'Still uninhabitable': Tenants to pick up personal items from sewage-flooded Wellburn's Market building
Residents of the Wellburn's Market building were first told to leave the building on Friday, Nov. 29: (CTV News)
VICTORIA – The historic Wellburn's Market building near downtown Victoria is "still uninhabitable," according to the managers of the heritage-registered property.
Residents of the building and many of the businesses located on the property's ground floor, including the Wellburn's Market grocery store, were told that the building would be shut down indefinitely due to sewage flooding on Friday.
The cause of the flooding was first believed to be caused by the building's original sewage pipe, which dates back to 1911 when the building was first constructed, which was thought to have rotted and collapsed.
On Monday, work crews were on site trying to determine where the source of the flooding was coming from and on Tuesday, the building's property management company, Pacific Cove, said that the pipe appeared to be blocked somewhere, and not collapsed.
While the sewage pipe had been examined on the side that is immediately accessible from the Wellburn's building, no blockage had been found. Pacific Cove now says that it will have to investigate the other end of the pipe, which is located on city grounds.
"We are trying to figure out why and whether or not it's fixable," said Lee Rennison, a spokesperson for Pacific Cove. "We have gone at it from one end and now we have to look at the pipe from the other end."
Rennison notes that while the blockage is likely located in the pipe somewhere on city property, Pacific Cove does not believe the city is at fault for the sewage back up in any way.
On Friday, the City of Victoria told CTV News that there had been no sewage impact to any other buildings in the area, and that the water backup was not due to a collapse of the public sewer system.
"We are doing everything we can," said Rennison.
In the meantime, tenants of the Wellburn's building have been provided with temporary accommodations by Pacific Cove. On Tuesday, residents were allowed to return to the building to gather personal items, though plumbing and hot water were still unavailable on the property.