Sewer work near Riverdale landslide leaves neighbors wondering

Local News

RIVERDALE (News4Utah) – A slow moving landslide continues to creep closer and closer to houses and that has homeowners wondering why their backyards continue to crumble, even in the hot and dry weather.

Geologists have told us all along that the reason this hill is sliding is because it’s saturated. They don’t know exactly where that water is coming from but we might have gotten a hint on Saturday when crews were out here repairing a sewer line.

Neighbors recorded cell phone video as crews from Insituform Technologies re-line the main sewer pipe under 600 West where four homes teeter on the brink of a persistent landslide that began on November 19th and continues to take chunks of their backyards.

Neighbor Dawn Benegar lives one house away from the four condemned homes and says vibrations from passing trains and Hill Air Force Base fighter jets loosen the saturated soil.

“When the airshow was on the 14th, that evening after everything had vibrated water started pouring out of that hill,” Benegar said. “And we’re going ‘OK what caused that?'”

Insituform Field Engineer Ben Reilly told News4Utah on the phone that the sewer pipe was not leaking and the work on Saturday was routine pipe rehabilitation.

“They just said that they were lining the sewer and he did tell us how that worked with adhering to the drain,” Benegar said. “To me that sounds like we did have some kind of issue.”

Benegar said she doesn’t believe the work was routine maintenance and that leaky sewer pipes had something to do with the hillside sliding.

“I think it’s a combination,” Benegar said. “I do think that could be a big possibility.”

Meanwhile four families remain out of their homes and because they’re still standing they still have to pay their mortgage loans.

News4Utah left phone messages for Riverdale City Administrator Rodger Worthen and Public Works Administrator Shawn Douglas, but as of 5 pm Wednesday they had not returned our calls.

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