Stoney Creek homeowner seeks compensation for bad well water

News Oct 15, 2018 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

For now, Jay Filiatrault and his family have clean drinking water thanks to a temporary water tank supplied by the City of Hamilton.

But back in the summer of 2017, the upper Stoney Creek family was forced to rely on bottled water. Their grey, foul-smelling well water couldn’t be used for drinking, bathing or doing laundry. The sulphur stench was overpowering and Filiatrault said he was forced to buy water purification equipment at his own expense.

Filiatrault’s water declined significantly after his water supply shifted from a nine-metre shallow well in his driveway to a 30-metre well in his backyard. The new deeper well was necessary after the City of Hamilton began tunnel-boring work for a new sanitary sewer system along Upper Centennial Parkway and Highway 56 in 2015.

In order to create a 22-metre work shaft, city crews must pump water away from the tunnel route, which impacts groundwater levels. The process, known as dewatering, caused several private wells drilled at a lower depth to run dry.

The tunnel-boring and related work is expected to wrap up by the late spring of 2019. The project is connecting new development in Binbrook to the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Affected homeowners were given the choice of accepting a temporary water supply or a deeper well. Filiatrault chose the deeper well.

As of Oct. 12, Filiatrault, a Highland Road East resident, is among more than 100 homeowners in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek still using a temporary water supply as they wait for their private wells to be put back in service.

Filiatrault purchased a water softener and iron filter, which improved his well water slightly. But within a month, said Filiatrault, the iron filter became clogged.

There was another problem with Filiatrault’s deeper well. Filiatrault said a trench running from his backyard to his home had settled by the spring of this year, causing rainwater to collect and run into his basement through a crack in the foundation.

Filiatrault believes there are potentially dozens of homeowners who will pursue claims against the city for expenses incurred during the tunnel-boring project.

“I want reimbursement for my filtration system that I paid for,” said Filiatrault. “Then, I want the crack in my foundation repaired and then they can put me back on my well and give me whatever water treatment is going to work. And then I’m fine with that.”

Filiatrault has estimated he’s spent over $8,000 on water purification equipment that wasn’t required when he was using his nine-metre well.

Earlier this year, Filiatrault said about 80 people attended a meeting at the Binbrook Fairgrounds to discuss a possible class action against the city. Following discussion with a law firm, the group ultimately decided to pursue claims on an individual basis.

Spokesperson Jasmine Graham said the City of Hamilton has supplied temporary water to 110 homes in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek. Five homeowners have been put back on their private wells to date.

Graham said the timeline to restore the well water for remaining homes is dependent on the rate of recharge to the ground water table.

“This process could take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the weather conditions and progress of the tunnel construction,” Graham said in an email.

Graham noted the deeper wells would be raised to their pre-existing levels to allow the properties to draw water from the same aquifer as they did prior to the construction project.

Based on water tests that were taken on the deeper wells like Filiatrault's, some of the properties were supplied with  water treatment systems. Graham said the city is not aware of any homeowners who were forced to purchase extra equipment out of pocket.

“We have not been contacted by any resident about having to purchase extra equipment,” Graham said.

Graham said claims for damages or incurred costs should be submitted to the city’s risk management services for consideration.

Stoney Creek homeowner seeks compensation for bad well water

More than 100 homes still on temporary water supply as sewer tunnel project continues

News Oct 15, 2018 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

For now, Jay Filiatrault and his family have clean drinking water thanks to a temporary water tank supplied by the City of Hamilton.

But back in the summer of 2017, the upper Stoney Creek family was forced to rely on bottled water. Their grey, foul-smelling well water couldn’t be used for drinking, bathing or doing laundry. The sulphur stench was overpowering and Filiatrault said he was forced to buy water purification equipment at his own expense.

Filiatrault’s water declined significantly after his water supply shifted from a nine-metre shallow well in his driveway to a 30-metre well in his backyard. The new deeper well was necessary after the City of Hamilton began tunnel-boring work for a new sanitary sewer system along Upper Centennial Parkway and Highway 56 in 2015.

In order to create a 22-metre work shaft, city crews must pump water away from the tunnel route, which impacts groundwater levels. The process, known as dewatering, caused several private wells drilled at a lower depth to run dry.

The tunnel-boring and related work is expected to wrap up by the late spring of 2019. The project is connecting new development in Binbrook to the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Affected homeowners were given the choice of accepting a temporary water supply or a deeper well. Filiatrault chose the deeper well.

As of Oct. 12, Filiatrault, a Highland Road East resident, is among more than 100 homeowners in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek still using a temporary water supply as they wait for their private wells to be put back in service.

Filiatrault purchased a water softener and iron filter, which improved his well water slightly. But within a month, said Filiatrault, the iron filter became clogged.

There was another problem with Filiatrault’s deeper well. Filiatrault said a trench running from his backyard to his home had settled by the spring of this year, causing rainwater to collect and run into his basement through a crack in the foundation.

Filiatrault believes there are potentially dozens of homeowners who will pursue claims against the city for expenses incurred during the tunnel-boring project.

“I want reimbursement for my filtration system that I paid for,” said Filiatrault. “Then, I want the crack in my foundation repaired and then they can put me back on my well and give me whatever water treatment is going to work. And then I’m fine with that.”

Filiatrault has estimated he’s spent over $8,000 on water purification equipment that wasn’t required when he was using his nine-metre well.

Earlier this year, Filiatrault said about 80 people attended a meeting at the Binbrook Fairgrounds to discuss a possible class action against the city. Following discussion with a law firm, the group ultimately decided to pursue claims on an individual basis.

Spokesperson Jasmine Graham said the City of Hamilton has supplied temporary water to 110 homes in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek. Five homeowners have been put back on their private wells to date.

Graham said the timeline to restore the well water for remaining homes is dependent on the rate of recharge to the ground water table.

“This process could take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the weather conditions and progress of the tunnel construction,” Graham said in an email.

Graham noted the deeper wells would be raised to their pre-existing levels to allow the properties to draw water from the same aquifer as they did prior to the construction project.

Based on water tests that were taken on the deeper wells like Filiatrault's, some of the properties were supplied with  water treatment systems. Graham said the city is not aware of any homeowners who were forced to purchase extra equipment out of pocket.

“We have not been contacted by any resident about having to purchase extra equipment,” Graham said.

Graham said claims for damages or incurred costs should be submitted to the city’s risk management services for consideration.

Stoney Creek homeowner seeks compensation for bad well water

More than 100 homes still on temporary water supply as sewer tunnel project continues

News Oct 15, 2018 by Mike Pearson Stoney Creek News

For now, Jay Filiatrault and his family have clean drinking water thanks to a temporary water tank supplied by the City of Hamilton.

But back in the summer of 2017, the upper Stoney Creek family was forced to rely on bottled water. Their grey, foul-smelling well water couldn’t be used for drinking, bathing or doing laundry. The sulphur stench was overpowering and Filiatrault said he was forced to buy water purification equipment at his own expense.

Filiatrault’s water declined significantly after his water supply shifted from a nine-metre shallow well in his driveway to a 30-metre well in his backyard. The new deeper well was necessary after the City of Hamilton began tunnel-boring work for a new sanitary sewer system along Upper Centennial Parkway and Highway 56 in 2015.

In order to create a 22-metre work shaft, city crews must pump water away from the tunnel route, which impacts groundwater levels. The process, known as dewatering, caused several private wells drilled at a lower depth to run dry.

The tunnel-boring and related work is expected to wrap up by the late spring of 2019. The project is connecting new development in Binbrook to the city’s sanitary sewer system.

Affected homeowners were given the choice of accepting a temporary water supply or a deeper well. Filiatrault chose the deeper well.

As of Oct. 12, Filiatrault, a Highland Road East resident, is among more than 100 homeowners in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek still using a temporary water supply as they wait for their private wells to be put back in service.

Filiatrault purchased a water softener and iron filter, which improved his well water slightly. But within a month, said Filiatrault, the iron filter became clogged.

There was another problem with Filiatrault’s deeper well. Filiatrault said a trench running from his backyard to his home had settled by the spring of this year, causing rainwater to collect and run into his basement through a crack in the foundation.

Filiatrault believes there are potentially dozens of homeowners who will pursue claims against the city for expenses incurred during the tunnel-boring project.

“I want reimbursement for my filtration system that I paid for,” said Filiatrault. “Then, I want the crack in my foundation repaired and then they can put me back on my well and give me whatever water treatment is going to work. And then I’m fine with that.”

Filiatrault has estimated he’s spent over $8,000 on water purification equipment that wasn’t required when he was using his nine-metre well.

Earlier this year, Filiatrault said about 80 people attended a meeting at the Binbrook Fairgrounds to discuss a possible class action against the city. Following discussion with a law firm, the group ultimately decided to pursue claims on an individual basis.

Spokesperson Jasmine Graham said the City of Hamilton has supplied temporary water to 110 homes in Binbrook and upper Stoney Creek. Five homeowners have been put back on their private wells to date.

Graham said the timeline to restore the well water for remaining homes is dependent on the rate of recharge to the ground water table.

“This process could take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the weather conditions and progress of the tunnel construction,” Graham said in an email.

Graham noted the deeper wells would be raised to their pre-existing levels to allow the properties to draw water from the same aquifer as they did prior to the construction project.

Based on water tests that were taken on the deeper wells like Filiatrault's, some of the properties were supplied with  water treatment systems. Graham said the city is not aware of any homeowners who were forced to purchase extra equipment out of pocket.

“We have not been contacted by any resident about having to purchase extra equipment,” Graham said.

Graham said claims for damages or incurred costs should be submitted to the city’s risk management services for consideration.