Drainage problems, sink holes caused by fence posts?

Published 3:34 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

After purchasing her new home, Pat Gorzney found that the storm drain near her home does not work properly.

Gorzney bought her home earlier this year and recently noticed that when it rains, her yard retains water and the fence that separates her property from her neighbor’s is sinking.

Neighbors have told her that the storm drainage system in that area of Audubon Drive has been broken for about 10 years. Only months into living in her new home, she has had to have the west side of her foundation fixed, she said, because of the drainage problem.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’m scared to death I’m going to have to have them fix the foundation (again) if it keeps up,” Gorzney said.

She contacted the city, which sent men out who attempted to flush the system with high pressure water. Gorzney said the water pumped into the drain would not flow out to the drainage ditch behind her house, which is where the storm drain leads. After calling again with the same problem, she said she was told the job would be too big to dig it all up and the city does not have the men, money or material to fix the problem.

So far the only remedy to the problem has been a load of dirt deposited in the sink holes, Gorzney said.

Public Works Director Chad Frierson said the city suffers from similar problems in several places, and those problems take money to fix. Currently, there is no money in the budget to conduct the work. To properly fix the problem would involve new infrastructure.

The problem is believed to have begun when the fence posts between the two properties were driven on top of the concrete drain pipe, which also lies between the two properties. When the fence poles were installed on the property line, they possibly broke through the drainage pipe. Over time, dirt eroded into the pipe clogging it up, Frierson said.