Land Slippage

Asked March 11, 2018, 3:50 PM EDT

My parents live on a hill on Lake Williamstown in Williamstown, KY. On March 10, 2018 they noticed that their land on the hill is literally slipping away or sinking. I have attached a picture for reference. We have no idea what this is or who to contact to ask for help. We would be grateful for any help you can give us with this . Jeanie Baker

Grant County Kentucky

1 Response

This is exactly what you think it is. We have received copious amounts of rainfall in the area over the last 4 weeks coupled with some snowfalls. What happens here is that the over abundance of water in the soil profile created enough extra weight and lubrication to overcome the friction force that had previously bound the soil particles together when that happened the soil began to slip under the force of gravity toward the lake. This is very common in areas when the slope of the soil is at a very steep degree when precipitation occurs well above the normal rate.

You have a couple of options as far as repairs go to the soil. You can elect to install a retention wall that reduce the gravitation force on the soil when rain fall occurs at above normal. You may also elect to install sub surface drainage of rocks and drainage tile that will allow the water to accumulate and move out of the soil faster than normal percolation. You may also elect in grading the soil as to minimize the degree of slope toward the lake. Understanding the topography that surrounds Williamstown Lake I also understand that the later is likely unfeasible. You can elect to repair the slip with some minimal grade work as we only experience rainfall events as we have this late winter every 20 years or so. That being said it may occur again next year and the slip may return or get worse as I cannot predict the weather. The slip will continue to move toward the lake whenever we experience enough rainfall to remove the friction that is currently holding the soil in place.