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

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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.

4 comments

  • bob

    If it’s the reservoir, then the owner pays. If not, the homeowners pay, unless they were smart enough to buy flood insurance.

    • jake

      hey, bob as an insurance agent that’s not how it works if pineview won’t cover it, than their homeowners insurance will NOT cover it. because all flood insurance is handled through FEMA and unless they declare it a widespread emergency it won’t be paid, might want to check with your agent if he told you otherwise because you got ripped off. Been working in insurance for a while

  • Pedro

    I’m pretty sure that is why people buy flood insurance……One of the potential risks in having a reliable water supply (reservoir) up hill from your house.

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