A Winnipeg homeowner says a mess created by crews working for the city has left him with a big bill and a big headache.

Andrew Stewart said a street cleaning crew hired by the city knocked over a fire hydrant near his house on Logan Avenue in January.

It flooded his yard, bringing in mud and gravel from the road.

The frozen mass is now thawing out, turning into a muddy mess underneath 30 centimetres of dirt. 

He said the city has told him they are investigating his complaint.     


Andrew Stewart said the dirt and gravel from the road that ended up on his yard after a fire hydrant burst over the winter is 30 centimetres thick in some places. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

"What's there to investigate?" he said, pointing at the damage to his yard.

Stewart said the City of Winnipeg told him it wasn't a city snow plow that hit the fire hydrant, but a contractor's machine. 

He said city staff told him to clean up his yard and submit the bill, and they'll reimburse him for cleanup costs once their investigation is complete.

But Stewart said that's not fair, and both estimates he's received for cleanup and repairs come in at around $10,000 — money he said he doesn't have. 

"I don't have $10,000 or more sitting around to pay somebody to clean it," he said. "It's a lot of work. I mean my yard is sunk."

MUD mess

Andrew Stewart said the city told him to submit the bill for the clean up of his yard, but he said he doesn't have the $10,000 it will cost him up front. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

Stewart said not only is he expected to foot the cleanup bill up front, but the fiasco could also cost him in the future. He said city staff don't seem to understand. 

"I even asked the guy, 'Where do I start?'' he said. "He said, ' contact your home insurance.' Yeah, you do that and your rates are going to go up. Why should I pay for something I never did? If I hired a contractor to do work and he damaged your property, I'd have to pay."