This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

White Rock Lake Wildfire Victims Expensive to Reconnect to Water Utility

It has been almost a year since the White Rock Lake wildfiresdevastatedparts of the west side of Okanagan Lake in Killini Beach, British Columbia. It's been a while. But life is still far from returning to normal.

Some people who lost their homes in the August 2021 fires are struggling with basic things like reconnecting to their local water system.

These property owners are now speaking out about what they feel is unreasonably expensive to restore water service.

Among them is Sandy Brant. To get the water she needs for her daily life, she has to run a hose to her neighbor's house every few days.

Brant, her husband, and her granddaughter returned to their former home location in late May.

The family lives in her RV and is not yet connected to the local water system.

Story continues below ad

"I am grateful to have a wonderful neighbor who lends me water, but I don't feel the need to." That's why,'I shower every other day and my granddaughter showers every other day,' said Blunt. You have to think about everything, you don't realize it until the water runs out."

Children's Charity Helps Families After Wildfires Destroy Homes – 2022 February 25,

She knew there was no water.

A Killini Beach resident will have to pay her more than $4,700 for a new water meter and she will pay $9 to reconnect to a local utility owned and operated by the Central Okanagan Regional District. I said I have to wait until the month.

"That seems like a lot of money. I know a friend of mine built a trail and paid $1,500 four years ago. That's not a normal price. I feel like I'm being ripped off," Blunt said.

Story continues under advertisement

"I don't think we should pay all that money for a fire that wasn't our fault.

Read more: Killiney Beach under ban on consumption months after bushfires

But despite not getting water, Brandt said she still had to pay some of her utility bills, which totaled $175 every three months.

``How would you feel if the water you were paying for was no longer available?'' she asked.

Killiney Beach seasonal resident Barry Gilley shows the original water meter destroyed in a fire. Megan Turcato / Global News

Seasonal resident Barry Her Gilly, whose villa was also destroyed in a fire Did. Same big charge to reconnect.

Trending Stories

He pays his neighbor to connect to his neighbor's water to make ends meet. increase.

Story continues under advertisement

Gilley said the original water meter was destroyed in a fire, but the connection to the water system was still there. rice field.

"All they have to do is drop him a meter on top of it. So they're ready, but that costs him $4,768," he said. said Mr.

"They don't put the water back in. Sometimes they want to go out and unlock it... and they'll probably end up in jail." 90}

READ MORE: RDCO Reduces Water Bills for Residents Affected by White Rock Lake Wildfires

Local district water metering delays are due to supply chain issues in the pandemic and costs are high as installing meters for RVs requires underground structures called "meter pits"

``The meter itself is relatively inexpensive. Some of the tests have to do post-wildfire work because of these community impacts, which is more expensive and that's how we get that $4,700," said Central Okanagan Regional District. said Travis Kendell, Manager of Engineering and Fire Services at .

Story continues below advertisement

``If you were to subsidize these charges, your neighbor would pay the difference. , we can't do that. It's not fair. We're looking at other options to help them." , the local government says it is illegal and unsafe.

"We make sure everyone has a water meter so they know where the water is going, are properly accounted for and use it in a safe manner. Connecting without a water meter without local authority approval can contaminate the system,” says Kendel.

READ MORE: Evacuees from the White Rock Lake wildfires flock to her ESS Center for answers.

Why Brandt pays basic utility bills without a water connection, but Kendel says he is part of the water system without a working connection. said.

``They benefit from the water system that is there. They are paying for the part that is not related to water use,” Kendell said.

I want to be there and do all I can, but I can't do everything."

Story Continues Below Ad

Gillrie and Brandt both face other financial pressures related to the fire and say they won't pay more than $4,700 for a new meter.

Gilly plans to return to Red Deer in the winter, but Blunt and his family are in a difficult situation as rebuilding is expected to take about eight months.

"What am I going to do in winter when everything is frozen? How am I going to get water through the hose?" Blunt wonders.

'It's All Gone': Westside Road Evacuees Return to Facility – 3 September 2021

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.