Excess runoff back again

Colton Davies

For a second straight year, Lyle Armour is dealing with excessive runoff on his Naramata property. It’s something he said he was told was a "once-in-a-lifetime occurance" last year.

Half of Armour's retaining wall gave out last month at his home on Winifred Road. Water flowed in when temperatures rose slightly above zero degrees. 

Last spring, Armour had the same problem, with his retaining wall knocked down and water everywhere. 

His garage and basement were flooded, and he said his backyard didn’t fully dry out until late-August. 

He’s worried he might have the same problem again this year.

"Is more of this natural earth going to move down? That's one of the reasons. The second one is, is it going to saturate again and continue to go into my house?"

Armour lives directly below the KVR trail, and he thinks the excess water may be due to rock blasting for a new subdivision on the street above the trail.

He pointed to water flow along a nearby section of the trail as an indication of that. 

"The water above (the KVR trail) has to be diverted somehow, someway, so that it's not going to impact private property owners," he said.

Karla Kozakevich, the board chair of the RDOS, said Armour's issue falls in the hands of the province and not the regional district. 

She said other residents in Naramata who live below the KVR trail have approached her with similar issues, and that she has reached out to the ministries responsible on their behalf. 

Kozakevich also agreed with Armour’s belief that rock blasting could have impacted the direction of water flow, which in turn is affecting his property.

"Unfortunately, then the onus is on Mr. Armour to prove that's what's happening — that somebody else did this development and it caused hardship to him," she said.

"To prove that water flow has changed because of something is very challenging to do. And it's usually a multi-year study that is done."

The province's Recreation Sites and Trails authority — which falls under the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations — told Armour they are working on a response for the issue.

In the mean time, Armour is hopeful the root of the problem can be found. 

"I would just hope that the (Ministry) will come and investigate thoroughly and not blame it on a once-in-a-hundred-year occurrence."

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