N.L. homeowner relieved by town‘s purchase of his sewage-sprayed home

ST. JOHN‘S, N.L. — ST. JOHN‘S, N.L. — A nightmare is nearly over for a Newfoundland family plagued by years of contamination from a nearby sewage lift station after their town approved funding to buy their home.

The sewage station a few metres from Jim Clarke‘s home in Paradise, N.L., has affected the family for years, but the final straw was last summer when an equipment failure sent sewage spewing onto them.

The family wanted to move, but recurring damage made the home nearly impossible to sell.

After being sprayed in the face from a back surge of sewage during municipal work, Clarke asked town council to take action and relocate his family. Last night, the Town of Paradise approved the $430,000 purchase of Clarke‘s property.

"It‘s just (an) absolutely fantastic feeling," Clarke said by phone Wednesday. "After 15 years of literally going through hell, we thought it would never happen."

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This summer‘s dramatic back surge followed several incidents of sewage spilling onto the basement floor from a toilet.

The volume at the sewage lift station is the largest in the town. The unexpected issue with pumps and pipes that began last August required pumper trucks and pipes on-site to keep residents‘ toilets working.

Clarke said sewage-related stresses have been taxing on his family. He lives in the home with his wife and son.

Clarke said he has already put the down payment on a new house ahead of the town‘s purchase, which he expects to go through in mid-December.

He said he‘s looking forward to moving into a cleaner, more relaxing home, where he intends to "sit down, have a glass of wine and just thank God that it‘s all over."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2019.

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