Septic tank collapse

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by MikeA, May 3, 2007.

  1. MikeA

    MikeA LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 58

    I live in central NJ

    My house is hooked up to the city system but there is a septic tank in the yard that appears to be collapsing (the ground is caving in). Would I contact a landscaper to help fill it in or is that somebody else? Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks
    Mike
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    Do you know for sure its a septic tank?

    Most people I know will crush up the old tank and bring in fill. It takes a big machine to do this, something an landscaper doesn't usually have (nor do you want them renting one :D )
     
  3. mverick

    mverick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    Here they get filled with gravel through the old hole. Only problem, there are 2 chambers. So, you fill one and half fill the other. They need to have the top busted open and filled.

    Different way's to do it too. A Trackloader with a breaker on it can bust a hole in the top too. Then Fill with Gravel and top with topsoil.
     
  4. MikeA

    MikeA LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 58

    I am 99% sure it is a septic. 1) the house was built in 1954 and it was on a septic system at one time 2) my neighbor has the same sink hole forming in the same exact place in her yard

    What makes my problem that much harder is that it is located directly below the paver patio that I installed 2 years ago. Heavy machinery will also tear up the grass that I FINALLY have looking the way I want it. I guess I can try to remove some of the pavers and dig down to it, break the top open more if needed, get it pumped out, and fill it with gravel.

    I am in a bad place right now!!!!!

    Thanks for the reply though.
     
  5. MikeA

    MikeA LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 58

    I am assuming this will do a good job tearing up the lawn. Is that true? What if they can't get a machine back there which might be a real possibility
     
  6. mverick

    mverick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    The top is probably 8x10 or so. Yep, it's gonna tear up the lawn.

    When you have a job that needs a machine, you find a way to get it there. No back access? If there is a fence pull it and replace when you pull it out.

    Busting a hole through the pavers and filling might work. But that's a lot of gravel to haul in by hand and how you going to break it? Also, if you don't get the edges filled it will still fall. If it's collapsing a lot of city's have codes it needs to be filled. I'd call your city and see.

    I know it's bad, but it needs fixed. Maybe you can get a deal with someone to do yours and your neighbors at the same time.

    To save your grass rent a sod cutter and take it up. Put on a palled and water it. Then have them dig and fill and re-lay the sod the next day. The paver patio is going to have to be redone. When you fill it will still sink a little.

    Sorry, but that's what I see needing to be done. If it collapses while your wife or kid is walking on it, you just lost them.
     
  7. MikeA

    MikeA LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 58

    I agree 100000000% that is needs to be done and sooner than later. I was just trying to see if there was a way to do it without destroying everything and saving a couple of $$. On the bright side I will free up my weekend
     
  8. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    its most likely a cesspool...different from a septic...call and excavation contractor that specializes in septic installation and repair. Don't call a landscaper because as its been shown above they normally don't have a clue what they're doing when it comes to sh*t work. What you can do with a cesspool is pump it out first, then bring in a backhoe and cave all the walls down into itself, smash it all with the bucket at the bottom of the hole then dump fill in with 16 inch lifts using a jumping jack tamper...it won't take long at all...i did one a few months ago when we were out installing a new system and it only took me about a half hour to dig the lid off, cave it in, fill it and watch someone else tamp it..haha
     
  9. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    as far as tearing the yard up..if they're good it should only damage an area no bigger than the cesspool lid itself...a backhoe can easily do the job and unless your yard is wet it should't leave any big ruts
     
  10. jmw5555

    jmw5555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    be very carefull if it is a septic tank or a cesspool and it is caving be extremely carefull there is nothing worse than falling in while it is caveing. get someone who does this work all the time in there i would not do it yourself. this type of work can be very dangerous if you dont know what your doing. i am a septic contractor trying to bust into the lawncare because the septic work isnt too good right now.i wouldnt think it would cost much more than about 500 bucks to get it taken care of. good luck.
     

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