The registered heritage building housing Wellburn’s Market has stood at the corner of Cook Street and Pandroa Avenue since 1911. (File photo)

Wellburn’s forced to close due to sewage flooding basement

Owner says at one point sewage was two feet high in the basement

Wellburn’s Market was forced to close Friday after sewage from the building flooded the basement.

The grocery store, located at Cook Street and Pandora Avenue, has gone without hot water for the past four days, says Ed Lum, owner of the store, and the toilets had been backing up for days prior to flood. On Wednesday sewage was discovered in the basement and trucks were sent in to pump out the excess fluid while customers were still allowed inside.

READ ALSO: Century-old grocery business set to close for new development

Lum says the sewage has filled up again following the initial finding, because of people in the building using the washroom, adding that at one point the sewage level was as high as two feet. Since then the level of fluid has gone down, which Lum says is because residents were told to evacuate.

According to Lum the owners of the building say there is no fix for the sewage issues and the grocery store will be closed indefinitely due to health concerns. “This is terrible,” says Lum, adding that there’s been a level of “hush, hush” surrounding the issue.

READ ALSO: Vehicle driven into North Saanich sewage pump station

The store was set to close its doors sometime next year and a redevelopment is expected. Lum says the previous owners of the grocery store knew there was an issue with the sewage system and had been told to fix it prior to selling, but never did. Now, Lum wants answers from the City.

“I want to know, myself, what the city’s take on it would be,” he says. “[This] should have been fixed two years ago and not left.”

At least 20 employees were told to go home Friday and Lum says he doesn’t know when they will return to work.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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