Family in West Valley frustrated with flooding caused by canal

Posted at 10:03 PM, Aug 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-14 00:07:12-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A West Valley City family’s basement is flooded after a canal gave way, and the homeowner said it’s the second time dirty canal water has seeped into their house and no one is stepping up to help.

The Roseborough family now has a state lawmaker involved. So who is at fault? That’s the question both sides are trying to figure out.

“Our whole basement, our whole house smelled like canal water, it was gross had that yucky smell, because of the particles in that water this was not salvageable,” said Emily Roseborough, who is upset.

Not only has her basement been flooded twice. Now, there’s mold in her home and with an 8-month-old baby, the new mother is concerned about her family’s health.

“Nobody is doing anything,” she said. “We’re stuck living like this. We don’t have the money to come up and repair the basement and take the mold out, and nobody will do anything.”

The canal is managed by the South Jordan Irrigation Company. Larry Wiley is the Vice President of the North Jordan Irrigation Company and he’s also a Utah lawmaker. Emily contacted him for help.

“We’re responsible for maintaining that water in the canal,” he said. “Once that water leaves, it’s waters users that are responsible to maintain it.”

Wiley said he believes the water users are supposed to clear any debris that covers the irrigation ditches. When it’s left untouched, the water has to find another direction to flow, and Emily’s home happens to be in its path.

“She was quite frustrated because she made a lot of phone calls to different agencies and she wasn’t getting any response,” said Wiley, who is trying to help her solve the problem even though his company doesn’t manage the canal.

Roseborough said they are frustrated with the whole mess.

“They were negligent,” she said. “They didn’t clean out their laterals and so their water has damaged our property and we’re stuck trying to battle with them. We’re not paying for this, you caused it, you fix it, and they don’t want to fix it.”

The Roseborough family is left in limbo for now. They plan on getting an attorney.