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Old 04-30-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
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What to do about old septic tank?

I bought my first house about 6 months ago.

Long story short, it turns out that the house was originally hooked up to either a cesspool or septic system. It appears that it was hooked up to town sewer many, many years ago...

The way I found this tank was that I was digging near my foundation for some plants and I hit a cast iron pipe which was headed into the basement... I have a concrete block foundation what I discovered after clearing away th dirt is that just below the grade of the lawn, maybe 6-8", there is a missing/broken block and the cast iron pipe heads inside there. I'd never seen anything on the inside of the basement, so I took a look and what I see is that they apparently cut the pipe off flush w/ foundation wall inside the basement and parged over it--you can see a bit of a lump and a piece of the cracked cast iron jutting out. It's directly behind the current main stack which hugs the foundation wall, so if you aren't looking for it, it would be easy to miss.

I got curious, so I found a depression in the ground near by and started digging... about 4-5" down I hid the cement lid, including one of the metal loops. I dug around about 6' and found only one edge of the cover, it seems to be a monster, so I decided I wouldn't be able to lift it myself, and so I filled in the hole I dug.

My questions/concerns are--

1) What should I do about this hole in the side of my foundation below grade? We have a water issue down there and I'm sure this opening is not helping. Should I dig down/around the pipe, then try to cut/crack it and then fill in the missing block space w/ cement?

2) What about this tank? It was probably abandoned several decades ago, should I just leave well enough alone?

3) This wasn't mentioned on the disclosure and the previous owners owned the house since 1956 (it was built in 1950). My main concern is what if the tank was improperly filled in, clearly they did what I assume is the minimum when it came to handling the old hook up pipe because they just left it in place!


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Old 04-30-2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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Dig down around the foundation, remove the pipe and patch the hole. As to the tank, leave well enough alone.

If you are thinking of going after the previous owner for non disclosure-- forget it.


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Old 04-30-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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#1 Fix the foundation and stop the leaking

#2 Remove the tank lid and discard, backfill the tank with sand/soil. Or, go all out and pay to have someone remove it, but the backfill should be ok if money is an issue.

#3 It is what it is. No recourse on stuff like that.

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