Ogden residents question who will pay for damage after several homes flooded

Posted at 10:51 PM, Aug 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-12 00:51:44-04

OGDEN, Utah -- For 44 days water has been mysteriously leaking into homes in one Ogden neighborhood. The local utilities always blamed it on ground water, but on Tuesday a meeting was held to inform residents that the water may actually be coming from a faulty reservoir.

"The basement is demolished, there is nothing, it has to be totally redone," said Susan Lundell, who owns one of the 17 homes that have experienced the flooding.

On Monday, Pineview Water Systems announced a leak had been found in one of their reservoirs above the homes. Lundell was hoping Pineview's general manager would take official responsibility for the flooding during Tuesday's Weber Box Elder County Conservation District meeting.

"He kept saying if we are responsible, and if this, and he kept referring to it as ground water, still not ‘our water’ and it just sounds like he's just trying to distance himself even though they found this leak in the reservoir," Lundell said.

Pineview officials say they have contacted their insurance company, but the key factor upon determining responsibility will be whether or not the flooding slows down or stops entirely now that the reservoir has been drained.

"We don't know how much we have contributed to the ground water and if that's really affecting the homes or not, that’s why we really need to continue to monitor it and make that analysis and that decision so we can move ahead,” said Terel Grimley, general manager of Pineview Water Systems.

The flood victims have also enlisted the expertise of geohydrologist John Files, who believes the flooding has little to do with ground water.

"It's just really unlikely for the ground water table to come up on its own in that particular area when it's dropping everywhere else in that area, there has to be some catalyst,” said Files, of Cascade Water Resources. "And I think a leak from the reservoir or the canal is a definite possibility for that catalyst."

Pineview Water Systems says it could take weeks to determine how much of the water coming into the basements is actually from the reservoir.

Fox 13 will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated.