WX reports findings on Farm Meadows


by Becky GINOS
bginos@davisclipper.com

WOODS CROSS—For the last couple of years, homeowners living in the Farm Meadows subdivision in Woods Cross have been battling mysterious cracks in their driveways, foundation and even the sheet rock in the walls – some of it extensive.
The city has done multiple tests to try and figure out what is causing the problem. Meanwhile, many residents have been making the repairs themselves. At a recent city council meeting, the Project Team working on a study of the area gave a report on their findings and suggested recommendations.
“There are about 50 homes that we’re aware of with structural damage,” said city engineer Greg Seegmiller. “It started about March 2015 but may have been even before then.”
Seegmiller said the investigation showed the soil in the area consisted predominantly of clay and organic-rich layers. “There has been a disappearance of ground water resulting in a significant drop of about 23 feet or more across the site since 1986,” he said. “The organic layers collapse without water.”
According to the report, lowering of the shallow water table may be a result of several factors, none of which can be specifically attributed to the Farm Meadows subdivision:
• Regional drought
• Loss of recharge areas due to urban development
• Municipal pumping of the deeper groundwater aquifer
“Some distress observed in the residential dwellings could be associated with inadequate site preparation, site grading, fill placement or other construction activities,” the report reads. “This study did not investigate individual lots or specific construction methods or activities.”
Seegmiller outlined the Project Team’s recommendations:
• Entities who own, operate and maintain the various underground utilities (power, water, gas, etc.) should inspect their utilities on a regular basis to ensure safe service.
• Underpinning of foundations and leveling of structures as the primary mitigation to bring homes back to whole.
• Any mitigation or underpinning for any part of a structure should be done on the entire structure.
“People who do lift their homes should do a geotechnical investigation to get a feel for what’s going on first,” he said.
There was some discussion that some residents have already lifted portions of their homes but Seegmiller said they would need to lift the rest of the home to adequately address the problem.
“We applied for a grant but we didn’t get it,” said City Administrator Gary Uresk. “Through our RDA we might be able to come up with money to address homes that are most severely impacted. There would probably be an application process with scoring. We want to try and stabilize it and also help financially to give people hope that there’s help out there.”

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What others say about : WX reports findings on Farm Meadows..


J Johnson

I certainly hope that the RDA funds will be made available to those whose homes are most severely impacted by the ground movement in Farm Meadows. As a resident of that subdivision, I want my friends and neighbors whose homes are nearly uninhabitable to receive the help they need to lift their homes and have safe, stable homes again. It is my understanding that the money is simply to lift the homes and add piers to stabilize them once they are lifted. These families will then have to pay out of pocket to make all of the other repairs to drywall, plumbing, etc. That too will be expensive. Imagine the nightmare they live day after day hearing new creaking in their homes. These are people who, like the rest of us, bought homes in Farm Meadows in good faith, that it was stable land to build on. I’ve heard from longtime residents of WX that were surprised that the land was approved for development. Those of us not originally from WX, were unaware of the land’s history and naively trusted that developers wouldn’t build communities on questionable land.

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