According to Hans Jeschek, it all started about 2010.
“I don’t know what happened, really. They (the municipality) put in a pipe with a blowout and right after, my water got muddy, so maybe it was related to that. I really don’t know. But I complained back then and their first answer was to put the water on the counter for five minutes and let it settle out,” he said.
What followed was a series of complaints and discussions. About four years ago, after again complaining to Susan Johnston (the mayor at the time) and getting no resolution to the problem, Jeschek had a filtering system installed in his house. After continued complaints, he eventually had the District of Hope agree to pay for that system. In return, Jeschek signed papers that apparently absolved the district from any further liability on the issue.
“Yes, I signed those papers and my water was good with the filter, but that was then, and things have changed.
“Now I’m almost 80 years old and every month I have to crawl under the sink to change my filters and it’s hard. I’ve gotten to the point where, some days, I just can’t physically do it any more…but I have to do it or my water gets all muddy again and it can’t be used,” Jeschek said.
“I’ve gotten to the point where sometimes I leave the filter for two months, but then I have to try to change them so I can use the water. But it’s really hard and I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I think maybe they should come and change it for me.”
Mayor Wilfried Vicktor was contacted by the Hope Standard and said that Jeschek had not contacted him regarding the problem and, to the best of his knowledge, the situation had been resolved long ago.
Jeschek confirmed that he had not recently contacted the municipality, choosing to approach the Hope Standard instead. He said he had called the district office several months ago and been told that, with the signed agreement in place, the situation was no longer the district’s concern. The Hope Standard was not able to confirm that communication.
In apparent response to the Hope Standard’s inquiries, the district was quick to respond and Hope CAO John Fortoloczky visited Jeschek to determine what, if anything, the municipality could do to alleviate the situation.
“It this is a simple matter of changing filters, we’ll look into it, but I’m not certain that there’s anything we can really do. It certainly isn’t our practice to send municipal staff onto private property to do the maintenance work on that property.
“But we’re sympathetic to Mr. Jeschek’s situation and we’ll be considering what, if anything, we can do to help out,” Fortoloczky said.
“The truth is I’m not sure we ever had a confirmation that his problems resulted from anything we did, and the district’s agreement to pay for his filter in the first place seems like it was really an act of good will. But we’re here to help and he (Jeschek) and anyone else in the District of Hope can always come to us if they have a problem.”
For Jeschek, it has now become a waiting game.
His request is that the municipality either extend the water line and install another blowout valve on the other side of his property or install a filter on the existing exterior line leading to the house and change that filter on a regular basis.
Jeschek said it has been several weeks since he made that request, but according to Fortoloczky, no further response will be forthcoming.
“We dealt with this situation back in 2012 and again in 2014, and have a signed agreement on the matter. We consider the matter closed,” he said.