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Irrigation company talks about failed canal

MURRAY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The water has drained, but questions are still floating about the canal break in Murray.
MURRAY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The water has drained, but questions are still floating about the canal break in Murray.

According to the Secretary Treasurer for the North Jordan Irrigation Company the canal was built in 1894 and has only been breached twice.

The first break was nine months ago in July 2012 in the Murray Bluffs II neighborhood. The second and much bigger breach occurred Saturday afternoon in the same area. It flooded a handful of homes.

The company said there was no indication of a leak before Saturday, but Scott Goodman, a homeowner affected by the flood, believes otherwise.

“They were the ones that dredged [the canal] in the fall and they had ample time to inspect it before they put water in it,” Goodman said.

The company said they used clay soil to compact the area when the first leak occurred nine months ago.

The clay soil was visibly eroded, causing the water to penetrate and shift the sand underneath.

The North Jordan Irrigation Company has hired an engineering firm to test the soil and make a recommendation on what the company needs to do to fix the canal.

The company would not speculate on what sparked the leak to get bigger and create the breach.

The company said they plan to move fast on fixing the canal because stakeholders, farmers and Kennecott need the water.

The irrigation company said they have a $3 million dollar umbrella insurance policy. They said homeowners who require clean-up services will be reimbursed for their costs.

Insurance adjusters plan to visit the damaged homes Monday morning.

“The canal needs to be fixed soon before somebody gets hurt,” Goodman added.

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