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Flooding mystery creates costly headache in Kelowna neighbourhood

Residents have set up sump pumps to deal with the flooding. .
Residents have set up sump pumps to deal with the flooding. . Kimberly Davidson / Global News

Residents of one Kelowna neighbourhood are struggling with mysterious flooding.

What’s causing the problem remains unclear, but that hasn’t stopped the flooding concerns from becoming a costly headache.

For months on end Walter Thompson has been fighting back water that’s creeping into his home in the Black Mountain area of Kelowna.

He has four pumps operating and he’s not the only one of his neighbours digging trenches and installing pumps.

READ MORE: ‘Dramatic’ snowmelt in the Okanagan-Similkameen shifts flood focus

“If the sump quits or we have a power outage, we’ll have water in our basement again,” homeowner Jeremy Freeman said.

They’re not sure where the water is coming from but they have a theory that blasting in the area has rerouted a natural creek.

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Freeman believes that because there is a lot of clay in the ground, the water is taking the path of least resistance, along sanitation lines.

“Our neighbours next to us not a drop of water. Anyone who has water is all on these sewer lines,” Thompson said.

Another theory is there may be a break in a water line somewhere. A preliminary test has been done on the water coming out of the pumps and it appears it could be tap water.

READ MORE: B.C. flood fears easing — if the weather co-operates: Officials

“If it’s groundwater, we recommend homeowners use sump pumps. [There’s] little the city can do on private property if it’s groundwater. Now in this case if it’s potable water, we will find out where it’s coming from, shut it down and fix it,” City of Kelowna engineering manager James Kay said.

In the mean time, Thompson has hired contractors to dig down to the line to install weeping tile.

The fight to keep his basement dry is also drying up his bank account.

“we haven’t got the bill yet. [It’s] thousands and thousands of dollars that we don’t have,” Thompson.