Sewer service mucked up

For most people, paying their monthly utility bills is second nature.

For most people, paying their monthly utility bills is second nature, but one Invermere woman hasn’t received the sewer service she’s been paying for over the last 25 years.

Former Calgary resident Burdette Coates Storey has been paying into the district sewer system ever since buying a second property at 1602 1A Avenue in Invermere in 1987 as a vacation home. Having moved to Invermere full-time a number of years ago, Storey had a back-up of what she thought was grey water this past summer. After having a plumbing service resolve the issue, the service also recommended the sewer line be inspected by camera. The inspection indicated a problem with the line and Storey had where she thought the sewer line on her property ran excavated.

That’s when they discovered that instead of being connected to the town sewer line, the property was only connected to a septic system.

“I was pretty aghast, because the (district service card) actually showed me connected as well as the (realtor) listing sheet,” Storey said. “So even if at the time I bought it I had searched it out more carefully, it still would have shown me as connected.”

Storey estimates she has paid somewhere near $5,000 in sewage fees over the years, and as such is appealing to Invermere council for a solution. Storey said she is willing to forgo asking the district for reimbursement of those fees, provided the district foots the bill for connecting her property to the village sewer line.

“I don’t know exactly where we go from here, but it’s kind of worrisome, because I definitely am going to have to have something done,” Storey said.

To this day, Storey still has the original realtor listing sheet, which clearly indicates that the property is connected to the town sewer line. Furthermore, at the Invermere council meeting on Tuesday, November 13, Chief Administrative Officer Chris Prosser told council members that the district service card from 1975 for the property also shows the property is connected.

The reality, he noted, is that the sewer line runs up to the edge of the property.

Citing the need for a fair solution for all the parties combined, council has now directed staff to obtain an estimate on the cost of installing a line, and an estimate on the amount Storey has paid in sewer fees over the years.

As the weather is quickly turning, Storey has since has the excavation on her property filled with the expectation that any decision or action likely wouldn’t take place until next spring.