Work last week to address unforeseen sewer-main issues in South Surrey’s Summerfield neighbourhood raised concerns. (Contributed photo)

‘Unforeseen circumstances’ cited in South Surrey sewer work

Summerfield residents told backed-up sewage line necessitated temporary re-routing

Residents of at least 22 homes in South Surrey’s Summerfield neighbourhood were dealing with excessive noise last week from generators that were running “24/7” to re-route sewage, after work that was initiated to increase capacity for an upcoming development uncovered a bigger problem.

Jacquie Miller, who lives in a townhouse complex adjacent to the work site, said she and her neighbours were initially angered by “insane noise” from work that began in the 300-block of 171 Street on Jan. 2.

The crew worked later than city bylaws allowed, didn’t advise residents of what was happening and were working in a hole that seemed to just get bigger and bigger, Miller said. As well, police who attended the site Thursday night told residents no permits had been obtained to do the work, she said.

But Miller said a City of Surrey bylaws officer told her Friday morning that the crew is actually contending with a problem they didn’t cause – a sewer line that was almost completely backed up.

“They’ve just been repairing what they’ve come across… dealing with issues they didn’t cause,” Miller said she was told.

A letter to residents from B&B Contracting Group dated Jan. 4 apologizes for the disruption, and notes the late hours “have been forced upon us due to unforeseen circumstances.”

“Preexisting conditions have caused challenges that are impacting the duration of our daily progress.”

Miller said worked spread word of the issue to her neighbours, many of whom have young children. Everyone was losing sleep over the noise, she said.

Miller said she is concerned that the issue may be more profound. She noted that a patch of ground in front of her home has been sinking over the past year, and wonders if it could be related.

“Whatever the problem is is just getting bigger and bigger,” she said.

Monday morning, Miller said that things were back to normal – quieter, and with regular construction hours – by the end of Friday.

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