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Sinkhole in yard

A couple of years ago a small depression (2 ft wide/1 ft deep) appreared in the backyard. I filled w/ topsoil and planted new grass. The following year, the sinkhole got bigger and wider. I filled with more topsoil and planted more grass. The hole keeps getting deeper and wider (now 4 ft wide/2 ft deep). It's still 15 ft from the house, but it's close to a very large tree in the yard. Anyone have any advice?

Re: Sinkhole in yard

Septic system or sewer? You may have a broken/fractured drain line.......especially considering the proximity to the tree and its root system.

Or...... the lid of your septic tank or an old/abandoned cistern may have failed/collapsed/cracked/fell victim to encroaching roots searching for water.

Or.....you may have a broken water supply line. If on city water, the bill wouldn't reflect the leak as regards how gallons of monthly usage......if the leak is prior/upstream of your water meter. If on private well, you might notice the pump running without any "provocation" on your part.

Or...........other possibilities..........including a "natural" sinkhole as a result of underground water flow, spring, etc.

Re: Sinkhole in yard

Thanks for the advice. No water/sewer/septic service in the backyard. Most likley explanation is old construction debris or natural water flow through the area. Should I attempt to get to the bottom myself? Dig out and fill with stone/gravel/dirt?

Re: Sinkhole in yard

I personally would probally dig down to make sure there isn's a problem, if it is decaying material, and that is the conclusion you come to there is no telling how big of an area that would cover,(they wouldn't worry about burying a couple of wheel barrow loads but would be more like multiple truck loads.) if it is decaying matter it is probally more like a buried stump and that wouldn't decay at such a rate to make that kind of hole each year. I would still be concerned over maybe a water line that was originally ran maybe out to a garden.

Re: Sinkhole in yard

I don't know what area of the country you live in, Chris, and don't want to make you too nervous ... but.... here in Missouri, we have a great problem in some areas with limestone caverns collapsing and causing sinkholes of various sizes.

Where I used to work, a man called the PD one morning and said someone stole his huge (really, really tall!) cedar tree from his back yard, stump and all. Odd thing to steal.... my officer went out there and walked back to where it was and saw, just below ground level, the top of the tree. Apparently, its roots had pierced the top of the cavern and caused its collapse, taking the tree with it. wow.

Some old friends had to abandon a house due to a growing sinkhole the previous owners had covered and failed to disclose (big long story). They had someone from a state agency that covers caverns, mines, caves, and the like come out with maps and there was the problem - a cavern, and a long one, mapped. I wish I could remember the proper name of that agency.
If you dig down and find no debris, you might want to consider calling in someone like that.

Just another option.

Re: Sinkhole in yard

I have lived in Florida all my life and since I was a child I learned that Sinkholes are part of Florida living. I literally watched the Winter Park Sinkhole swallow a few cars, swimming pool, and a house. I really hope that does not happen to you! Here in Florida we have GeoScan Inc. http://www.geoscaninc.com They may be able to tell you a company that is local for you. If you do go dig.... Please tie a rope to your assets! ;)

Re: Sinkhole in yard

Interesting you should mention the Winter Park sinkholes. I saw one there in the late 70s when I was at Rollins College. A massive sinkhole on Fairbanks Avenue near 17-92 swallowed a street, half a building, a parking lot and several fancy cars. What an incredible sight. I'm in Connecticut now (near Hartford) hoping my sinkhole doesn't get out of hand.

Re: Sinkhole in yard

Chris I have the same problem, I even had the surface covered with tar and the depression still reappear. Have you solved your problem. I need help. Thanks

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