Ogden homeowners frustrated over mysterious, endless flooding source

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OGDEN, Utah -- Since June 28, an Ogden family has pumped more than 20,000 gallons of water out of their basement, and there is no end in sight.

The water continues to pour in from underneath the floor and behind the walls of the Douglas Street home, and no one seems to know where it is coming from.

"Every 25 to 30 minutes around the clock we are down here sucking this out," said homeowner Jessica Smith.

Smith doesn't know if she needs a plumber or detective, when it comes figuring out why water keeps leaking into her basement.

"I would like to find the source of this water, right now it kind of seems like a witch hunt," said Smith. "There is obviously a cause for this, We've called Weber Water Basin, we called plumbers, we called city engineers."

The city says it's not their responsibility but they will do all they can to help.

"So we're still doing some investigation into it, nothing thus far has indicated that it has anything to do with our pipes," said Kenton Moffett, Ogden Public Utilities Manager.

The city says at this point the most logical explanation is ground water.

"Well it rained a lot in May, so I mean sometimes it can delay, ground water is a tricky thing it's hard to tell," said Moffett.

Smith isn't satisfied with this explanation.

"I think that's baloney, I really do, to have this much water as ground water is unheard of and to have it keep coming," said Smith.

Smith says they had recently invested $10,000 finishing the basement, and were just days away from putting the house on the market.

"Unfortunately, you can't put a house on the market that's underwater, nobody is going to want to buy this, nobody is going to want to look at this," said Smith.

The Smiths aren't alone, next door Alison Lundell is splashing through her own mess. Both of these homeowners say their insurance will not cover this.

"You know we are not in a flood plane so they just say they can't do anything, sorry it didn't happen in your house, it's outside, so we're screwed," said Lundell.

Despite having no explanation or solution to the flooding, these families say they must remain strong for their children.

"So we put a big sign on the door, 'come in, scuba gear welcome, but optional,' we try to keep it light, if we are down about this for 10 days it can get depressing," said Smith.

The city of Ogden said they are in the process of bringing in some new high-tech equipment and plan to continue investigating the cause of the flooding on July 15.

7 comments

  • Bianca

    This happened to us too. The repairs to fix it is going to be $12,000 that we don’t have just sitting around. We had a serval companies come look at our house for the cost of repairs. One place said it was going to be $22,000. Another company told us the pervious owner/investor hid all the previous water damage by fixing up the basement brand new. I wish there was someone or some way to get this problem fixed

  • miles (dave)

    if this were my house id shut off the water as far out to the street as possible on both culinary and secondary water and let it be off for many hours and relieve the pressure on the lines (keep in mind the longer the better you need to get the pressure off the lines and that can take time for all water above the leaking point to lower through the leek) to see if this changes anything about the water coming in. if no change then

    get a shovel and start digging right next to the foundation closest to where its coming it see how far down you need to go before you get to water this will tell you if it is ground water or not. if not then call an exorcist :)

    • MoreManNoMoreMan

      Great idea!

      I’ve seen some people in our west valley neighborhood that have this issue. It was at its worst during and after new new construction in the near by area.

      • miles (dave)

        thanks

        to be honest im glad i dont know anyone who has this problem but if i did it love to try these things i just dont see how it could fail. the way i see it if it is ground water then the hole you dug by the foundation can then be used to place a pump to keep the water out of the house at least till you can find the cause and fix it for good.

        if its the culinary or secondary water then figure which, from there its probably not going to be fun to find the leak point but at least you have something to go on instead of being a helpless victim of the situation.

  • Talia

    Maybe a sump pump would help. We had a running stream under our house and it flooded our basement twice. It had to be an industrial sump pump. Cost about a $1000 back in the day.

    Because it was underground water, we were allowed to pump the water into the storm drains. During heavy rain fall the storm drains would back up so the city put in a back flow prevention part so the water could flow out and not back in – no charge.

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