FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – Fairview Heights homeowners say sinkholes are popping up in their neighborhood, and it’s a problem that’s been getting worse for years.

One was right behind Albert Graham’s house. He was afraid that someone would fall in. He said it was a big concern

“About the sinkholes in here, I guess it’s like a storm drain pipe down here, and the city come in and filled it up when it sank,” Graham said. “The first time, they brought a little dump truck and filled it up, and the second time, when it really sank, they brought out a real big dump truck and filled it in, and every time it rains and everything, it sinks. And I noticed another up here by my fence; it’s starting a new one.”

He said he’s not the only one in the neighborhood dealing with this problem. His neighbor down the street had the same troubles. The neighbor only had two big sinkholes in his yard.

“And then the neighbors over here, they had one there, and it did the same thing,” Graham said. “Then they had kids, and they were afraid they’d fall in it, so they just packed up and moved out.”

“So last year, during the heavy rains of July, there was an increase volume of water, so those pipes are aging,” said Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky. “We sent cameras through all the pipes. We did find one area where the pipes have deteriorated, early summer. We’ll be starting to remove those pipes, replace those.”

The mayor explained how things got bad.

“Well, they age some pipes depending on where they are and how much water moves through them,” Kupsky said. “They’re steel pipes; they rust after a period of time so that area where they were leaking evidently, they were leaking for some time underground where we didn’t see it, so we’re going to take those out and replace those in entirety in that particular area.”

Kupsky said the city has earmarked $20,000 to replace the bad pipe, and he expects the work to begin by midsummer.