BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – At first Doreen Geary noticed a small sinkhole under her new swimming pool—it was just installed last month. Then Tuesday, after her pregnant daughter and two grandchildren emerged from the pool, a torrent of went gushing from under the pool.
“My daughter saw,” Geary said, “it was muddy water just flowing like a river down the driveway.”
As the sinkhole caved in, Doreen said it ripped a hole in the liner of the pool, sending thousands of gallons of water gushing through her yard, and into neighbor’s yards.
What caused this catastrophe? City officials informed Doreen her sewer line runs through the backyard, and under the pool. Under that scenario, the line could have been damaged during the installation, and the resulting leakage would have led to the sinkhole.
Geary added, “When they dug for the pool, they may have said they went down 6 inches, but the roots that they pulled up were probably 6-7 feet below, and they pulled them out.”
Doreen estimates the size of the hole to be about 10 feet long and 6 feet deep, “They are going to have to move my pool, and then evaluate what is in that hole–was it a pipe?”
The South Buffalo grandmother’s options might be limited, since she has to keep the pool at least three feet from her property line, and away from the utility easement under the power lines.
Geary said the pool provides therapy for her medical condition, and it is one of the last things she needs to worry about as she tries to rehab the family homestead that she grew up in, after years of neglect.
“This is so much on my plate,” Doreen sighed, “Usually I can take care of everything, and I don’t know if I can do this.”
The pool installer has assured Doreen he will replace the liner for free–about a $200 value–and once they find a satisfactory spot in her backyard, he will move the pool to the new location, also at no charge.