Excess drainage causes constant headaches in west Winnipeg neighbourhood

Flooding is an issue all homeowners dread, but for a handful of residents in a Winnipeg neighbourhood its become a regular occurrence.

Robert Evans lives in the neighbourhood of Woodhaven. He told Global News issues involving excess water on his property began in 2020, when his neighbour, who’s backyard is opposite to his, made changes to the grading of the yard while building a deck.

“Every time it rains now, I have to pump,” explained Evans. “A couple [years] ago, she added soil, and kinda got away with that one, then after that she went and added a 3-inch brick on top. So all the water drains away, and comes down here and comes this way.”

Those changes have caused water to pour into his yard, at best pooling near along the back fence, at there worst, pooling approximately 3-inches deep outside the backdoor, and overflowing into the window wells of his basement.

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But it’s not just Evans who is impacted by the run-off. Cody Pratt moved in next to Evans a few years ago, he was initially warned by Evans and other neighbours about the water issue, and like Evans has to pump water out of his yard on a frequent basis. Pratt has taken steps in order to protect his home, but said he can’t do anything too drastic as it would create more headaches for others.

“There’s only so much you can do where you wend up affecting everyone else,” Pratt said. “Like I brought that up a couple inches, [but] I couldn’t bring it up anymore because if I did, then all of a sudden more water is forcing towards these guys, and I rather like my neighbours.”

Photos provided to Global News before the work began back in 2020 show the yards were of a similar grade.

Before the work was completed both yards were of similar grade. Robert Evans

The owner of the other home in question declined an interview by Global News, but told reporters none of the neighbours have approached them in regards to their drainage concerns, and City of Winnipeg inspectors approved all required work permits.

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Evans has attempted multiple times over the past few years to have the City take action, with little to no luck.

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When asked about the dispute between neighbours, the City of Winnipeg responded over email, stating while they couldn’t respond to specific complaints, but stated the following: “An inspector attending a residence to do an audit of permitted building work (such as a deck or accessory structure) would not typically inspect the property for grade. Just as an inspector from the Water and Waste Department (WWD) doing an inspection of lot grading would not be able to properly assess building work.”

Charleswood – Tuxedo – Westwood councillor Evan Duncan was unable to take time away from meetings today, but did tell reporters over the phone that he empathizes with his constituents frustrations, and is looking into what can be done to resolve the issue.

To date, the solutions suggested by the City would require Evans and Pratt to pay out of pocket, which they have no interest in, saying they didn’t cause the problem in the first place.

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