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Old 03-29-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Organic Matter or something else?

Firstly, I want to say hello to everyone on this forum. This is my first of what should be many posts here.

I built a new home this past fall and have been battling a slight drainage problem (which is improving). I have a perimeter drain around the foundation that discharges to the rear. It is in this drainage and surrounding soil I have noticed what looks like some type of petroleum product. I called the D.E.P. over and they basically said it was "organic" because it broke up when poked with a stick.

Should I just trust their judgement?

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Last edited by Moxie; 03-29-2010 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Added Images
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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Where are you located ?


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Old 03-29-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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I'm in Bridgton, Maine
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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you mean organic as in oil / petroleum products or organic solvents, or organic as in "natural"?

What does it smell like? Usually something petroleum or solvent-ish will have a strong aroma....

If it smells petroleum-ish, do you have oil heat? Or perhaps there was an oil tank on your property before you bought it? There could be a leak somewhere... which could be a big mess environmentally and $ wise......
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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By organic I mean "natural". I am assuming this is what he (D.E.P.) meant. He said it was "decomposing". But if so, why is it only coming from that particular drain? There was nothing but woods where my house is prior to it being built.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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Does it *look* like an oil slick on top of water, though?

I have that in my yard (ours doesn't drain anywhere, though) It looks like a parkinglot puddle with oil - a bit rainbow-ish. When the area is flooded it floats on the water and when the area drains it stays on the top of the soil yet is only present when there is significant moister (standing water or mud) - when the soil is dry during the summer it isn't noticable.

So I presumed it was organic slush from the roots of some tree or something of the sort.
At this present moment in time I am making cabinets for the kitchen - just in case you wanted to know what I'm doing when I'm not around.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:38 AM   #7
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Got a similar thing in one spot in my yard. Coming up from underground during periods of heavy rain drains in that area. Figuring it's organic and not a problem...but who knows...


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