A battle over an unpleasant odour is heading to court.
Two Shoal Lake homeowners — Doug Susinski and Leonard Rupa — have filed a statement of claim in provincial court that alleges when the Municipality of Shoal Lake agreed to establish a new sewer line to a small development, it negatively affected their homes in the process.
The claim names the Municipality of Shoal Lake, Dig All Construction (1994) Ltd. and Dillon Consulting as the defendants.
Susinski said since the pressurized line was hooked up to the gravity-fed line that services his house, he has had nothing but problems with odour and gas.
“They aren’t doing anything and no one wants to take to responsibility, so we’re going to court,” Susinski said. “The smell isn’t going away. We’ve had it for more than two years and it hasn’t gotten any better. They’ve admitted there is a problem and the only way to fix it is to shut the line down completely.”
Reeve Don Yanick couldn’t get into specific details about the case, which requires the three defendants to file a statement of defence by July 31, because it is in the court system.
But he did say the municipality has done everything it can to remedy the problem.
“We’ve worked hard to solve the problem,” Yanick said. “We put a filter system in where it filters it through a charcoal filter. I think that’s made huge improvements.”
Yanick said he has been in Susinski’s home and didn’t notice an odour after the filters and traps were installed.
They also followed all the rules before tying in the new subdivision.
“We’re not the experts on the issue,” Yanick said. “We do hire the Manitoba Water Services Board to work on our behalf. The engineers and the contractor are hired in consultation with them.”
The subdivision, which is about two kilometres from Susinski, relies on a pump to move collected sewage to near Susinski’s home, where the sewage then becomes part of a gravity fed line to the pump-out station.
Thomas Friesen, from Dig All Construction, was contracted to build and hook up the new line.
Friesen didn’t comment on Susinski’s and Rupa’s specific problem, but said it is a contractor’s job to build the line to the specs of the design.
“We put everything in according to the designs of the engineers,” Friesen said. “So I’m not sure why we’re involved in it at all.”
A call to Dillon Consulting Limited wasn’t returned by press time.
Susinski and Rupa are seeking general damages from sewer gas and moisture in their homes.
They also want steps taken to ensure further damages don’t occur.
Susinski is also seeking damages for loss of business income due to his inability to get a business line of credit.
All of the claims are alleged and haven’t been proven in court.
» Twitter: @CharlesTweed
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 23, 2014