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DRAPER, Utah (AP) -- The city may have lost as much as 15 million gallons of water over the winter because of a leaky tank valve, a spill that is raising concerns about the stability of a sloped area.
"As far as we can tell, nothing has moved, but water acts as a lubricant," Councilman Bill Colbert said. "This material, once it becomes wet, is a lot heavier and tends to move. "The ground is saturated. It's just a mess," he said. The leak was fixed last week.
The tank can hold about 15 million gallons at any time, enough for 46 families for a year, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Mayor Darrell Smith said he's waiting for a report on the actual amount lost.
Hamlet Homes spokesman Nick Mingo said he wasn't concerned about landslides. But he's bothered by water seeping into soil at an embankment cut along SunCrest Drive.
Mingo said he repaired the leak before the city contacted him, but the water continued to run down the hill.
Colbert said it was difficult to detect the leak because melting snow was still streaming down the hillside. Until tests were conducted, the city could not separate snowmelt from the leaking water.
"It took just a few days to find (the leak), but it took a week at least for the water to stop," he said.
Another city councilman, Paul Edwards, said most of the water was leaking out of the ground on a hill at the north end of the cut along SunCrest. It troubles him because the south side of the road has failed in the past. "When you add that amount of water to soil that's already potentially unstable, it's a problem," Edwards said.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)