Residents say Gatineau, Que., reservoir contributes to chronic flooding

Residents in Gatineau's Aylmer neighbourhood say the city's storm water management system is causing chronic flooding in their homes.

City says it's studying a drainage issue after analysis from an outside consultant

Pascal Truchon says his family moved to rue Clarence in Aylmer for their 'dream property' but have had to cope with the stresses of poor drainage and chronic flooding in their brand new home for years. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Residents in an Aylmer neighbourhood say the city's storm water management system is not working well enough and causing chronic flooding issues.

Pascal Truchon has lived on rue Clarence off chemin Morley-Walters for a decade and has been trying to get the city to act on drainage issues since he experienced flooding in 2011.

He nervously watches the weather forecast for sustained rainfall, he said.

"When you see that there's about 50 millimetres of rain forecasted within 24 hours, you know that the water area is going to get full again and then it's going to back up into the city's system," he said.

"If you don't flood you're going to come very close to it."

Aylmer resident Pascal Truchon, whose basement has flooded several times over the past few years, says all he can do is prepare for the worst. 0:43

Truchon recently had his property studied and found veins bringing water from the municipal reservoir toward his home.

He's since had the land excavated, replaced damaged weeping tiles in his basement and installed a pump to prevent future damage.

"We're easily right now at $75,000 and that's not counting my time for 500 hours and still many more to come," he said.

He wants the city to improve the drainage from the reservoir behind his home, which is also putting other houses in the neighbourhood at risk.

'We need to know what causes this'

The Gatineau city councillor who represents the area said he received a list of several addresses affected by some kind of flooding after last week's rain.

Deschênes Coun. Mike Duggan said he wants the city to improve the outflow of water from the rue Clarence basin underneath chemin d'Aylmer and out to the Ottawa River.

"The residents are not happy and I'm not happy either. We need to know what causes this," Duggan said.

"We can't design our city to accommodate all weather events. However, this weather event wasn't that extreme so we have to ask ourselves is the design of this neighbourhood proper for managing surface water." 

Gatineau city councillor Mike Duggan wonders if an Aylmer neighbourhood that's experienced flooding is designed to properly manage surface water. 0:32

Brigil, which developed the neighbourhood, said all construction was done to the city's standards and the issues do not appear to be related to the houses, but rather with municipal services.

The developer said it is following the issue and will be advising residents, even though the guarantee on their properties has expired.

The City of Gatineau said it received three requests for service on rue Clarence last week and public works employees did not detect any issues when they inspected the area.

The city said it is studying the long-term drainage issue following a report from an outside consultant.