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Sink Holes in PA

Question is there any way for anybody to find out a cause of a sink hole in a swale next to a drain basin? The swale comes from both directions between houses with the drain being in the swale behind our house.Our yard was regraded about 3 years ago form being a sledding area to a more gradual slope. this neighborhood is 7 year new construction. This is a high indecent sink hole area, also this year we have received over 400% normal rain for the area, and an earthquake happened the week before in Sept(Virginia felt here)the sink hole opened in September also.at that time more than 45 sink holes opened up in our township! so I was wondering why anyone would thin that somebody was responsible for causing the sink hole.

Re: Sink Holes in PA

I live in NY, 24" of additional rain above normal this year. We are about 99% sure all the groundwater and settling is responsible for killing my septic system. The field has settled, and pipes are collapsed, and it worked fine for the first 23 years it was here (middle aged for a septic).

It would not surprise me if all the rain caused the sinkholes. Many parts of PA, WV, VA have underlying limestone geology that is subject to substantial erosion form water.

Good Luck.

Re: Sink Holes in PA

I tend to think that the excessive rainfall is to blame. The recent quake is a suspect as well.

Re: Sink Holes in PA

I would think it may be a hole in the drainage pipe

Re: Sink Holes in PA
farmer11522 wrote:

I would think it may be a hole in the drainage pipe

A hole or a crack in the drain line can cause some damage, but not such a damage as described here. And how can you explain the other 45 holes in the beighborhood, which was built 7 years ago on a landfill?

A. Spruce
Re: Sink Holes in PA

Sink holes are caused by voids below the surface. When the void becomes sufficiently large enough, the top crust will cave in, creating the sink hole.

The only way that a sink hole can form is through erosion of the subsoil, which is typically caused by underground water flow, be it excessive rainfall, broken drainage, broken water supply, etc.

Builders can be blamed for some by not preparing the pads and infrastructure properly. Townships can be to blame by allowing building in areas of known instability, such as over old landfill sites, reclaimed wetlands, or seismic areas.

We had a poster here about a year ago with an erosion problem under his house. The cause not completely known, but apparently the development was built on or near a swamp and the water was not sufficiently diverted before the houses were built.

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