Basement flooding in West Kelowna neighbourhood causing stress for homeowners - InfoNews

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Basement flooding in West Kelowna neighbourhood causing stress for homeowners

To deal with the ground water flooding, the Kish's have dug an eight-foot hole in their backyard where water can be pumped into.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Melissa Kish
April 04, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - For the past year Derrick and Melissa Kish have had to continuously pump water out of the basement of their West Kelowna home — and they’re not the only ones in the Rose Valley neighbour doing so.

Since February, 2016, excess amounts of ground water have been seeping into their backyard and bottom floor of their home, according to the couple.

After numerous calls to the developer that built their home and the City of West Kelowna, the Derrick says he is at a loss about what to do next.

“It’s been super stressful, I’ve had enough of dealing with it,” Derrick said. “I’ve done everything I can think of, but the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better.”

As a certified plumber, he was able to install a sump pump in the basement in order to prevent further damage and pump the water out.

About 11 litres of water are being pumped out of the couple’s basement per minute, Derrick says. The couple has used an excavator to dig an eight foot hole in their backyard where the water can drain.

He says there are 14 homes in the area with the same problem.

“If you just drive along Rosealee Lane you will see hoses coming from houses, pouring water onto the road,” Derrick says.

West Kelowna residents Melissa and Derrick Kish say they are pumping up to 11 litres of water from their basement per minute.
West Kelowna residents Melissa and Derrick Kish say they are pumping up to 11 litres of water from their basement per minute.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Melissa Kish

Neil Parent, a co-owner and site supervisor for Pentar Homes, says when the houses in the area were built there was no sign of any water problems.

“Some of the homes were built back in the late 90s. At that time we never saw any water,” Parent says.

The problem started to occur about two years ago, he says.

“Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do since the origin of the water is off the property,” Parent says. “We’ve been talking with the City and the ball is in their court now.”

Kyle Reese, the roads and drainage supervisor for West Kelowna, says residents might be on their own to solve the water issue.

“Typically the City doesn’t deal with ground water,” Reese says. “We deal with surface flows or water main breaks.”

Reese met with two of the residents having water problems yesterday, April 3.

“We are currently dealing with overland flows upstream, and the residents are concerned that’s the source of the ground water,” Reese says. “We have been proactive with pumps and getting water away from overland ditches... I would love to see that fix the problem permanently.”

However, if the water is not coming from the overland flows above the properties, Reese says the residents are on their own.

“I do sympathize with the issues these people are having and we’re doing everything we can, but it’s just one of those things that might be up to the homeowner.”

While residents and the City continue to try and figure out where the water is coming from, the Kish’s worry the constant flooding will lead to them losing property value on their home.

“As a plumber I’ve dealt with a lot of people who have water issues - normally it’s just one house here, one house there - not 14 houses on one street,” Derrick says. “To me, that’s an engineering problem that never should’ve occurred in the first place.”

— This story was updated at 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, 2017 to correct Melissa Kish's first name.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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