Private Drainage Pegged As Main LaSalle Flooding Problem

At a total projected cost of about $12-million, a proposed fix for a flooding problem in LaSalle won't come anytime soon.

Stantec is out with its final report on the flooding issues experienced in the Heritage Estates and Oliver Farms subdivisions on August 11, 2014 and again on July 25, 2015.

Deficiencies in private drainage like cracked pipes, sump pump failures and grading around homes are some of the main reasons given by the engineering consultant firm for the flooding experienced in the area after being hit with intense rain.

While the town is looking at a big bill, councillor Terry Burns says homeowners are part of the solution as well and need to cover private drainage improvements.

"That is totally the homeowner's responsibility, when I did it at my home on Golfview [Dr.] it was all my responsibility to do and again, if you don't want the flooding I implore these people to do it because the problem is not going away," says Burns. "I had to bring an individual in to look at it back at the time and then he used a dredger and resolved my issue for me, so some of them I think will have to do that and I think they know that."

The report also shows pooling water on roads adds stress to private systems.

Potential solutions offered up include adding underground water storage with a dry pond in Heritage Park to give the water somewhere to go, along with some storm sewer replacements and adding overflow sewers.

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The regular meeting of LaSalle council held on September 12, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Mayor Ken Antaya says the town will look for grants from higher levels of government to try and pay for these major projects.

"Now with this report we have an idea of how much it's going to cost, what solutions are there, how it's going to impact our overall drainage system and how unique some of the recommendations are," says Antaya.

However, Stantec's report stresses the first line of defence against flooding and most critical is ensuring the maintenance of private drainage systems.

Burns says homeowners may not know who to call to handle drainage improvements and hopes an approved list of professionals can be put together to help them out.

"Hopefully, I'll work with administration and see if we can get something together in those areas and I think that will help the homeowners that may not be as well versed as were are from an administrative point of view," says Burns.

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The regular meeting of LaSalle council held on September 12, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

LaSalle's administration recommended homeowners call accredited plumbers as some will be able to handle the work of upgrading and maintain private drainage.

Antaya stresses council may not be able to deliver the "Cadillac" option and will look at making the improvements more affordable — with as little compromise as possible.

"Make it more economically feasible — not only the municipality, but possibly for the residents — then we'll do so, but we're not going to compromise the solution," says Antaya. "I think it's a big ticket for anybody and certainly for us. We pride ourselves on tending to our infrastructure, so this is no different. There's need in the community, so we'll try and find a way to solve that problem."

Stantec's report was accepted by council and is now up for public review for the next 30 days.