depot to go to the bathroom."