Yamanto resident Phil Utteridge with the roller door indicating how much his property has sunk.
Yamanto resident Phil Utteridge with the roller door indicating how much his property has sunk.

Why is my house on the slide?

YAMANTO resident Phil Utteridge has reached the end of his tether and just wants to know why his house is sinking.

Mr Utteridge, his wife Rebecca and their young son live in Sandalwood Dr in the quiet, family-friendly western Ipswich suburb.

But for the past six years, their lives have been made steadily worse by subsidence in their yard, which he says has caused their house to sink on one side.

Mr Utteridge said engineers have told him the cause is the soil surrounding sewerage pipes that run next to his side fence and along the back fence.

"In 2007 I had a concreter in to look at the doing driveway and he said the house had sunk," Mr Utteridge said.

"An engineer came out and did tests and found the house had dropped two inches (5cm).

"I was told it was caused by evaporating soil around the sewerage pipes.

"I've been quoted $70,000 to lift the house. One engineer said it couldn't be done for under $110,000 for the whole job."

He said he was told unofficially that 20 surrounding residents were similarly affected and there was subsidence on nearby Stallard Park.

"There were three sink holes in my backyard, next door had seven little ones in their backyard and the house one down from him had subsidence too.

"They closed a section of the park across the road at one stage because a lady fell in a hole.

"I've got a little boy and I'm afraid to let him play in the back yard.

"My life's on hold. I can't fix my house and I can't sell my home.

"My driveway is in pieces and I can't have people over for a barbecue because I'm worried about public liability."

He said his solicitor wanted to hear from other people affected by the subsidence in the area so he could launch a class action.

His life was becoming consumed by the subsidence and he spent hours photographing and studying it while waiting for answers.

"I just seem to be going in circles with this. It's been going on for six years.

"One sink hole was a metre deep," Mr Utteridge said.

"Out the back under the patio, if I left my car there with the handbrake off, it would roll away."

When the QT visited, there was a hollow sound when the concrete under the patio out the back was tapped.

"I paid $4000 to have the ceiling fixed and it's cracking again," he said.

"The slab has been pulled away from the house about an inch.

"It's bizarre how everyone keeps shuffling me off."

In 2010, Queensland Urban Utilities took over ownership of water infrastructure, including council sewerage pipes.

A QUU spokeswoman said yesterday it had no record of a complaint from Mr Utteridge about the subsidence.

The spokeswoman said if Mr Utteridge contacted QUU his complaint would be investigated.



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