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Leak discovered in Ogden reservoir possibly contributes to flooded basements

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Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-11 07:48:57-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Forty-three days ago 17 homes in Ogden were flooded and the water has yet to stop.

Jessica Smith said she's pumped 500 to 600 gallons of water from her basement since the flooding started. And now she may finally have an answer for why.

"I don't believe we're the primary source, groundwater is the primary source, but we very well could be adding to it," said Terel Grimley, general manager for Pine View Water Systems.

Officials drained a reservoir above the Smith's home on Monday and found a small depression that was leaking water.

One leak may not prove to be the culprit. Groundwater is common in the area but, the leak could be adding enough to the current groundwater level to push it into the homes. Only time and careful measurements at the homes that are flooding will tell.

"If it doesn't slow down in a week or 10 days then that will give us a pretty good indication but we'll continue to monitor it," Grimley said.

For the homeowners who have had to tear out drywall and carpets in their basements and install sump pumps to try and keep up with the flow of water, it's not enough.

"At this point we're not holding our breath. For the last 43 days Pine View has insisted with great fervor that this is not their water, it is groundwater," said Smith, standing next to a large construction dumpster filled with ruined items from her basement. "There's no excitement until this water stops and our lives are put back together."

If Pine View Water Systems determines it is at least partially responsible, Grimley says they will be part of putting those lives back together.

"As I said from day one, if we're contributing to the problem or we are the problem then we need to take care of it," he said.