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Old Cistern

I have a Cistern in my 93 year old house in NE Indiana. It was filled at some point in the past, but it doesn't look like it was done right. Oh and it's HUGE. I had my sewer line dug up for repairs next to the cistern and it looks like about 6ft diameter and 9ft deep.

1. There is a pipe from the Cistern to the basement that leaks water when it rains really hard.
2. The fill sand has settled some and the cement cap is broken.

There's a lot of clay in this area, so even if the bottom was broken it might not drain into the ground fast enough. All of the original down spouts that used to fill the cistern hae been plugged.

I want to fix this for safety and wet basement annoyance reasons. I also want to salvage some of the brick if possible. Any thoguhts?

Re: Old Cistern

I would suggest you dig down and remove the pipe and patch the foundation with hydraulic cement. Even filled the pipe will leak ground water. Filling wells and cisterns in most areas is covered by very strict rules and required methods. Check with your local building department of health department.

Re: Old Cistern

Am pretty sure when Jack says "dig down"...he means with a backhoe, not a shovel or spade. ;) And that's likely the bestest approach. This would also render a bunch of brick to reuse.

For the short term, if digging this up right now isn't in the cards (winter bearing down and all that), you could plug or cap off the pipe end for now. There's both rubber expandable plugs you could insert or rubber caps with a hose clamp arangement that would work if there are no working threads available. Heck, even a decently fitted wooden plug driven into the pipe end will work pretty well. The wetter it gets, the more it swells and the tighter the fit.

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