A Dartmouth man is in a fight with Halifax Water over a stream that is causing erosion in his backyard.           

Paul Martel says the Ellenvale Run stream is creating safety and aesthetic issues that could prevent him from selling his property.

“My yard is falling into the stream and they keep citing that there’s no money for infrastructure,” says Martel.

Halifax owns the 5-kilometre stream, but its walls are crumbling and the surrounding soil is eroding.

Halifax Water says it’s part of failing infrastructure the commission inherited years ago.

“We’ve inherited this asset. We have a lot of failing infrastructure and Ellenvale Run is part of that infrastructure,” says Halifax Water spokesperson James Campbell.

Martel says the infrastructure is both ugly and a safety hazard.

“I can’t walk safely into certain areas because there are sinkholes,” he says. “You can sink up to three to four feet and there are rocks below you.”

Halifax Water has visited the site several times over the years to complete work on the infrastructure, but Martel says they are only band-aid solutions.

“I’m at a loss. I’ve approached them on so many occasions.”

Campbell says $2.3 million has already been spent on Ellenvale Run in the last 10 years, and Halifax Water is planning to spend more.

“It’ll be a multi-million-dollar project,” says Campbell. “We have a lot of failing infrastructure. We have a lot of priority projects.”

Halifax Water is in the process of completing a needs assessment study to determine what needs to be done.

“Well, that’s little consolation to me because my yard is still falling in,” says Martel.

Martel is recently retired and plans to sell his property, but he knows that won’t be an easy task.

“No prospective home buyer is going to take on a fight with Halifax Water.”

With files from Kayla's Hounsell