‘Nothing gets done here, we need help,’ Arnprior residents plea to prevent basements from flooding

ARNPRIOR — Arnprior resident Gord Daniel says he has had water flowing underground into his basement on Edwards Vince Evans Court since 2014.

He says it started shortly after Campanale Homes dug out and extended a swale – or drainage ditch – and rock wall behind his house in 2011.

“Ever since that ditch was dug, every spring when there’s water coming down the swale or the ditch, we have water in our basement,” says Daniel. He is now pleading for help from someone to stop the water coming in, and has had to install a sump pump to save his basement.

“So far we’ve lost about $16,000,” says Daniel. “We’ve had to rip up all of our flooring in the basement, all of the baseboards. And we’ve lost a lot of personal possessions down there.”

Daniel’s neighbour Michael O’Connor is worried that this coming spring could be the first year his basement floods as well.

“It’s already overflowed this previous spring, and now I’m afraid it’s going to be even worse. We’re just lucky all the snow has melted so far, but luck only goes so far,” said O’Connor.

The neighbours are having trouble finding someone to take responsibility for the swale and rock wall, which they describe as crumbling. Daniel and O’Connor are residents of Arnprior, and their properties back right onto the Town of Arnprior’s border. Directly on the other side of that border is the swale and rock wall, located on City of Ottawa land.

That land falls within the ward of West-Carleton March, home to Ottawa Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, who is no stranger to flooding and wants to do what he can to help the residents of the neighbouring municipality.

“We all need to work together,” says the councillor. “Because the wall is built by Campanale, the City of Ottawa gave the permission to build it. It is built on the City of Ottawa. It is impacting the residents (of Arnprior). So yes, all parties need to get together.”

Daniel believes the burden of responsibility is clear, “Whoever built the swale and constructed the rock wall, which is now collapsing, should bear the responsibility.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Campanale Homes acknowledges the issue of water entering Daniel’s home, saying, “Years after the warranty expired, we were made aware of water penetration in the home. We are currently investigating Mr. Daniel’s concerns and are discussing the matter with representatives from the City of Ottawa and the Town of Arnprior.”

Campanale also says they were hired by the City of Ottawa to improve and extend the existing swale on their lands, and that representatives from the Town of Arnprior approved the design and construction.

Arnprior’s Mayor Walter Stack declined to comment on the situation at this time.

In the short term, there is a worry that flooding next spring may be unavoidable. “If we have a fast melt or lots of rain in the spring, it might happen,” says El-Chantiry.

As for Daniel, he is not sure what else to do at this point.

“Just totally frustrated, helpless, and I feel like the town, especially, doesn’t care.”

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