Dallas water back on

JASON HEWLETT / Kamloops Daily News
January 5, 2014 01:00 AM

City of Kamloops utility workers Mark Androlick and crew leader Gord Miller, top right, replace a broken water pipe Sunday that left many residents of Dallas without water.


The water is back on for some 30 to 50 homeowners, but one Dallas resident is not happy with the speed at which the City tackled a broken water main.

Jim McNaughton was still bailing water from the basement of his Chukar Drive home when City crews turned the water back on Sunday afternoon.

That was about 18 hours after a six-inch deep wave slammed into the house after a coupling came loose on an easement line and water come pouring out.

"It came up like a geyser," McNaughton said Sunday.

The break occurred on City property adjacent to McNaughton's home at Chukar and Parlow Road at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

"It came across the lawn and it hit the back of my house," he said. "I looked downstairs and all of a sudden I've got water in my carpet."

He phoned the City and an on-call employee was dispatched. McNaughton said the crewman isolated the problem and shut off the water by 10:30 p.m.

McNaughton waited an hour and a half before the crewman's supervisor arrived. He said another hour or so passed before he was told a crew wouldn't be dispatched until morning.

"The frustrating part is they've got one guy, but the one guy can't get anybody (to help him)," he said.

Meanwhile, water continued to pool in his basement, he said. To make matters worse, McNaughton was told the City wouldn't deal with the flood on his property. So he hired a private contractor.

"He got here around 12 or 12:30 (Sunday morning)," he said, adding he pitched in and helped. "We had to get this lake out of my yard."

McNaughton's yard was cleared of water by 4:30 a.m. A City crew started work on the easement line at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Mike Firlotte, the City's utilities services manager, understands McNaughton's frustration. His was the only home that flooded, but the City doesn't work on private property.

As for the response, once the water was turned off, a decision was made to resume work in the daylight when it was safer and easier to run the equipment, he said.

"It's nighttime, we're going to open up a huge ditch, it can pose some safety issues," said Firlotte.

McNaughton believes the City should have started work right away, and he wants the City to pay the almost $800 it cost him to hire someone to get the water out of his yard.

"I think it's pathetic," he said.

Ross Davidson has lived in the neighbourhood for more than 40 years. He said a problem like this has never happened before, and it's frustrating.

"We haven't got any water here. There's no water at the neighbour's," he said Sunday afternoon.

Firlotte said breaks like this occur when there is a change in temperature like the region experienced during the weekend.

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