Delta farmer says city left him flooded

A South Delta farm property owner says he’s been left flooded due to slow action by the city.

Aaron Van Ipre, who owns a low-lying property at the end of Arthur Drive (the corner of 53rd Street and 28th Avenue) said he was flooded this week after the snow turned to heavy rains with no properly functioning municipal pump in his area.

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“It’s actually Delta that’s flooding us out and it’s the construction company that’s tried to remove the water from our area,” he said, referring to Metro Vancouver’s ongoing construction of the South Delta Water Main Replacement Project.

“Metro Vancouver is responsible for removing that water out of that area. The way they do it is by pumping that water over a berm that goes into the regular drainage ditches. Well, what happened is Delta was not pumping the water, so you couldn’t move water from one area to the next.”

He said the nearby pump that was supposed to remove the water hasn’t worked for weeks.

It was only Friday when a new proper pump at a station was installed, he added.

“This is the worst we’ve ever seen it here. Our septic field has flooded, our gardens have flooded. I have nine inches of water at our horse paddocks,” he added.

 

Delta Engineering director Steven Lan noted the ground was heavily saturated with water in an area that’s already prone to flooding, due to snow and frozen ground conditions followed by this week's heavy rainfall.

He said a pump has been operating but was too small to handle all the water, so new larger pump was installed.

“The contractor has been doing some storm sewer works and there was a pump there that was running but it was a smaller pump, and the amount of rainfall overwhelmed the system, so they put in a larger pump. And yesterday they installed at a different location another pump because of the amount of water in that whole area,” added Lan

Ditches and more than 30 pump stations and flood boxes regulate water levels and protect Delta from flooding, according to the city.

The system ensures drainage of the floodplain lands by conveying storm flows to the Fraser River or the sea.

When the risk of flooding is lower in the summer months, the drainage system is also used as an irrigation storage system to help local farmers with crop production.

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