Pitt residents want solution to poor drainage

Blame new trail built as part of Golden Ears Bridge project

Michael Stark trudges through pooled water behind near his yard on Wildwood Crescent.

Michael Stark trudges through pooled water behind near his yard on Wildwood Crescent.

Trudy Lebans’ backyard is slowly slipping away into the soggy bog that’s now behind her home.

She worries what will happen when the erosion reaches her pool.

“Twelve months of the year there is standing water around our properties. I think this is a really serious problem and the city has to be concerned about it,” she said.

Although a study conducted by the City of Pitt Meadows found a recreation trail constructed as part of the Golden Ears Bridge project is not affecting drainage, residents who live in the 19800-block of Wildwood Crescent argue that something is causing water to build up behind their homes.

The $10,000 study was commissioned after they persistently complained to the city about pooling water and saturated backyards following the trail’s construction.

They acknowledge their houses are built near wetlands, but the homeowners blame the new asphalt trail for altering drainage both below and above the surface.

“It’s not a trail,” said Michael Stark. “It’s a road.”

During a meeting at city hall on Tuesday, residents picked apart the study done by Thuber Engineering Ltd.

The study found a five-metre strip behind residential lots in the 198000-block of Wildwood Crescent has flood plain deposits that have always drained poorly. The flooding, it suggested, was most likely being caused by “natural ponding” due to an undulating or rolling terrain.

Without a pump running 24 hours a day, Mike Harling’s basement would be flooded.

In February 1981, he pumped 6,000 gallons of water off his property in 24 hours. This week, the pump spat out nearly double the amount – 11, 394 gallons in same time frame.

“I think that the compression that is taking place around us over the years is a contributing factor. The fill that has been loaded for the new road and the road to the bridge has probably impacted it,” he said. “These are just assumptions. You have to do some scientific research to back that. I think the city should be doing that.”

It seems the residents concerns are finally being taking seriously by the city.

“We really need to hammer out the next step,” Coun. Tracy Miyashita said after Tuesday’s meeting.

“Obviously there is a problem and it is having a negative impact on the people living in that area.”

Miyashita believes the city has to work with the residents to solve the drainage problem.

“Council is taking it seriously. We are listening and it does concern us, too,” she added.

“The challenge is we don’t have data from before the trail was built.”