The new Heron Ridge subdivision in 100 Mile House will undergo improvements to its drainage system after complaints of flooding by residents and a nearby motel owner.
Developer Trevor Embree, of Bree Construction, and builder Steve Mahon, of Macon Construction, said they plan to install lawn basins and divert the rain leaders – pipes that connect to downspouts taking water from roofs and gutters – to a storm sewer drain on the main road to address residents’ concerns.
The work is slated to start April 25.
“There’s an extra amount of water laying around. We’ll put in lawn drains at the low point where the water is collected so everything goes out the front,” Embree said. “It’s a really easy fix. I want these folks to be happy.”
The measures come less than a year after the first residents moved into the new 30-lot subdivision, which is still largely unbuilt.
Irvin Wiens, who took possession of his $320,000 home last September, said he loves his home but became concerned after the first rainfall resulted in pooling water around his house. He was surprised there were no connections to the storm sewer on the road, while the water from their roofs and gutters drained under the back privacy fence into a strip of land bordering businesses such as the 100 Mile Motel & RV Park.
“I got nothing against the homes, they’re beautiful homes, they’re well constructed. It’s just the water problem. They have to get rid of the water,” Wiens said.
“I’ve seen it rain here in Cariboo, the gutters can’t take it away, the gutters will overflow.”
Shawn Briggs, owner of the 100 Mile Motel & RV Park, also claims his property has been flooded as a result of the development. In November, he sent a letter to the District of 100 Mile and the Cariboo Regional District, seeking immediate action.
“I’ve never had a problem before. It’s affecting my business for sure because this is a huge puddle of water,” Briggs said during a recent tour of his property.
Mahon said the initial idea was to have the water drain into vegetation in the strip but it was too hot to grow anything last year. The situation was compounded, he said, by an “extreme amount of snow last winter.”
“Under normal circumstances, it would have worked quite fine,” he said.
Mahon said he disconnected the pipes as soon as he got a complaint.
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However, some residents maintain they reconnected them because their lawns were being saturated.
Embree noted all the homes are “grade-on-slab” with no crawl spaces so it’s “fairly limiting what water can do but we don’t want that water sitting there.”
The lawn basins – with slotted grate-style lids – will collect rainwater as well as tie into the rain leaders at both the back and front of the homes.
However, both Wiens and Briggs question how the district signed off on the drainage plan, saying there should have been a retaining wall separating their properties.
Todd Conway, director of community services, said the consulting engineer and district would have to submit the final approval for any development. He noted the drainage system is commonly used at other developments, but “every piece of property has different dynamics to it.”
He declined to comment further, except to say “this is a civil matter.”
“The base of it is, there was a problem,” he said. “The contractor and developer are getting together to fix it. It was recognized and it’s being remediated.”
Mahon added it always takes a while for new subdivisions to settle. Although he said “it’s an ugly job to do it after the fact,” he and Embree are committed to fixing it, at no cost to the homeowners.