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Kelowna orchardist stunned by irrigation vandalism

Click to play video: 'Vandals target East Kelowna orchard' Vandals target East Kelowna orchard
Vandals target East Kelowna orchard – May 2, 2019

A Kelowna orchardist is going public after vandals targeted his property.

And the damage done has essentially put a stop to all work on the property until repairs are made.

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The owner says the vandals knew exactly what they were doing when they drilled holes in his irrigation pipes on his East Kelowna orchard.

“They drilled holes in my filter,” Nirmal Dhaliwal said.

Dhaliwal is convinced that whoever did the damage, they knew what they were doing, and knew where to hit where it hurt the most — his water supply.

“Absolutely they did. They brought the tools to do the damage,” said Dhaliwal. “And they knew where to do the damage, so it was not an easy fix.”

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But the vandals weren’t happy with just drilling holes in irrigation pipes.

Further down the orchard, they resorted to brute force, knocking over row after row of piping with valves stems. That means Dhaliwal has to dig up all those broken valves stems, and that takes time and money.

To compound the problem, the vandals injected what appears to be foam into the broken piping. Dhaliwal says he has no idea why.

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“They kicked it or something — broke it right at the bottom of the tees,” he said.

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“And that’s where it’s really hard to repair, because the pipes are all filled with dirt now.”

Dhaliwal figures the vandalism will set him back at least $5,000, and swears he has no idea who would want to put his out of business.

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“No, nothing, nothing,” Dhaliwal said.

In the meantime, everything is on hold at Dhaliwal’s orchard until the irrigation is fixed.

“Trees can’t live without water.”

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