Geology expert explains Columbus homeowner's erosion issues

Geology expert explains Columbus homeowner's erosion issues

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - On Wednesday, we introduced you to the Carrizosa family whose backyard is disappearing.

The erosion began after a heavy rainstorm last spring and not knowing where to turn, the Carrizosas are worried for the safety of their home and family.

"I want to stay in this house, I love this house, this house means everything to me, but the safety of my family comes first," explains Mauricio Carrizosa.

Dr. Clinton Barineau, associate professor of geology at Columbus State University, says there is an important geological boundary in Columbus called the fall line. North of the line, there are very hard rocks resistant to erosion, from Macon Road south it is just the opposite.

"That is where we start getting into that loose sedimentary rocks, and those rocks are barely rocks," Barineau.

Barineau says water, whether it is a stream, river or rain runoff will erode the loose sediment easily causing problems.

If you are in the market for a new home, he suggests taking some simple steps to look for erosion problems instead of spending a lot of money.

"Are there large cracks in the ground for significant distances, that might indicate the ground is actually moving. If there are homes in the area, talking with people before hand if they've had any problems with the ground moving. If you have issues, maybe your doors aren't closing like they used to and that suggests the foundation of the house is slowly moving," explains Barineau

Barineau admits there is no simple fix for erosion and its timing is almost impossible to predict.

"It is very possible everything could quiet, you may not see much motion for easily a decade or several decades and then it might start moving again," says Barineau.

Even though there is no quick fix Barineau suggests calling an expert from a geological engineering firm to check out the problem.

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