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Septic drain fields bubbling up and flooding yards

Residents of a Kamloops trailer park are finally seeing some action after living in puddles of sewage for about a week.

On Monday, Leonard Estates co-owner John Leonard said as soon as he was made aware of the situation through Monday's Daily News article, he shut off the sewers leading into the septic drain fields that are bubbling up and flooding yards and brought in three septic pump trucks.

"It just came to my attention when the newspaper was called (Sunday)," said John Leonard.

Leonard said spring run-off caused the problem.

Warning barricades and caution tape have surrounded the affected area since last week. Park manager Debbi Leonard posted warnings on residents' doors last week advising them to avoid drinking tap water, showering and doing laundry, citing a Health Canada advisory.

Calls to management's office and emergency line on Sunday and Monday were not returned.

On Monday, Health Canada advised the worst-hit residents to leave immediately, citing hazardous health conditions.

According to resident Bob DesLaurier, a Health Canada inspector said he'd look into relief programs for the evacuees.

"But for the time being we'd have to fend for ourselves," said DesLaurier.

Answers from Health Canada were not available by press time.

The situation left residents despondent over the only option: paying for accommodations and restaurants.

"I can't afford to do that," said John Gagne.

Leonard said he will sit down with residents on Wednesday to discuss their evacuation needs.

"Health Canada said they should leave but they're not forcing it, and neither are we," said Leonard.

Residents are also pessimistic over chances the park owners will fix damage to their properties.

"After they get it all fixed I'd like to have my skirting replaced, my yard re-landscaped, new gravel in my driveway; my backyard is a mess," said Deslaurier.

The residents' insurers said the damage should be covered through the park's insurance since problems weren't due to the modular homes' plumbing.

Leonard said the park's insurance company has already been contacted and he expects some compensation.

He did not commit to fixing homeowners' property damage, however.

"Down the road, we will fix the problems at hand," he said.

Meanwhile, modular homeowner Mario Milanese said he's had enough.

"This is so far behind what we should be living like in this day and age," he said. "I want to get out, I don't want to live here anymore. I want to sell."

"Good luck selling," responded neighbouring modular homeowner Robert Araneda.

? Copyright 2018 Kamloops Daily News