Consuelo McGowan was treading the dusty grounds of a rental mobile-home community in Ellendale, Delaware, known as “The Hole.” Trash and old furniture were strewn all around, though McGowan and other volunteers cleaned up a few months ago.
She climbed the concrete steps of an old gray home and knocked on the door. “Hello! I’m here to offer free water test kits,” she said cheerfully.
The people who live here are forced to drink bottled water. Their private wells are contaminated, and the water that comes from them is smelly and undrinkable — it has tested positive for high levels of nitrates and iron. For decades, Ellendale residents pushed to connect to a public water system — and by October 2021, they will, thanks to a successful 2018 referendum.