Ian Rallon has been living at his home on Okanagan Lake for 22 days, without running water or proper heat.
“I can’t do laundry, I can’t shower,” Rallon told Global News.
“I have to heat the water on the stove to wash dishes.”
When the Killiney Beach-area man needs to use the bathroom, he has to head down to the lake.
“It’s one bucket per toilet flush.”
And because his home relies on water for its geothermal heat, he is without proper heating.
“I need the water to go through the piping in the ground, to help the heat exchanger to transfer the heat,” Rallon said, adding the stress of his situation has taken a toll on his mental health.
According to Rallon, his water source is Hall Spring, which rises up on his neighbour’s property but for which he has a water license and legal easement to use.
But Rallon said his neighbour, Darryl Auten, disconnected his water-supply pipe on Oct. 27.
He said he was given 180 days’ notice and offered a new easement to the spring, provided that he pay to install his own water works and no longer share.
“We’re looking at somewhere between $21,000 and $30,000. Why should I have to pay that burden? I purchased a water system with the house,” Rallon said.
When asked for comment, Auten told Global News: “There is an ongoing dispute as to the question of Mr. Rallon’s right to use the water works that are located on the Auten property.”
Rallon said he contacted the local water stewardship officer several times to complain after the water was cut off.
On Oct. 28, a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development official sent Auten an email — a copy of which has been obtained by Global News.
It read in part, “If you have taken action to interrupt the flow of water from Hall Spring to Ian Rallon’s property, you have in my opinion committed an offence.”
However, the ministry has since rescinded that position.
“The ministry is not taking action on this matter at this time because upon further review Auten had done what was required under the Water Sustainability Act,” said Tyler Hooper, a ministry spokesperson.
“The property-law element needs to be resolved between the two parties in civil court if it comes to that.”
For Rallon, who said he is on long-term disability after suffering a head injury, that news is a tough pill to swallow.
“I won’t be able to do anything about it because I don’t have the money.”