Failure of manway cover determined cause of Highland flood, not pipe burst

Apr 15, 2024, 5:23 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm

HIGHLAND — A neighborhood in Highland was flooded by what was initially believed to be a pipe burst, but Provo River Water Users Association said it was actually due to a mechanical failure of a manway cover.

The flooding happened Saturday afternoon near the intersection of 6400 W and 10400 N. The Murdock Canal, which is overseen by the Provo River Water Users Association, Tens of thousands of gallons of water were seen rushing out of the Murdock Canal, which is overseen by the Provo River Water Users Association.

“We were finishing the filling of our pipe here to get ready for irrigation season … something we do every year,” said Dave Faux, facilities and land manager with the association. “During that process, one of our manway lids experienced a mechanical failure, and that’s what caused the water to overrun out of the pipe at that point.”

Faux reiterated that a pipe did not burst. If one of their 10-foot diameter pipes had burst along the 21-mile pipeline, the situation would have been much worse.

“We wouldn’t be (in) this type of situation,” Faux said.

An example of a 10-foot diameter pipe. (KSL TV)

Faux said the issue was resolved quickly, due in part to other groups and utility companies that responded. He said issues like this one are rare.

“The last time we had an incident similar to this was about 12 years ago,” he said. “We make sure that these types of things don’t happen. And unfortunately, every once in a while, something happens.”

The association was able to shut off the water and divert leftover water in the pipeline to other supplies in Utah and Salt Lake Counties.

Two homes were left with the brunt of the damage from the flood. Neighbors helped clear out the basements of the two homes, but the owners said the basement levels will still need to be gutted.

The association is working with the homeowners to make sure they’re taken care of.

“We’ve jumped right on it to help these people,” Faux said.

He’s also confident the issue that caused last weekend’s mess has been resolved.

“This is just (an) unfortunate event that happened,” he said.

Faux said the trail where this happened still needs to be cleaned up. It’s still unclear what caused that manway cover to open. The utility said that is still under investigation.

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Failure of manway cover determined cause of Highland flood, not pipe burst