Trailer park residents mired in sewage evacuate

Sewage seeps up from ground along row of modular homes

Leonard Estates Trailer Park residents have heeded Health Canada's advice to evacuate a week after sewage began seeping up from the ground along a row of a dozen modular homes.

"Everyone's gone," said resident Shantelle Araneda from her father's home.

Health Canada acknowledged the toxic situation on G & M Road in an email to the Daily News on Tuesday.

Media relations officer Olivia Caron stated that Health Canada found several areas where sewage appeared to be mixed with ground water.

She stated the sewage effluent has not affected the drinking water quality. Health Canada nonetheless advised residents not to drink it.

And a message posted on affected residents' doors on Monday night advised them to leave.

"We have determined that there is a significant amount of the effluent groundwater on the ground surface of your residence," reads the notice to residents. "This presents a potential health hazard and as a precautionary measure we recommend that you seek alternative temporary living accommodations until the situation is resolved."

The organization didn't mention emergency sheltering programs for the residents, many of them low-income earners. Calls to the park's management were not returned.

Shantelle said her sister Tasha Araneda, who lives in a separate trailer with her three-year-old daughter, is staying at her in-laws. But she's unsure where other residents went.

"Lucky for me and my sister we have family here," she said.

Caron made no mention of when residents would be able to return.

"Health Canada will continue to work with the trailer park management to resolve this situation as soon as possible and will share new information when available with the residents, trailer park management, contractors, and the Tk'emlups First Nation."

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